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Beijing Amblers: An Intimate Visit to a Fortress Village by the Great Wall
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North of Beijing is an authentic village in the fortress with many of the original courtyard houses built a 100 years ago, located near the Erdaoguan Pass section of the Great Wall in Huairou County. Originally a garrison fort for guarding the Wall where soldiers lived, the village uses have changed today but many of the customs of the past prevail, transport by donkeys and cooking with wood fires continue.

While the younger people have moved to the city the remaining older group continue to live in the village enjoying rural life and supplement income with tourist activities including country residential stays and fine rural dining. The experience is rewarding as you enjoy the largely untouched countryside ,the Great Wall remnants and villages adapting to the new economic order and still preserving the culture traditions of the rural areas. It is good that these options remain and all do not have to move to the city.

After the visit of the village, we will walk along the ancient path in the middle of the chestnut field leading up to an arch to the Great Wall. We will climb up (medium hike) the hill and walk along the picturesque "wild" Great Wall for about 2 hours - fantastic view! - then cross the wall to another village and have a late lunch in the villagers' home on their Chinese style brick bed typical in rural China.

Driving Time: 1.5hours
Hiking Time: 2 hours
Please read two walking routes and hiking details below the pictures down at this webpage.


>> Authentic village in the fortress by the great wall just over one and half hours' drive from Beijing.
>> The customs of the past prevail, transport by donkeys and cooking with wood fires continue.
>> Visit a farmer's home and have a chat on his brick bed.
>> Easy hike through the chestnut fields (and various seasonal blossom) up to the great wall; or more brilliant views if you are willing to hike more across watchtowers!
>> Eat farmers' home-made food at their home.

Best time to visit

* Suitable for all seasons. The mountain & wall views vary from season to season.
* The mountains and villages are in full pear, peach and chestnut tree blossom from April to September. Snow-clad mountain and wall is spectacular.
>> more pictures

Tour & Hiking Details:

Due to increased traffic to the outskirts of Beijing and back on the weekends, we leave earlier to minimize traffic.  However, we cannot predict traffic patterns and accidents so although the one-way drive without traffic takes 90minutes, you can anticipate it taking upwards of 2 1/2 hours.  Our average drive time is 2 hours with moderate traffic.  We will always try our utmost best to minimize drive times, but please keep this in mind when booking the trip.  Although we anticipate returning to Beijing, traffic may alter the return time significantly.

There are two walking routes for this tour.  One is an easy/medium amble though the chestnut and walnut groves and across the lowest pass of the great Wall.  this is an easier stroll through the countryside and suitable for children 6 and younger and those who are not looking for a challenge.  On this walk, we won't be walking on the Wall, but will be able to view and pass by the Wall.

For those with a more adventurous spirit, we will walk to an unrestored section of the wall.  Although its only a 3km hike, expect steep sections, some slippery stones, broken sections of the wall, and having to grab the occasional branch for stability! :)   The path up to the Wall and down from the Wall can be slightly overgrown by bushes, so long pants and long shirts are suggested to protect from small scratches, but not necessary.  Good sneakers (or hiking boots) are a must.

Level of difficulties: 2.5  out of 5 
Click to view the rates by hike difficulties ( from level 2 to 5)

About CCC’s Beijing Amblers
organizes suburb day walks, weekend hikes (at a leisure pace) and overnight trips to places that are still free from the clutches of the tourism industry. It offers both a good day’s exercise and cultural interest (The ancient villages, cultural relics and heritages, rural life and landscapes).  They are more relaxed, rambling hikes, although some are rigorous and marked with high difficulties. It is to take in some of the fine scenery, the wild wall and rural life around the capital at a leisurely pace -- the pace set by Beijing Amblers, CCC' s special interest group.


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