AsiaChinaSimatai

The Great Wall of China - section Jinshanling-Simatai

Simatai Travel Blog

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A day before I met two German guys at the Acrobatic Show and we all wanted to see the Great Wall of China. I suggested to go to Jinshaling and take a 10km walk along the wall (well,on top of it) to Simatai. They liked my idea of not getting a usual package tour but to travel there by ourself. To take a package tour is both boring and expensive. We met at Dizhamen long-distance bus station the following day at about 7:30am and took a bus to Miyun (15y). At the suburbs of Miyun a taxi driver got on the bus and tried to convince us we need to get off the bus now and take his taxi if we want to get to the Great Wall. I however learned from other guys who did that trip before that we really need to get to the final stop.
...So we did and when our bus arrived to the local bus station we were immediatelly surrounded by about 20 taxi drivers shoutting over each other. Shortly after we met a Spanish guy who was trying to negotiate with taxi drivers a ride for a good price but was not successful. But now, we were 4 people and could literally dictate terms. Their first bid was 60y per person for a 80km ride to Jinshanling but we took our time and managed to reduce the price to 10y per person or 40y (4eur) per car. I know it's rediculously low so maybe that's why two taxidrivers started to fight with each other....The walk from Jinshanling to Simatai was impressive as much as the Great Wall itself....when you see it you wonder who was that stupid (or clever?) to build such a wall on the top of mountains (hills).
..it must have been an enormous amount of work. Also, the Jinshanling-Simatai section is perfect in the regard that it is not touristy spot (like in Badaling) so you can enjoy yourself (or stay overnight on the wall - we met few guys who did that) and that the wall is really authentic, not yet renovated. We came to Simatai quite late (4:45pm) and missed the last bus to Miyun but tried to get a lift from a Chinesse bus tour whose managers were discussing our request for about 10min. The results was negative but the reason was quite surprising: "I'm sorry, you can't go with us to Beijing because we are a team" What the hell? What does that suppose to mean? - we were thinking. It was a strange feeling as they prioritized their "team spirit" over helping people in need....All that was left was to take another taxi but this time it was juicy (or maybe a fair price) as our taxi driver we really need to get to Miyun as quickly as possible to catch the last bus to Beijing. The price was 40y per person (160y per car) but still our day transportation costs totalled 80y that compares with 280-340y if you go with a boring package tour. Entrance fees: Jinshanling 50y, Simatai 40, rope bridge 5y.  
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