Escape the hustle and bustle of China's capital with this relaxed countryside break at the Great Wall. Spend two nights in a local village and walk a beautiful, infrequently visited section of the wall between Gubeikou and Jinshanling.
Accommodation: Gubeikou Guesthouse (Ye Shu Fang Homestay) or similar, Gubeikou
Your tour starts in Beijing at 9 am at our joining hotel, where you will be met by your Peregrine tour leader. We then embark on a three-hour drive to the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall. On arrival, we begin our encounter with the Great Wall by exploring the immediate area.Gubeikou is located 146 kilometres north of Beijing. It has the Panlong (Coiling Dragon) and Wohu (Crouching Tiger) mountains in the background and is linked to the Qingfeng (Green Wind) and Dicui (Piled Verdure) peaks. As such it occupies a strategically important location between Shanhaiguan Pass and Juyongguan Pass, which is difficult to access. The Chaohe River runs across the foot of the wall from north to south. In 1378 (the 11th year of Emperor Hongwu's reign in the Ming Dynasty), General Xu Da ordered this section of the Great Wall rebuilt. Gubeikou has probably seen more battles than any other part of the Great Wall, including some of the most famous in Chinese history. On the southern slope of Gubeikou stands a temple dedicated to Yang Ye, a famous Great Wall garrison general of the Song Dynasty. There are quite a few temples in China dedicted to this general, but this one is perhaps the oldest. The Gubeikou section of the Great Wall stretches for more than 40 kilometres and consists of 14 beacon towers, 143 watch towers, 16 strategic pass, three citadels and many other military constructions. Many of them are famous historical relics such as the Big Flower Beacon Tower, the Fairy Tower, the General Tower and the dominant Wangjing Tower. Tonight we stay in a basic, but charming homestay as a guest of some very hospitable local folks.
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Accommodation: Jinshanling Hotel or similar, Jinshanling
Today we trek to Jinshanling (5–6 hrs). Our walk takes us eastward along the old city wall, passing numerous watchtowers and other parts of the wall that have not yet been restored. Jinshanling is the name given to an eleven kilometre section of the wall situated on the Jinshan Mountains. The earliest bit of this structure was built in the 6th century AD, but most of what you see now dates from the Ming Dynasty. This section of the wall has 67 watchtowers, each built in a different style of architecture. The walkway along the top is paved with square bricks providing a level surface wide enough to construct or erect batteries. Poems and tablet writings can be found on the Jinshanling Great Wall left from the time General Qi Jiguang directed building of this section of the Great Wall. Some of the towers were storerooms for food, hay and weapons. Towards the end of our walk we descend from the wall and walk along a path for one kilometre, in order to bypass a military area. We spend our night in a simple guesthouse at Jinshanling.
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Today we return to Beijing where your tour extension ends on arrival. A transfer to the airport is not included, however, your tour leader will be on hand to advise you as to the options available.
Local guide, transport, sightseeing and entrance fees.
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.Visas and Permits
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
Please note that visa requirements can and do change. It is essential that you confirm requirements with the nearest relevant embassy or check with your travel agent before you travel. At the time of writing, most nationalities require a visa for China. Chinese visas can only by obtained at Chinese Consulates prior to your arrival in China.
Please note if you are travelling from China into Hong Kong (a Special Economic Region) or Kyrgyzstan then back again into China, you will need a double entry Chinese visa. Please be warned that on some occasions people transiting through mainland China on their way to Hong Kong have been made to go through Chinese immigration and had their single entry visa stamped, thus making it invalid. Do not allow your visa to be stamped if you are only going through transit. The Chinese authorities restrict visas for those working in media, government or the military - please contact us for further information.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.Responsible Travel
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in.
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
There are a number of books which make interesting reading and provide insight in the history, politics and culture of the country. Suggestions are: Wild Swans-Jung Chang The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices-Xinran Riding the Iron Rooster-Paul Theroux From Heaven Lake-Vikram Seth One’s Company-Peter Fleming Red China Blues-Jan Wong Mr China’s Son: A Villager’s Life-He Liuyi China, Renaissance of the Middle Kingdom-Odyssey Guide China-Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrase Book-Lonely Planet. The following are recommended for travellers on the Silk Road: The Great Game-Peter Hopkirk Foreign Devils on the Silk Road-Peter Hopkirk.
Local Tour Leaders
By employing and training local tour leaders to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour leader’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success.
Adventure in China
This is an ‘adventure’ trip and we hope to expose you to all aspects of the local culture. Please be open-minded. Please note that on your tour, you may link up with passengers booked on other tours in our Asia program.
Please note: A compulsory single supplement applies to all solo travellers. IMPORTANT: Tour starts at 9.00am on Day 1. Client to meet the tour leader in the lobby of: Dong Fang Hotel 11 Wanming Road Xuanwu District Beijing 100050 Tel: +86 (10) 63014466 ** Scanned copy of passport required At the time of booking, in order to obtain permits **
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
22 May 2013