Between 7-8am you will be picked up at your
hotel (or a nearby area) by your English-speaking guide and
driver, and from there we will drive to the Shixiaguan Great
Wall. It is about 70km away, and will take us approx. 1.5 hours
Shixiaguan (Stone Gorge) Pass, 5km
southwest of the Badaling section of the Great Wall, is one of
the most intact parts of the whole Great Wall. In spite of
serious damage, the winding wall set in the lofty mountains
reveals its grandeur. However, a castle in Shixiaguan was pulled
down during the Great Leap Forward. Nevertheless, the wall
remains relatively intact because of its strategic location.
Shixiaguan Pass was originally built in the reign of Ming
Emperor Wanli (about 1600 AD), which was then a key pass guarded
by a large number of soldiers. There are sites such as official
residences, the ancient castle, clay walls and brick walls in
the village. Most of the villagers know stories about the site
as well as the Great Wall.
One of the tales is about the peasant's
uprising during the Ming Dynasty. After the founding of Dashun
State in Xi'an in 1644 during the reign of Ming Emperor
Chongzhen, Li Zicheng was the leader of the peasants from
northern Shaanxi Province, who wanted to overthrow the emperors
and the Ming Dynasty. Li led his army east to Badaling Pass.
While the rebels were trying to think of a way to occupy
Badaling Pass, an old man advised them to pretend to lead the
army to Shixiaguan Pass. The general of the official army in
Badaling was cheated into going to Shixiaguan Pass, which gave
Li the opportunity to enter Beijing through Badaling
successfully. Emperor Chongzhen committed suicide, ending the
Ming Dynasty. Li proclaimed himself Emperor of the Shun Dynasty
which was short-lived, as about a month later, his army was
defeated by the Manchus, who established the Qing Dynasty.
another 2-3 hours of hiking, we’ll walk down the Great Wall to
have some lunch and recharge our batteries at a local
restaurant. In addition to being a restaurant, the establishment
is also a jade factory. Following lunch, you can browse around
the jade factory’s offerings, while also learning how this
precious jewelry is made and formed. After lunch and the jade
factory we’ll drive to the Ming Tombs. This is where 13 emperors
of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) are buried. This site was
carefully chosen for its feng shui principles by the
third Ming emperor Yongle (who also moved the capital from
Nanjing to Beijing and began construction on the Forbidden
City). The tomb we will visit, Dingling, is the tomb of the
Wanli Emperor. It is the only one of the Ming Dynasty Tombs to
have been excavated. It also remains the only imperial tomb to
have been excavated since the founding of the People's Republic
of China. After viewing the tombs, we will head to the “Shenlu”,
or the Spirit Way. The Spirit Way leads into the complex, lined
with statues of guardian animals and officials, with a front
gate consisting of three-arches, painted red, and
called the "Great Red Gate". The Spirit Way, or Sacred Way,
starts with a huge stone memorial archway lying at the front of
the area. Constructed in 1540, during the Ming Dynasty, this
archway is one of the biggest stone archways in China today.
We’ll then start driving back to Beijing.
On the way back we’ll stop at the Olympic Park. The Olympic park
served as the
center of Beijing’s 2008 Olympic games. We will first stop by
the Bird’s Nest, which hosted the opening ceremony along with
track and field. Due to its unique design it is now one of the
most iconic and unique stadiums in the world. Next it is off to
the Water Cube, which is situated directly across from the
Bird’s Nest. The Water Cube was the location for the swimming
and diving portion of the games (where Michael Phelps had his
record-breaking performance), and is now currently a water park,
which is reportedly the biggest in Asia.
Lastly, we’ll head on over to a nearby silk factory to see the
technical process of how silk is made, from silk swarm raising,
cocoon sorting, cocoon boiling and cocoon reeling, rewinding and
packing. The high-grade silk produced in this factory is the
best raw material for the product of high-quality silk fabrics.
Following our visit to the silk factory you
will be driven back to your hotel (or a
nearby area) at about 6pm, thus ending your tour.
1 Hotel pick-up & drop-off service
2 Air-conditioned tour coach
3 English speaking tour guide
4 Entrance tickets as listed on the above itinerary.
5 Chinese lunch (Vegetarian? No problem!)
Tickets for cable car or toboggan
2. Tip to the guide and driver
2. Other personal spending
Compare with Other Great Wall Bus Tours:
BUS TOUR A1: Great Wall Day Tour - "Majestic Badaling &
Ming Tombs" (RMB199 or USD29)
learn more about
this mini-bus tour and signup.
Tour Attractions: Great Wall at Badaling & Ming Tombs (Daily)