Ben and I headed to the Lupiguan Section of the Great Wall. That means we have two sections left to see of the Great Wall that are in Beijing–Jiankou and Badaling. (We were going to go to Badaling over the weekend as well but unfortunately, the air wasn’t so good, so we opted to save it for another time).
Unfortunately, some bad air quality had to roll in for the long weekend, but fortunately, it was decent enough one day to get out of the city to do some more exploring!
The Lupiguan section actually doesn’t have much left. As we drove, our GPS directed us, toward the town of Miyun. There we saw a very small part of the Great Wall right next to the road with people on it. We decided we would check it out on our way back (it actually ended up being the Lupiguan section that is remaining…well, rebuilt).
Where are We?
It was fun driving through Miyun. We saw a building for “Beijing Tourist Center”. I guess they’re really trying to build up the town but not much seemed to be happening in the town itself. It was cute along the water but the shops were either just opening or were recently closed. We did actually see something about the Olympics, so maybe they do have something happening even though we were a bit away from Beijing (~1 hour 30 min).
This drive wasn’t bad. We’ve been hitting lots of traffic recently on our excursions, so this was actually a decent drive. We arrived to where the GPS directed us in about 1 hour 45 minutes/maybe 2 hours.
We crossed over the water to the other side where we saw some of the Great Wall but there was a sign just at the bottom that said the section was closed. We ended up crossing back over the road and parking since we had seen a building that had tickets written on it.
What is this?
We were the only foreigners but that certainly didn’t deter us. Before we entered, I read some of the signs, and it talked about how we were entering the Black Dragon Pool Scenic Spot that has eighteen famous pools (including the Really Black Dragon Pool!).
We didn’t know what to expect as we paid our 60 kuai ($8) to enter but we soon found out that it was worth it! It was a great hike through the woods with not many people. We passed by several waterfalls too. It was very pretty with the mountains and trees and some huge boulders. This was definitely a different hike than we’ve taken in the past here.
I love hiking, so this was great. There were a ton of pools around (and almost all of them seemed to have rafts to rent to float in the water). Speaking of the pools of water, they were SO clear. I couldn’t believe how clear every pool of water was.
There was one part where we had to climb through the cave in the mountain.
We didn’t see any part of the Wall on this hike, but I read afterwards that the part of the Wall we drove by earlier and the few guard towers that we could see close by are the only remaining parts of the Lupiguan section.
I’m glad we stopped to check it out on the way back. It only had three guard towers, so it was a quick walk up with a view of Miyun. We could also see another rebuilt section on the other side of the road.
What’s great about getting out of the city is that we never know what to expect. These are awesome adventures with some unexpectedness that makes it fun!
TOTE: It’s great to have a plan, but then again, it’s great to be surprised by the unexpected!