Mountainous Mutianyu

On April 10, 2012, in Activities, Beijing, Historical Relics, Must-sees, by Jack Li

Only 70km northeast of Beijing (approx. two hours by road), visitors can explore the delights of the most well-preserved part of the Great Wall of China. This section of the Wall is called Mutianyu and snakes around the hillsides overlooking Beijing in the distance. Comprising of twenty-two watch towers, Mutianyu is undoubtedly a ‘must-see’ on […]

Only 70km northeast of Beijing (approx. two hours by road), visitors can explore the delights of the most well-preserved part of the Great Wall of China. This section of the Wall is called Mutianyu and snakes around the hillsides overlooking Beijing in the distance. Comprising of twenty-two watch towers, Mutianyu is undoubtedly a ‘must-see’ on a visitor’s China Tours itinerary. More information about accommodation in the area can be provided at China Hotels.  In terms of fees to enter the wall at Mutianyu, the general admission fee is 45RMB and for children and under 12s the fee is 25RMB.

The section of the Wall at Mutianyu is made of granite and stands at a height of 7–8.5 metres and stretches to a width of 4-5metres. The original purpose of Mutianyu was to act as a barrier in defending the nation’s capital and the imperial tombs. The first construction phrase of Mutianyu began in the time of the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 – 557) and since then, Mutianyu developed under the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). Two famous generals, Tan Lun and Qi Jiguang, were noted for expanding this section of the Wall and transforming it into a strategic pass. With some very defining features, Mutianyu can indeed be classed as a very special section of the Wall. For example, one rarity which can be found along Mutianyu includes a defence mechanism on the Wall which allows the enemy to be attacked from both sides. Another relatively uncommon feature of Mutianyu is three connecting watchtowers which can be found at Mutianyu Pass.

Food at the Mutianyu can be very expensive (do not be surprised that a local pancake could cost over 100 RMB). Besides local food, Mutianyu does offer more western menus such as a Subway sandwich shop and an Italian café. Alternatively, choosing to take a picnic is a great way in which to combine a day out at Mutianyu and enjoy what this part of the Wall has to offer. If you decide to walk up to the walk, the forested route does provide the odd seated location to have a picnic and admire the stunning landscape. This is a very scenic location with woodland encompassing over ninety-six percent of the area around Mutianyu, so a visit here is certainly a welcomed break for urban dwellers.

For those who prefer not to walk to the top, there is always the option of taking the cable car. The cable car stops near a spacious terrace and from there visitors can peer over some stunning views of the Wall. On the terrace you may be able to spot Beijing in the distance and characters written on the hillside which signifies admiration for Chairman Mao. Apart from the cable car and walking, one of the most enjoyable methods to return down from Mutianyu is to take the toboggan. However, note that if you do bring children with you to Mutianyu, there is a fair amount of walking around the Wall and there is a height restriction on the toboggan ride. Nevertheless, Mutianyu is an excellent place for all the family to experience the scenery and history of northern China. Mutianyu can be visited throughout the year with China Flights being a useful source to get your oriental trip started.

 

 

The Horse God Temple

On July 25, 2011, in Beijing, Historical Relics, More Places of Interest, Temples, by Jack Li

The Horse God Temple, as the name implies, was built in honor of the Horse God in AD 1504 and renovated in AD 1792 during Emperor Qianlong’s reign. As we all know, war-horses were very important for ancient warriors. Their physical condition might greatly affect the outcome of the battle. The Horse God is in […]

The Horse God Temple, as the name implies, was built in honor of the Horse God in AD 1504 and renovated in AD 1792 during Emperor Qianlong’s reign. As we all know, war-horses were very important for ancient warriors. Their physical condition might greatly affect the outcome of the battle. The Horse God is in charge of all the affairs of the war-horses, so people established temples to show their respect for him, hoping that their war-horses would become stronger. In dynasties such as Tang, Song, and Qing, people even held grand ceremonies every year to honor the Horse God.

The history of the Ming Dynasty is a history of war. The Japanese pirates and the nomadic tribes living to the north often harassed China. So many Horse God Temples were built during that period of time, including this one located at Juyongguan Pass. Inside the temple there is the shrine of the Horse God, the God of Rain and the God of Hay. Although the Horse God is not one of the major Chinese Gods, the temple is worth visiting because it is difficult for you to find in China another Horse God Temple as well-preserved as this one.

The Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass

Tagged with:  

The Cloud Terrace

On July 25, 2011, in Beijing, Historical Relics, More Places of Interest, by Jack Li

The Cloud Terrace is a Buddhist structure built in the Yuan Dynasty. “Cloud” here means that if you look out from the terrace, you will feel as if you were on top of cloud. It is in centre of the Fortress City, and used to be the base of a grand lama temple. There used […]

The Cloud Terrace is a Buddhist structure built in the Yuan Dynasty. “Cloud” here means that if you look out from the terrace, you will feel as if you were on top of cloud. It is in centre of the Fortress City, and used to be the base of a grand lama temple. There used to be three lama towers on top of the terrace, and below the vaulted gate was for the traffic. According to Buddhist scripture, if one passes below the towers he is virtually paying homage to the Buddha. The purpose of the tower was to have all those who passed below converted to Buddhism and be protected by the power of the Buddha. Thus, the feudal ruler could strengthen his hold upon the people.

The stone carving of the Cloud Terrace is a masterpiece of the carvings of Tibetan Buddhism in the Yuan Dynasty. Its size is grand and its content is elaborate. In the carving there are the Lama Gods and some animals and images with cultural meanings, and Buddhist scriptures in Sanskrit, Tibetan, Mongolian, Uyghur, Tangut and Chinese. The relief of the Four Heavenly Kings on the side walls of the vaulted hole is the most impressive part of the carving.

Each of the four figures measures about 2.75 metres in height and 3.65 metres in width. Their figures are strong and powerful and their looks are solemn. In their hands they hold a sword, a Chinese lute, an umbrella and a snake. As the Buddhist scripture records, these four objects are the symbol of good weather for the crops in the field. The four kings are placed on a high base, on each side there are ghosts and warriors, and at the base there are two goblins. The whole image is very intimidating. Humour has it that Emperor Wuzong of the Ming Dynasty once visit the city dressed as a commoner. As he tried to walk past Juyongguan on horseback, his horse was scared to see the carving of the Four Heavenly Kings and would not move an inch. Wuzong had to issue an order to have the carving blackened by smoke so that the horse would get out of Juyongguan Pass.

The Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass

Tagged with:  

The Temple of Guan Yu

On July 25, 2011, in Beijing, Historical Relics, Temples, by Jack Li

The Temple of Guan Yu was built in memory of General Guan Yu of the Three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-280). Guan was very famous for his loyalty and bravery. He helped Liu Bei, the master of the Shu Force establish a strong kingdom in the southwest of China, known nowadays as the Sichuan Province. It […]

The Temple of Guan Yu was built in memory of General Guan Yu of the Three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-280). Guan was very famous for his loyalty and bravery. He helped Liu Bei, the master of the Shu Force establish a strong kingdom in the southwest of China, known nowadays as the Sichuan Province. It is said that once the Shu Force was completely defeated by another force at that time, the Wei Force, and Liu’s family, including his son and heir, was captured by the enemy. Although Liu had given up rescuing his family members, Guan did not follow his order. He realized that Liu had decided to sacrifice his family for the sake of the whole force. He dashed into the enemy camp and rescued Liu’s family all by himself. On their way back to the Shu Force, the enemy tried to stop them. So Guan killed six senior generals of the enemy. The warriors of the Wei Force became afraid and let Guan go. The master of the Wei Force exclaimed, “I would give all my generals away in exchange for Guan!”

After Guan died, he was honored as the God of War in the folk tales. There are many memorial temples of Guan throughout China, which is a sign of his popularity among the Chinese people. The Temple of Guan Yu beside the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass was built in the Ming Dynasty. Apart from Guan Yu, people also honor other famous generals of his time, such as Zhao Yun and Zhang Fei. The statue of Guan’s father and wife are also placed in the temple. Because the Great Wall used to be part of the defense system, people built the Temple of Guan Yu, the God of War, to worship him. They hoped that all the warriors would be as brave and loyal as Guan was and drive away the intruders from the north. It is true that in most of the battles that had taken place at the Great Wall, the Chinese force won. Maybe Guan is still helping.

The Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass

Tagged with:  

The Town God Temple

On July 25, 2011, in Beijing, Historical Relics, Temples, by Jack Li

The Town God is a Taoist god and is responsible for protecting the towns and cities. The Worshipping of the Town God in China started from the Zhou Dynasty, almost 3,000 years ago. It is said that he punishes evil persons, satisfy the residents’ needs, and ensure harvests by providing the rain. Because the Town […]

The Town God is a Taoist god and is responsible for protecting the towns and cities. The Worshipping of the Town God in China started from the Zhou Dynasty, almost 3,000 years ago. It is said that he punishes evil persons, satisfy the residents’ needs, and ensure harvests by providing the rain. Because the Town God is concerned with people’s daily life, he has become one of the most popular Gods in China. In some regions, people even apotheosize local notabilities, making them the God of their own town or city after their deaths.

The spread of the Town God Temples could date back to the Tang Dynasty, when almost all the cities and towns had their Town God Temple. In the Song Dynasty, even a small village had its own Town God Temple. At the beginning of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang ordered to construct a splendid Town God Temple in the then capital Nanjing, and granted the Town Gods of different areas titles of nobility such as lord, king, and emperor.

The Town God Temple beside the Great Wall at the Juyongguan Pass was built in the Ming Dynasty. It was renovated in the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. People hoped that this Town God Temple would not only protect the city, but also regularize the behavior of the army stationed there.

The Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass

The Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass

On July 25, 2011, in Beijing, Great Wall, Historical Relics, Must-sees, by Jack Li

The Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass lies in a 15-kilometre-long valley, and on its sides there are mountains covered in lush vegetation. The scenery there is so beautiful that it was already listed as one of the Eight Greatest Sights of Yanjing (now Beijing) and was called “the Rippling Jade at Juyongguan”. Juyongguan Pass is […]

The Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass lies in a 15-kilometre-long valley, and on its sides there are mountains covered in lush vegetation. The scenery there is so beautiful that it was already listed as one of the Eight Greatest Sights of Yanjing (now Beijing) and was called “the Rippling Jade at Juyongguan”.

Juyongguan Pass is the northern door to Beijing; in the centre of the Pass there is a delicately sculpted platform called the Cloud Terrace. It is made of white Chinese Jade and is still well-preserved. In the Yuan Dynasty, there were three stone towers on the terrace. They were destroyed at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty. Afterwards, a temple was built there but was burnt down during the rein of Kangxi of Qing. Now only the Cloud Terrace has survived. The carvings on the Cloud Terrace are concentrated on the vaulted doors and holes. Among the carving there are the figures of the Four Heavenly Kings, Buddhist scriptures in Sanskrit, Tibetan, Mongolian, Uyghur, Tangut and Chinese, relief of various animals including the Golden-winged Bird King, as well as the carvings of mandragora and many Buddhist statuettes. All of them are vivid and beautiful.

The part of the City of Juyongguan Pass that has survived was built in AD 1368 and was frequently repaired. It is over 4,000 metres long in perimeter. In the city there are government buildings, temple and educational institutions of the old times.

With the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, the City of Juyongguan Pass fell into decay. In 1992 it was underwent a thorough renovation as a cultural relic under official protection, and the City regained its magnificence from the old days.

The Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass Attractions

The Town God Temple

The Temple of Guan Yu

The Cloud Terrace

The Horse God Temple

The Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass Story

1.The origin of the name “Juyongguan”

It is said that when Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, ordered to build the Great Wall, the prisoners, soldiers and those who were forced to enlist in the construction of the wall were all kept in this place. “Ju” means “to live”, “yong” means “commoners”, and “guan” means “pass”. So the name means “the place where the commoners live”. Hence the name Juyongguan Pass.

Ticket

Entrance ticket: RMB 35 in the low seasonRMB 40 in the high season

Ticket for children: Free of charge for children below 1.2 metres

How to get to Juyongguan

By bus

Y-1, Y-2, Y-3, Y-4, Y-5, 919, get off at Juyongguan Station

By car

Get onto Badaling Expressway from Madian Bridge and drive to Juyongguan Exit.

Great Wall of China Travel

On December 8, 2010, in Cool Places, Cultural Experience, Must-sees, by Jack Li

It is widely acknowledged that Beijing Tours are the famous tourism destinations and there are many of well-known attractions, such as the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the Bird’ Nest, the Great Wall, and so on. For those who want to china travel, you had better do some preparations and make […]

It is widely acknowledged that Beijing Tours are the famous tourism destinations and there are many of well-known attractions, such as the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the Bird’ Nest, the Great Wall, and so on. For those who want to china travel, you had better do some preparations and make sure you have a perfect journey. In the following article, I will take the Great Wall as an example, and give you a brief introduction and some tips for your China tours. 

Overview of the Great Wall

As a symbol of ancient Chinese civilization, The Great Wall of China has stood for more than 2,000 years. The Great Wall of China was built in stages from the 5th century BC up to the 16th century AD as protection against northern nomadic tribes. Stretching from the coast of the Bohai Bay in the east and ending at the Jiayu Pass in the west, it snakes along the back of mountains, deserts and valleys for 6,350km (3900 miles). It is said to be 1 of the only 2 human engineering projects visible by astronauts from space with the naked eye. Built of huge granite slabs and special sized bricks, the Great Wall at Badaling 75km (47 miles) north of Beijing is most typical part of the Wall during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). There the wall is wide enough for 5 horsemen to ride abreast or 10 men to walk side by side.

How could you get there?
Firstly, if you want to take the travel yourself, you can go there by taxi, or buses. For the newcomers I strongly recommend that you should travel to the Great Wall in groups or you can go to china travel agencies for help. And China Youth Travel Service (CYTS) is one of the good options. It is one the most famous China travel agency with good reputations and high standard service. Usually, if you go there by groups, the travel agency will have the shuttle buses which will save your energy and time.

Tips on travel to the Great Wall

Firstly, the Great Wall is located in the north of Beijing and currently Beijing is pretty cold and it might be snowing in December and January, as a result, you had better take a coat with you and keep yourself warm enough. Secondly, there is an old famous Chinese saying goes: you may not be a hero unless you get on to the Great Wall. So, before your departure, you should fresh yourself up and make sure you have enough energy to climb the Great Wall. Of course, there are cable cars; however, if you climb the Wall by that, you would not be able to enjoy the great pleasure of success.

Other historical sites

Beijing has been the capital of China since Ming Dynasty, and has a long history which has attracted millions of tourists all over the world every year. Besides the Great Wall, if you are interested in historical sites, there are some other places where I suggest you go for a visit. The first one is the Forbidden City, which is the house of ancient Chinese Emperors. It is said that if a person live the rooms in the Forbidden City, it will take him more than 20 years to spend a night in the rooms one by one. Currently, the Forbidden City has been the mainly protected historical sites of China, even in the world. Other places, like the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, are all worth of visiting. For more information about China Tours, please click on www.chinatraveldepot.com.

Tagged with:  

The Great Wall, One of the Populations of China

On September 21, 2010, in Adventure Trip, Featured China Stories, Great Wall, Must-sees, by Jack Li

The Great Wall had the function of military defense in the past, but now it is a great architecture of Chinese people and a symbol of Chinese people’s unity. In 1987, The Great Wall was listed in the World Cultural Heritage Lists and it is described as one of the longest defensive wall. If you […]

The Great Wall had the function of military defense in the past, but now it is a great architecture of Chinese people and a symbol of Chinese people’s unity. In 1987, The Great Wall was listed in the World Cultural Heritage Lists and it is described as one of the longest defensive wall. If you want to visit the Great Wall, you can order the Beijing Flights and live in Beijing Hotels

“If you never climb the Great Wall, you are not a true man” is popular words among Chinese people. So every year, lots of people at home and abroad come to visit the great wonder in the world. The Great Wall is as long as 6000 kilometers and looks like a dragon in the map of China. The capital, Beijing, is located in the north of the Yellow River and south of the Great Wall. People said the Great Wall was originated from the Emperor Qin, actually it was the period of Spring and Autumn and Warring States (770BC-221BC)

In 221 BC, Emperor Qin conquered the other six countries and connected the old great walls in the northern part of China. At that time the Great Wall was from Lintao in the west to Liaodong in the east and called the Qin Great Wall. There is a popular legend about the girl Mengjiang crying the Great Wall. A short time after Mengjiang marrying to her husband, Qiliang Fan, her husband was carried to construct the Great Wall. No information came to Mengjiang after the couple separated. One night Mengjiang dreamed her husband was trembling in cold in rags so after her wake up, she decided to carry clothes to her husband. She looked for him along the Great Wall but did not find him. Until she arrived in Shanghai Pass area and heard that her husband had died long time ago. She burst into tears and was so extremely grieving that the Great Wall was collapsed. The story reflects the tyranny of Qin emperor.

Until the Han dynasty, Emperor Wu commanded to build another external Great Wall to the north of Mountain Yin. So the poor Huns could not get into the southern area from the Great Wall. Then the Great Wall was from Xinjiang province through Mongolia to Heilongjiang province in the east and as long as 20000 meters. At than time, it was called Han Great Wall.

In 1368, Zhu Yuanzhang, the king of Ming dynasty, sent the senior general Xuda to construct the Great Wall to the north. In the following 260 years, the Great Wall was constructed for 18 times. In 1500, the Great Wall in Ming dynasty was almost finished. At this time, the Great Wall was called Ming Great Wall. In the history there were three constructing tides for the Great Wall, they are separately Qin Great Wall, Han Great Wall and Ming Great Wall.

Until the Qing dynasty, the military defense function of the Great Wall had disappeared. The body and gate towers of the Great Wall are partly damaged because of the natural forces and the human behaviors. After the establishment of new China, the Great Wall was enjoying the state level protection. Some administration was in charge of the fixing and protection of the Great Wall. In 1981, the State Council decided to open the Great Wall to public and it was on the list of the World Cultural Heritage lists in 1987 by UNESCO. Badaling was the represent of the Great Wall to take the honor and now the diploma is still in the Great Wall Museum. In 1991, the Badaling was honored as the top one of forty scenic spots in China.

If you want to know more about the Great Wall, click on china travel.

Tagged with:  
Page 1 of 11