Less remote than the other partially restored sections of the Great Wall and less touristy than other areas in the Beijing vicinity, Huanghuacheng mixes the ancient with relative convenience. Huanghuacheng is closer to the city than Mutianyu, and straddles a small reservoir, yet it is strangely devoid of crowds (most likely because this area has undergone only partial restoration). The authentic Ming battlements are well preserved, and the area offers spectacular views without the peddlers of other sections. Those who are up for good hikes on some seriously steep inclines, but are not so tempted by the vertical climbs at Jiankou, may find Huanghuacheng to be the perfect half-day destination.
Hiking & Info
The partially restored Huanghuacheng makes for some excellent hikes through its relatively well-preserved ramparts and watchtowers.
The road towards the wall here has a left and a right option. The right option has a mighty incline; get ready for some exhilarating hiking. The left option moves toward the non-wild section near Zhuangdaokou village. The far better option is to go right and have a good hike from the dam, then scramble up the metal ladder at the second beacon tower. The ladder puts you on the wall, and you can hike east from here to Jiankou and Mutianyu. Keep your head up and pay attention, the wall will get very steep at points, and the worn stones can be slippery.
There are many places to eat around here, as long as you like fish. If you don’t like fish you’d better bring some food. You can also choose to stay and eat at Tenglong Fandian, a lodge and restaurant just off the main road up to the wall. Some people like to get here and then stay overnight in order to tackle a big hike in the morning.
Pack & Additional Options
Sunscreen, Water, Lunch, Camera, Hiking or climbing shoes with good grip
Tenglong Restaurant (Ténglóng Fàndiàn; 腾龙饭店; phone: 010 6165 1929; 134 3955 5602) – meals ¥15-35, rooms with shared shared bathroom ¥50, private rooms ¥80
Taxi - about ¥500 to ¥600 round trip
Bus - The journey to Huanghuacheng requires an easy bus transfer, so heads up. Start from Dongzhimen Transport Hub and take bus 916快 to the Nanhuayuan Sanqu (南花园三区) stop at Huairou. Follow that road about 250 m (820 ft) and cross the next block to get to the Nanhuayuan Siqu (南花园四区) bus stop. The bus from here has no number, look above the front windshield for a sign that reads, “怀柔－黄花城.” The meaning is “Huairou to Huanghuacheng.” The bus runs once an hour, so your other option is to do like Mutianyu and grab a minivan from Huairou for ¥10.
916快 departing to Huairou – ¥12; 1 hour; 6:30 to 19:30
916快 returning from Huairou – ¥12; all day to 19:00
怀柔－黄花城 – ¥8, 1 hour; all day until 18:00