A Visual Itinerary to Gubei Water Town & Simatai

If you’re thinking of planning a day trip away from the hustle and bustle of Beijing, then a trip to Gubei Water Town and the Simatai section of the Great Wall should definitely be on your list. Here is a quick visual itinerary for your visit.


7:00 am Leave Beijing. Catch bus number 980 from Dongzhimen Station to Miyun West Bridge Station. From there take bus number 51 to Simatai Village.

9:30 – 10:00 am Arrive at Simatai Village. From here, if you are staying over then head to your hotel to drop off your luggage. If not, head off directly to explore Gubei Water Town.




10:30 am Wander around the town and find a place for breakfast.


Stroll around the old streets and through the long hutongs.




Take in the traditional Chinese architecture set against a backdrop of one of the most dangerous sections of the Great Wall.




Enjoy some local cultural activities.




12:00 pm Head to the Simatai Great Wall entrance. Your hike begins.


Simatai is the only section of the Great Wall that has preserved the original Ming Dynasty architecture. Hike the 5.4 kilometer stretch as best you can. There are 10 main towers for you to climb or a cable car that will take you all the way to the top.


Stop along the way and have lunch on the Wall.


Marvel at the ruggedness around you. This is one of the most dangerous sections of the wall as stones can easily slide away and there are not many barriers.


4:00 – 5:00 pm The sun will set soon, so it’s time to start heading back. Take a slow stroll back down the wall (or wait a while and catch the cable car back). You’ll want to watch the sun set as you make your descent.

6:00 pm As the sun begins to set, head back for an evening stroll around the Water Town.



Watch the shadows creep along in the distance.


Feel the beauty around you as lights glisten on the waters edge and the town comes to life.


7:30 pm Settle in for dinner at one of the many traditional restaurants along the waters edge. 


Watch the Great Wall from a distance as a glowing outline lines the town.


21:00 pm Head back to your hotel after a great day out.


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I'm Shalinee - a Geminian scientist who loves to travel, write, draw and eat chocolate. I've visited over twenty countries, published a Environmental Science encyclopaedia and somewhere along the way started a science communication company to help students and corporates translate that hard-to-read data generated in a lab. Other than that, I'm just searching for the magic still hidden in the world.

5 thoughts on “A Visual Itinerary to Gubei Water Town & Simatai

  1. Hi, thankyou for your detailed write up.
    May I know how to go back via public transport ? What’s the last bus to depart?

  2. Almost all buses will have luggage compartments but if you are taking a public bus, I’d recommend traveling light since these buses can get pretty full. Best bet is to take a small hand luggage bag that you keep at your side or in the visible luggage compartments inside the bus! Hope that helps!

  3. Hi. I would like to know whether the buses from Beijing to Gu bei Watertown have luggage compartment ? As well as buses from gu bei back to beijing?

What are your thoughts?