The Great Wall: Liaoning Province
Two main sections of the Great Wall can be found in Liaoning Province: Jiumenkou and a whole stretch from the Zhuizi Mountain to Hushan. The Jiumenkou and Hushan sections are open to tourists, while the Zhuzi Mountain part is popular with hikers.
Xiaohekou Great Wall (Source:bbs.photofans.cn)
It was long thought that the eastern extreme of the Great Wall was at the Shanhaiguan Pass in Hebei. Now, however, we know that the wall actually stretched further east to Hushan in Liaoning Province. Most of the Wall in Liaoning was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), with remains scattered in about 14 cities, mostly in the northwest of Liaoning.
The Xiaohekou Great Wall was constructed in 1381. Because of its grand structure, and setting on a steep mountain, this section is considered “The Third Badaling” (a reference to the most-visited section of the Wall, near Beijing) by hikers. The Xiaohekou section was mainly constructed from stones with plum blossom and orchid patterns carved into them. This section is currently under redevelopment and is only open to the public on certain days.
Hushan Great Wall (Source:Tootour.com)
Hushan (“Tiger Mountain” in English) is so named because its twin peaks are like two tiger ears pricking up into the sky. It covers an area of four square kilometers (1.54 square miles) and its main peak measures 146.3 meters (1,080 feet). In history, the mountain was always regarded as an important fortress guarding the city of Dandong in Liaoning Province, and the eastern gateway to China.
The Hushan Great Wall, lying on the Yalu River, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Dandong, Liaoning Province, and facing North Korea across the river, was built to strengthen the frontier defense during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It was the eastern starting point of the Great Wall. However, due to the collapse of many parts of the Liaoning stretch of the Great Wall, the Shanhaiguan Pass in Hebei Province has gained popular recognition as the easternmost point of the Wall. The excavation of 600 meters (0.4 miles) of ruins in 1989 proved Hushan’s claim. In 1992, the government invested a huge amount of money to restore this section of the Wall, renovating 1,000 meters (0.6 miles) of the structure.
These days the newly restored Hushan Great Wall has become a hot tourist attraction. Climbing onto the top steps allows for a grand view of the beautiful scenery of China and North Korea. Scanning widely, you can even see the mist-covered Yellow Sea in the distance.
Location: South side of Hushan Mountain, Hushan village, Kuandian county, Dandong City, Liaoning Province.
Transport: Bus No. 15 from Dandong costs only 3 yuan. Alternatively, take bus No. 215B from Dandong Railway Station and get off the terminal station. This bus leaves from Dandong Railway Station at 6.30 am and 3.30 pm, departing from Hushan Great Wall at 7.40 am and 4.40 pm. The bus ticket costs 2 yuan.
Alternatively, a taxi from Dandong costs about 20 yuan.
Finally, if you have a car and can read Chinese, you can drive yourself – the roads and highways are in good condition with clear road signs.
Tickets: 40 yuan. Buy the ticket at the entrance, or book in advance online here.
Opening hours: 7am-5 pm
Hotels: Dandong is the nearest city to the Hushan Great Wall, and we recommend you stay there. Dandong is about a three-hour drive from Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province.
Note: The mountain is not high and is reconstructed, making it suitable for even elderly people. The parking is also convenient. The original Great Wall was eroded by weather and time. This section has been renovated with new bricks, with rice added inside to fortify the structure. If you want to see an old, weathered part of the Great Wall, you’d be better going elsewhere. Finally, if you visit in May, be sure to try the strawberries!
Jiumenkou Great Wall (Source: Huaxia.com)
About 15 kilometers (nine miles) from the Shanhaiguan Pass, in Suizhong County, Liaoning Province, Jiumenkou Great Wall spans the approximately 100-meter (0.06-mile) wide Jiujiang River.
The southern end of the wall connects to the section of the wall running from the Shanhaiguan Pass, and stretching to the banks of Jiujiang River. A huge wall bridge was built over the river, forcing its way to the north.
The most significant part of Jiumenkou Great Wall is the section above the river. Some 700,000 hectares of rectangular stone slabs were laid on the bed of the Jiujiang River, the stones held down by iron chains. Nine arches standing above the stones serve as sluiceways, giving this section its name, “Jiumenkou” (“Nine Gateways”). The wall bridge is constructed over the arches connecting the two banks of the Jiujiang River. Two walled cities, both used as fortresses, are erected at both ends of the wall.
There are 12 watchtowers, two sentry posts, two beacon towers, and ditches in the 1.2 miles of the Jiujiang Great Wall – a comprehensive work of military defense.
Location: Xintaizi, Lijia village, Suizhong county, Huludao City, Liaoning Province
Transport: Take the Jingshen (Beijing-Shenyang) Expressway, turn off at the Wanjia exit, and drive the Zhijiu Line (Zhimaogang-Jiumenkou) for 15km (9.3 miles).
Alternatively, go to Shenyang North Railway Station to take the bullet train to reach Shanhaiguan Railway Station, where you can hire a taxi to reach Jiumenkou directly. The taxi costs about 60 yuan. In summer, a shuttle bus runs between Shanhaiguan and Jiumenkou.
Or you could take a train to Suizhong County, Huludao City, Liaoning Province. Next, take Bus No. 2 or 6 to Suizhong Coach Station, where you can take another bus to Lijiabu. Walk about one kilometer and you will see the entrance for the Great Wall. The bus leaves the station at noon everyday and returns to downtown Suizhong at 6am the next day.
Tickets: 90 yuan (includes basic ticket as well as entry to Great Wall tunnel and Rare Birds Park).
Opening hours: 7 am-5 pm
Hotels: Suizhong county, Huludao City, Liaoning Province is the nearest to Jiumenkou, however, it’s more convenient to stay in Shanhaiguan or Qinhuangdao in Hebei Province.
Note: The best time to visit Jiumenkou is from May to October. It’s extremely cold the rest of the year. Some parts of Jiumenkou Great Wall have yet to be restored. It’s rather dangerous to walk on, so be sure you go with an experienced hiker. Be sure to try some of the local snacks, which can be readily purchased at shops and restaurants in the area near the wall.