One of the most striking things about China is the legendary great wall. However, there is a smaller wall called the Huangyaguan which is equally breathtaking and one of your must-visit places when you set foot in this amazing country. The Huangyaguan great wall is around thirty kilometers North of Ji County, Tianjin. It is about a hundred twenty kilometers from the capital of Beijing.
This wall was built back in 557 AD and it was repaired severally over the years. The first repair was done during the Ming dynasty. These repairs were conducted by Qi Jiguang who was appointed as one of the garrisons of the Ming dynasty. The repairs were part of a bid to reinforce the security of the area and the wall served as a place where military facilities could be aligned to. The wall has several watch towers along its entire length with the most notable ones being the Phoenix tower and the Baguagan Labyrinth which is the most unique tower. These are some of the things that make this tower the miniature version of the actual Great Wall of China.
The walls and towers of the Huangyaguan are built on a mountain ridge that is about 740 meters in altitude, something that makes it very vast and overwhelming. There is a cliff to the east of the wall and some crags to the left. It slithers across the mountains like a snake while offering the entrance to Jinxian to the North side. Due to the uneven terrain alternating between mountains and ridges, the wall contains some sloppy steps in some sections with some of them even looking like they are going straight up and down. If you have a phobia for heights, avoid looking down as you will start getting butterflies in your tummy.
The Huangyaguan stretches for about forty-two kilometers straight from the general Pass in Beijing to the Malan Pass in Hebei. The wall had fifty-two watchtowers and fourteen beacon towers initially. Some of the parts of this wall have collapsed due to lack of renovations. Looking to the East of the tower, one cannot fail to notice that the cliff rocks are yellow and have a nice look during sunset, something that gave this pass the name Huangya or the Yellow Cliff Pass.
Yellow Cliff Pass
The Yellow cliff pass is one of the most outstanding passes with many indispensable military facilities arranged strategically. The pass contains more than forty intertwined streets that form the number eight, something that gave this pass the nickname Eight Diagram City. The center of this city hosts the Great Wall Museum which was home to the Dispatcher during the Ming’s dynasty. You can have a look at the weapons used by the soldiers during the dynasty and get to see the cultural poems written on the bamboo strips in one of the halls.
Huangya Water Gate
The Huangya water gate connects the yellow Cliff Pass on the west and the Taiping Mountain on the East. It is about eighty yards long and forty feet high with arches that allow the river water to drift through. It was used to defend the are against enemies coming through the river but serves as a typical bridge in regular days.
The Widow Tower
The Widow tower is located to the West of the Taiping Stronghold which is a two-floor beacon tower donated by the widows of men who used to work on the tower. It was a military stronghold during war and contains several architectural pieces for you to view.
Getting to the Huangyaguan can be done through either of the two entrances which are the main one at the Huangya pass or the other one at the Taiping Mountain Stronghold. A hike through the wall takes you from one of the entrances to the other and the whole trip plus the time taken to check out the outstanding sites between the two openings will take about three hours on the lower side.