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Gubei Water Town Discovery

Built at the foot of Simatai Great Wall, Gubei Water Town is the northeast gateway of Beijing, 140 kilometers from Beijing, 98 kilometers from the Capital Airport, 60 kilometers from Miyun District and 80 kilometers from Chengde City. It used to be an important military site and attracted numerous literati and hosted more than 3 emperors in the Ming and Qing Dynasty. Now it is becoming a popular resort for photographers and foodies, which covers an area of 3.5 square miles (9 square kilometers) and includes two scenic districts, the Gubei Water Town and the Simatai Great Wall.

Though it is not a historical water town, it has developed into a large-scale tourist's destination for sightseeing, night tour, boating, great wall hiking, and hot spring spa, etc.

What to See at Gubei Water Town

Besides the Simatai Great Wall in east of Gubei Water Town, there are many other places you can visit in the town. If you are interested in Buddhist culture, you can go to the Yuantong Pagoda (圆通塔), one of the landmarks of Gubei Water Town. Here, you can meditate with the monks, taste the Buddhist tea and lunch. If you want to learn more about the life style of the local people, you can come to Sima Brewery (司马酿酒馆) to watch the process of making wine, and try the local grains dishes, and then you can visit Yongshun Dyeing House (永顺染坊) to learn the original ecological dyeing. The teacher there will teach you how to DIY your own dyeing works. Later, you can come to Yinghua Academy (英华书院) to learn Chinese traditional calligraphy, drink a fragrant tea and enjoy the sunshine in the yard; if you want to know the soldiers who guarded the Great Wall at that time, you can come to Yang Wudi ancestral hall (杨无敌祠) , and get to know the general, Yangwudi's life, or visit Zhenyuan Bodyguard Bureau (震远镖局) built in Qing Dynasty, to practice the martial arts, which takes you into the real life of a bodyguard teacher in ancient time.

Things to Do at Gubei Water Town

Gubei Water Town Hot Spring

The Gubeikou area is rich in geothermal resources, forming many natural hot springs. It is said that the soldiers who built the Great Wall in ancient times would come to the hot spring to relax their themselves after a day's laboring. Most hotels in Gubei Water Town provide hot spring service. If you choose the hot spring area near Yuanyang Lake in east of Gubei Water Town, you can also enjoy the winding Great Wall in the distance while soaking in hot springs. Since most of the hot spring areas are inside the hotels and they will not provide swimsuits and towels for free, you may need to purchase or bring your own.

Gubei Water Town Nightscape

The night in Gubei Water Town is very romantic and distinctive. You can hike on the Great Wall to overlook the panoramic scenery of the whole town, or roam around the streets of the town. Enveloped in the warm yellow lights, the town looks quaint and quiet. The river is sparkling and the stars is shinning in the sky. It is especially romantic to hangout with your friends or your beloved ones.

Gubei Water Town Sightseeing Boat

Besides wandering around, you can also take a boat. There are three routes for tourists to choose, namely, two half routes and a full route. The complete ones starts from Yangui Pier (雁归码头) near the tourist center of the entrance to Yuanyang Lake Pier (雁归码头) next to the Simatai Great Wall, which takes about 40 minutes; while the half-route boat tour, starts from Yangui Pier (雁归码头) to Riyuedao Pier (日月岛码头) or from Riyuedao Pier (日月岛码头) to Yuanyang Lake Pier (雁归码头). The half route boat tour takes about 20 minutes. You can enjoy the old-styled buildings on both sides of the waterway, and the Simatai Great Wall afar, having a leisure time.

Gubei Water Town Gubei Water Town Scenery
Gubei Water Town Gubei Water Town Hot Spring
Gubei Water Town Gubei Water Town Nightscape
Gubei Water Town Gubei Water Town Sightseeing Boat

Gubei Water Town Accommodation

In Gubei Water Town, there are 4 top grade hotels, 5 theme hotels and 23 hostels. It's convenience for most tourists who want to visit Gubei Water Town and Simatai Great Wall at night. The price of the hotels ranges from CNY 300 to CNY 3000. The style of every hotel is also diverse. Some are in traditional Chinese style and the others are in modern western style. If you choose to check in a hotel in the east of the scenic area and you may have a chance to see the great wall from your windows. For some top grade hotels, such as Gubeizhiguang Hotel (古北之光酒店) and Wangjinglou Hotel (望京楼酒店), they also provide hot spring pools for their customers (towels and swimsuits are not provided for free, and opening time is from 08:30am to 23:30pm).

Gubei Water Town Gubei Water Town Accommodation

Gubei Water Town Tickets

▲ Scenic Area Entrance Fare

Gubei Water Town Scenic Area: CNY 150

Simatai Great Wall: CNY 40

Combo Tickets (Gubei Water Town + Simatai Great Wall): CNY 170

Notice: Gubei Water Town and Simatai Great Wall are located in the same scenic area. You can visit both of them or just Gubei Water Town. However, you need to book your ticket one day in advance online, if you only want to visit Simatai Great Wall.

Stay-in guests of Boutique Hotels enjoy free Water Town Entrance ticket.

Stay-in guests of Water Town Hotels/Guesthouses/Inns enjoy discounted Water Town Entrance ticket rate CNY 80.

▲ Sightseeing Boat Single Trip Fare

Route A (available from May to October): Yangui Wharf to Yuanyang Lake Wharf: CNY 120

Route B: Yangui Wharf to Riyue Island Wharf: CNY 80

Route C: Yuanyang Lake Wharf to Riyue Island Wharf: CNY 80

Children below 4.9 feet (1.5m) enjoy half price.

Notice: You can charter a boat, which can accommodate six passengers, including infants. The cost is: Route A: CNY600; Route B / C: CNY400

Gubei Water Town Gubei Water Town Street
Gubei Water Town Gubei Water Town Sightseeing by Water

Best Time to Visit Gubei Water Town

Gubei Water Town is a place that you can come to visit all year around, and every season brings different scenery:

The wind blows and wrinkles the rippling water with the fragrance of spring flowers and the warm sunshine, and the spring wakes up all the ancient titles, bricks by its gentle touching.

Summer is a thriving season. It is full of branches and leaves. It is cool during the night. Counting the stars in the courtyard with your child, squinting your eyes and leaning on the shoulder of your beloved one, you will define the peaceful life in summer night here again.

In autumn, the leaves turn red and orange. The beautiful red leaves and the blue water with the ancient great wall are another kind of picturesque feelings.

Winter seems barren everywhere, but the town looks pure and elegant in the embellishment of vast white snow. The hot spring under the great wall is a good place for winter leisure and vacation.

>>Read More about the best time to visit Great Wall

Gubei Water Town

Ticketing time: 9:00-21:00

Sightseeing Boat

◣ Opening hours(May-Oct): 8:00-22:00 (Mon to Fri); 8:00-22:30 (Weekend)

◣ Opening hours(Nov-Apr): 8:00-21:30 (Mon to Fri); 8:00-22:00 (Weekend)

Gubei Water Town Gubei Water Town in Summer
Gubei Water Town Gubei Water Town in Winter

Location & How to Get to Gubei Water Town from Beijing

Located in the northeast of Beijing outskirts, Gubei Water Town is adjacent to Hebei Province, facing Jinshanling Great Wall to the north. 

Location: Gubei Water Town, Miyun District, Beijing 北京市密云区古北水镇

Distance: 140km to Tainanmen square, 16km to Jinshanling Great Wall, 144km to the Summer Palace, 163km to Badaling Great Wall, 99km to Mutianyu Great Wall.

There are usually 2 ways to get to Gubei Water Town (Simatai Great Wall) from Beijing downtown.

By car (Option 1) - fast and comfortable, about 3 hours

Gubei Water Town is really far away from Beijing city, which makes it hard to get there by taxi. If you want to save the transportation troubles, you can choose the private car service provided by China Discovery. We will pick you up from your hotel and send you to the great wall safely with comfortable vehicles, skilled drivers, and professional guides.  >>Contact us now

By bus (Option 2 & 3) - economical, 3.5-4 hours

There are two bus choices. The first one: Simatai Tourist Bus. You can get on the bus at Dongzhimen Outer Bus Station (东直门外汽车站 Pinyin: Dongzhimen Wai Qichezhan) and get off at Gubei Water Town. The direct tourist bus from downtown Beijing to Simatai only departs about 4 times a day from 8:00am to 15:30pm. Besides the tourist bus, you can choose to take the city bus 980 at Dongzhimen Bus Station (东直门汽车站 Pinyin: Dongzhimen Qichezhan) to Miyun Bus Station (密云汽车站 Pinyin: Miyun Qichezhan) and transfer to Bus 51 to Simatai Scenic Area where you can walk to Gubei Water Town within half an hour.

>>How to Get to Simatai Great Wall

Gubei Water Town Gubei Water Town Location Map
(click to enlarge)
Gubei Water Town Gubei Water Town Transportation Map
(click to enlarge)

Attractions Around Gubei Water Town

Siamtai Great Wall

Simatai Great Wall in Miyun District of Beijing links Jinshanling (金山岭) in the north and Gubeikou (古北口) in the west, right next to Gubei Water Town and it was served as a vital military defensive base from the ancient time, and impresses a lot of visitors for its breathtaking scenery, especially at night. A famous architect, once commented that, "China's Great Wall is the world's most, but Simatai section of the Great Wall is reputed as the most of China's Great Wall.">>Read More

In 2012, Simatai Great Wall was rated by the British Times as "the top 25 scenic spots in the world that can not be missed".

Jinshanling Great Wall

Jinshanling Great Wall is one of the best hiking sections with both good facilities and well-preserved hiking paths, while Simatai Great Wall is 16km next to it, about 0.5h by car. Both of them are less crowded and more "natural", comparing with the great wall sections closer to the Beijing downtown. Many people would like to hike both of them since the short distance between them, and each section of the two great walls offering different stunning scenery.

>> 2 Days Jinshanling and Simatai Great Wall Wild Hiking

>> Get from Jinshanling to Simatai

Gubeikou Great Wall

Gubeikou Great Wall is located in the southeast of Gubeikou Town, Miyun District, Beijing. It is about 120 kilometers away from Tiananmen Square. It is to the west of Simatai Great Wall (about 18km, half hour by car) and very close to Jinshanling Great Wall (about 10km, half hour by car). It is the most complete Great Wall system in the history of the Great Wall of China, and it is also the representative of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty. Compared with the Mutianyu and Badaling Great Wall, it is more primitive and less crowded here.

>> 2 Days Wild Great Wall Hiking & Camping Experience

Simatai Great Wall Simatai Great Wall
Jinshanling Great Wall Jinshanling Great Wall
Gubeikou Great Wall Gubeikou Great Wall

How to Plan Your Gubei Water Town Tour

Gubei Water Town is located at the foot of Simatai Great Wall and next to the Jinshanling Great Wall within just 13km's distance. To fully explore the Gubei Water Town,and its surrounding areas, you are recommended to leave early from Beijing downtown to Gubei Water Town and have a night tour at Simatai Great Wall. If you can have a 2 days' stay, you can depart from Beijing and get to Jinshanling Great Wall . In the late afternoon , get yourself ready for the Simatai night adventure and stay at Gubei Water Town till the next day. It is recommended to start your trip early from Beijing to avoid the traffic jam and crowds.

Besides Gubei Water Town and Simatai Great Wall, there are many other attractions offering you the same marvellous views, including the Forbidden CitySummer Palace, the Temple of Heaven. China Discovery offers you tailor-made tour service, and you can fully experience all the famous in about 4 days. If you have more time, it's also recommended to explore other great wall sections, such as Mutianyu Great WallHuanghuacheng Great Wall, Jiankou Great Wall, and More!

Top-Recommended Beijing Tours:

>> 4 Days Essence Tour with Simatai Great Wall Night Sightseeing

>> 2 Days Jinshanling and Simatai Great Wall Wild Hiking

>>3 Days Beijing Essential Short Stay Tour

>>4 Days Classic Beijing Tour Package

Simatai Great Wall Simatai Night Tour
Gubei Water Town Gubei Water Town

Recommended Beijing Tours

Top 3 Beijing tours chosen by most customers to explore Beijing in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Simatai Great Wall
2 Days Jinshanling and Simatai Great Wall Scenic Hiking

Beijing / Jinshanling / Simatai

Gubeikou Section of Great Wall Hiking
2 Days Wild Great Wall Hiking with Camping Experience

Beijing Jiankou / Mutianyu / Gubeikou / Jinshanling / Beijing

Simatai Great Wall is the only section of Great Wall open and lit up in the evening
4 Days Beijing Essence Tour with Simatai Great Wall Night Sightseeing

Beijing / Jinshanling / Simatai / Gubeikou Water Town / Beijing

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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >