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Zhenbeitai Tower Great Wall

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Located on the top of Mount Hongshan, about 7 km (4.3 miles) north of Yulin City, Zhenbeitai Tower is reputed to be the 'premier tower of the Great Wall', and ranks as one of the three wonders of the Chinese Great Wall (the other two are: Shanhaiguan Pass and Jiayuguan Pass).

Between 221BC and 207BC, after Qin Shihuang unified the country, Zhenbeitai was built as a part of the Qin Dynasty wall. In the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), the Yansuizhen Great Wall was constructed to defend against the Mongolian invaders and to protect the trade market in Hongshan area. Meanwhile, the local governor ordered built Horse Trade City to promote commerce and a Kuangong City for the officials of the Mongolian and Han people to pay tribute to each other. In 1607, in order to better observe the invaders and the trade with the Mongolians, the largest military observation tower of the Ming Dynasty wall, Zhenbeitai, was built on the top of Mount Hongshan.

As one of the largest fortresses along the Great Wall, Zhenbeitai takes up an area of 5,000 sq km (1,93.5 sq mi). The four-storey square-shaped tower is over 30 meters (98 ft) in height, with each storey decreasing in size from bottom to top. To every storey, there are staircases for people to ascend to the top. Today, visitors can still ascend to the top through these staircases. The tower is built of rammed earth inside and covered with blue bricks outside.

As the pedestal, the first storey has a perimeter of 320 meters (350 yd), circled with a 5.5-meter-high (18 ft) inner wall and 10-meter-high (32.8 ft) outer wall. On the outer wall, there are crenels for watching and observing. The southern side of outer wall is connected with the great wall, while at the eastern side there is the entrance to the tower. The second storey is 130 meters (142 yd) in perimeter and 16.6 meters (54 ft) in height; the third storey is 88 meters (96 yd) in perimeter and 4.1 meter (13.5 ft) in height; the fourth storey has a perimeter of 35.44 meters (38.76 yd) and a height of 4.4 meters (14ft). The walls surrounding the upper three stories are all built with parapet walls and crenels.

To the east side lays the Kuangong City (actually a big yard), which takes up area of 2 hectare (4.94 acres). It was built for the Ming Dynasty and Mongolian officials to pay tribute to each other, and for trade negotiations between the two. Kuangong City and the Zhenbeitai made up a complete great wall system. About 800 meters southwest was the site of the Horse Trade City. It was built to facilitate the buying and selling of horses between the Mongolian and Han people, as well as a witness to their friendship 600 years ago. 

 Admission Fee: CNY 20

 In Yulin City: 
By bus: From Guangji Mansion, take bus No. 3 or the Tourist Special Bus;
By taxi: visitors can also take a taxi, and the fare is about CNY 15;

 From Xian: 
By flight: From Xian Xianyang Internation Airport take a flight to Yulin (1 hour), and take the bus No. 11 (1 hour); taxis from the airport are also available, and the fare is about CNY 50 and it takes about 30 minutes;
By train: Take the train from Xian Railway Station to Yulin (about 12 hours), and transfer to Bus No. 6 to Guangji Mansion (30 minutes), and take a bus (20 minutes);
By coach: Visitors can go to Xian Long-distance Bus Station or Chengbei Long-distance Bus Station to take coaches to Yulin (about 7 - 8 hours), and transfer to Bus No. 4 to Xinlouxiang stop (10 minutes) and take Bus No. 11 (40 minutes). 

 Tour Tips
 It is usually a little bit colder in the morning and at nights, so take an extra coat;
 If you go in spring or autumn, take head covering to protect from the sandstorms;
 Famous local food: boiled mutton, dates, Tangqizi (a kind of sweet bread), tofu.

Questions & Answers on Zhenbeitai Tower Great Wall
  • Hi, I wanted to know if the tour to Zhenbeitai is feasible with a 18-months-old baby. We preferably take the stroller with us.

    Thank you.

    Asked By Vanessa | Jul. 26, 2016 10:20
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
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