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Taipingzhai Great Wall

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Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn
Location: Located in Xiaoping'an Village about one km (1,093.6 yards) southeast of Huangyaguan Pass, Taipingzhai Great Wall starts from the Banlagang Mountain in the east, ends at the Guafulou (widow tower) in the west, and meets Shuiguan in the southwest.

With an altitude of 400-500 m (1,312.3-1,640.4 feet), Taipingzhai Great Wall, an indispensable part of Huangyaguan Pass, spreads along the precipitous mountains for about 955 yards (2,864.2 yards) in total. There is a stone tablet set with the Chinese Character 'taipingzhai' in Chinese above the wicket to the wall, hence its name.

Taipingzhai is mainly made up of six arch-structure watch towers in the shape of the Chinese character '井', one Duntai (terrace-like military tower) and one sidewalk for climbing up the wall. At the entrance to the great wall is a Wengcheng (barbican entrance to the city), on the square in front of which stands an 8.5-meter-high (27.9 feet) granite statue of Qi Jiguang who was an outstanding militarist and national hero during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). The statue was specially built to commemorate Qi Jiguang's great contribution to peace and stability in the northern frontier when he served there as the chief commander of Jizhen, one of the nine defense areas or nine borders or nine towns along the great wall divided by the Ming Dynasty. On the walls at the foot of the Banlagang Mountain, there is a platform that was said to be the general assignment platform of Qi Jiguang. To the west of the Wengcheng, a section of wall extends outward for over 30 meters (98.4 yards) where a sentry tower was built.

Taipingzhai is especially famed for its variable architectural style of Duntai (terrace-like military tower). There are square, round, hollow and solid Duntai, some of which were built with stone strips and some with bricks and wood. Also impressive is  the square-shaped stone Guafulou (widow tower) situated at the westernmost. The tower was built by 12 wives whose husbands contributed their lives to the construction. Instead of bathing in deep sorrow, these widows took over their husband's will, joined in the construction of the great wall and built this tower. To commemorate the 12 great heroic women, people named the tower Guafulou. 

 Transportation: There are daily trains from Beijing Railway Station, Beijing East Railway Station and Tianjin Railway Station to Jixian County. There are also long-distance buses from Beijing Sihui Long-distance Bus Station and Tianjin Hebei Bus Station to Jixian County everyday. Thus, visitors can take a train or bus from Beijing or Tianjin to Jixian first, and then transfer by mini bus or taxi to the scenic spot.

 Dining and Accommodation: There are some farmhouses in Huangyaguan Village at the foot of Huangyaguan Pass such as Laozhaizi Farmhouse, Baohua Farmhouse and Duan Family Farmhouse. They provide visitors with typical home-style dishes and guest rooms, but with limited reception capacity and facilities. Visitors can also go back to stay and dine in Jixian County.

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