About Great Wall of China – Huanghuacheng
The Huánghuā section of the Great Wall of China is far less visited than its counterparts in Mùtiányù and Bādálǐng. This is due to a number of factors, including the fact that it is further from Beijing and that it is not promoted as part of the traditional tourist trail.
History of the Great Wall of China (Huanghuacheng)
The Great Wall of China was originally built as a defensive structures in order to protect Imperial China against nomadic Eurasian groups. The earliest sections of the wall date to the 7th century BC, but the majority of it was built by the Ming dynasty between the 14th and 16th centuries.
The Huánghuā section was built under the remit of Lord Cai during the Ming Dynasty. He went to extraordinary lengths to build each bit of this section, including investing an entire day’s labour by each worker on every inch of the wall. Unfortunately for Cai, rather than seeing this as an act of diligence, the Ministry of War of the time decried it as an extravagance and he was duly beheaded.
The Great Wall of China (Huanghuacheng) today
This section of wall is officially called the Lakeside Great Wall, thanks to the man-made reservoir which is close by. A small part of the wall is submerged and there are some spectacular views from the high guard tower on this stretch which are worth the steep climb.
Note that this is not an officially open part of the Great Wall and that the Chinese government have on occasion prevented people from going there and even issue fines for visiting it. For more historical information about the Great Wall, see the Bādálǐng entry.
Getting to the Great Wall of China (Huanghuacheng)
Huanghuacheng is north of Beijing, just off the S213. Allow 90 minutes to get them from Beijing – the traffic can be bad and Beijing’s urban sprawl goes on for miles. The Ming Dynasty tombs are about a 45 minute drive away.