Baimaguan Great Wall
Summary – Why Visit Baimaguan (白马关)
The Baimaguan (White Horse Fort) consists of 500 guards and beacon towers, and it forms additional defense along China's northern frontier with some other forts including Gubeikou Fort and Qiangzilu Fort. Today only ruins of the original structure and an arched gate remain.
The walls at Baimaguan were built on steep cliffs, with only the ruins remain. It is considered to be a wild section of the Great Wall due to its lack of repair and broken structure.
Sights: The Baimaguan Great Wall is located near Fanzipai Town (番字牌乡), Miyun County (密云县) to the northwest of Beijing City. Little of the original structure except for the South Gate and two sections of the wall remain standing.
The South Gate is an arched gate, 120 meters (131 yards) wide and 80 meters (87 yards) tall. The characters Bai Ma Guan Bao (白马关堡, White Horse Fort) are inscribed on a stone tablet above the arch. The tablet is somewhat different from those found at other forts, in that the four characters are arranged vertically in two lines, "Bai Ma (white horse)" on the right and 'Guan Bao (fort)' on the left.
Yidaobian (the first border, 一道边) and Erdaobian (the second border, 二道边) are the walls that surround the fort. Erdaobian is the outer wall, including east and west parts. The east part is only about 50 meters (55 yards) long, stopped near a cliff; while the 200-meter-long (219-yard-long) west part extends along a 40-50 degree slope A little way south of Erdaobian is Yidaobian, the main body of the Baimaguan Great Wall.
History: The Baimaguan Great Wall was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), during the reign of Emperor Yongle (1402-1424).
Legend: Baima means "white horse". According to local legend, many years ago, a fierce and strong white horse lived in the Muyun section, terrorizing the local villagers. One day, Yang Yanzo, a famous general of the Song Dynasty, saw the horse playing in the river. He jumped onto the horse's back and succeeded in taming it after a long struggle. From then on, General Yang drove on the horse to fight every battle. At that time, the kingdom of Liao frequently invaded the Song's northern frontier. In order to stop the Liao's intrusion, General Yang left the horse on the Great Wall. When invading Liao soldiers saw it, they beat a hasty retreat because they thought General Yang and his troops were stationed there. Hence the name of the fort is.
When to go
The scenery of the Great Wall varies with the seasons and each season has its pros and cons. Click here for what you can expect on the Great Wall near Beijing.
- One-Day Great Wall Tours from $87*
- Include transport, entry, tour guide and lunch.
- 4-Day Essence of Beijing Tour A from $445*
- See the top sights of Beijing, including the Great Wall at Mutianyu.
- 6-Day Great Wall Hiking Around Beijing Tour from $885*
- Includes Mutianyu, Gubeikou, Jinshanling, Simatai and Huangya Pass.
- 8-Day Essence of China Tour – Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai from $1463*
- See the top sights of China's Golden Triangle, including the Great Wall at Mutianyu.
- more Great Wall Tours *Prices based on 2 persons
Baimaguan is located in Miyun County, 80 km northwest of Beijing City, or almost 2 hours by car or train. China Highlights use high-quality air-conditioned private transport to take the hassle out of getting to the wall.
Nowadays there are only ruins remain at Baimaguan, so the walls are out of repair, but not long. There is not any cable cars available there, but Baimaguan does not pose any risk while climbing.
What to Wear/Bring
Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Layers of clothes that can be taken on and off allow for greater comfort and temperature control. Wear/bring sun protection in the summer.