The First Mound Under The Heaven
On the bank of the Taolaihe River, 5 km away from the Jiayuguan, The First Mound under the Heaven, is the first watch tower in the western end of the Great Wall. People also refer to it as "Taolaihe Mound" because it is located on the bank of the Taolaihe River. It was built in 1533 by General Lipan, and served as a watch tower. It was of a pyramid shape. After so many years of erosion by wind and storm, it has collapsed in many parts and now only the bottom of it exists. It measures 14.3 m in length, 15.7 m in width and 8.3 m in height. It is on a cliff of about 50 m high and the Taolaihe River flows beside it. The river washes the earth on the cliff continuously, which puts the existing mound in a dangerous position. Even though the local government has built a dam on the upper reach of the river to reduce the washing effects, the south-eastern corner of the mound has collapsed and washed away in the river.
A scenic spot has been developed in the adjoining area. Tourists can ride the sliding runner, drift in the river, and visit the valley, the archaized army camp, the suspension bridge and the sculptures of the ancient wars. These activities contain the aspects of both sightseeing and learning local customs.