Gubei Water Town (古北水镇) is a large resort area made to look like a Qing Dynasty-era (1644–1912) town right close to the Simatai Great Wall.
It is actually a real town since the builders incorporated several Chinese villages that were already there into it, and locals still live in it.
It has 5-star hotel/resorts and hundreds of economical inns to stay in and theme areas for various aspects of Chinese history and culture. It is also conveniently close to the Simatai Great Wall (1 km or half a mile away).
Tourists could enjoy several days exploring the town and the surrounding region, or they could use it for an convenient and interesting place to stay overnight while hiking Simatai or the adjacent Jinshanling Great Wall section.
Gubei Is a Large Resort and Town in Traditional Chinese Style
Much of the resort has been book to like a traditional Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) imperial-era Chinese town, and the buildings have been built in the traditional Chinese Courtyard style. The large resort is set amid beautiful green hills, and it surrounds the beautiful Mandarin Duck Reservoir.
The courtyards line the hutong-style lanes, and the town has canals channeled alongside the hutong lanes. The lanes are tiled with glittering quartzite. You'll find quietness and rest as you walk the hutong lanes and go out to enjoy the various resort facilities.
Accommodation and Dining
There are two 5-star hotels, six small boutique hotels, and 400 local inns. The hotels and inns are not all the same but have special themes and cater to different tastes and interests, so you can choose the accommodations you want. Tell us your interests, and our guides who know the resort well can choose the accommodations you'll enjoy.
Homestays: Dozens of Chinese families open their homes for tourists to stay in. You can experience what Chinese life is like. China Highlights can help arrange your stay at a family's house if you wish.
For meals and refreshments, there are dozens of restaurants, cafes and Chinese tea houses. There are also fast food restaurants and kiosks that offer non-expensive fast food and Chinese noodles. There are gourmet Chinese food restaurants and Western restaurants as well.
Entertainment, Activities, Shops, and Facilities
Natural Mineral Hot Spring Spas
The hot springs are a major attraction. Most hotels will give you FREE vouchers for one of the springs. The Royal Palace Hot Spring Hotel has a hot spring in it.
Mandarin Duck Reservoir
There is an artificial pond. You can walk along the shores and enjoy it. It provides the water for the canals along the streets. Boats are used for transport around the area.
Shows and Crafts
Acrobatic shows, traditional Chinese music performances and dance, and Peking Opera theater are just some of the entertainment.
Craftsmen showing traditional handicrafts who can teach you their crafts. Chinese cooking classes and instruction in other skills are available as well.
A wide range of shopping is available ranging from luxury boutiques, to tourist gift shops, regular clothing stores, jewelry stores, grocery stores, and convenience stores.
Theme Areas and Other Facilities
There are theme areas where you can learn about the history and culture of China and enjoy the performances. These theme areas include: the Old Camp Site, the Water Streets Park, the Old Village at Tang River Region, the Wolongbao Folk Culture Park, and the Local Accommodation Region. All together, there are 10 cultural display areas where Chinese culture and history are highlighted for guests.
Other facilities include: banks, postal services, pharmacies, and medical clinics.
The Simatai Great Wall - a short walk away
Gubei is conveniently close to the Simatai Great Wall, less than 1 kilometer away. The town is just a 2-minute ride by taxi or private driver, or a short hike and cable car ride, or a boat ride away.
Waterway transportation to the wall: Boats can ferry people to various sectors of the town itself and quite close to the Simatai Wall. So you don't need a vehicle to get to Simatai.
The Simatai Great Wall section is one of the few sections to retain the original appearance of the Great Wall. It might get crowded during the daytime. It is a tourist favorite.
The Simatai Great Wall Night Experience is memorable. You can watch the sunset, walk the Wall when there are far less crowds, and see the stars. Staying at the resort helps you avoid a drive back to Beijing at night.
Gubei Water Town is about 130 kilometers northwest of Beijing. Vehicles travel the distance in about an hour and a half.
- Tourist buses to Gubei Water Town leave from outside Dongzhimen in Beijing at 9:00, 12:00, or 15:30. On Saturday and Sunday, an extra bus departs at 14:00 (2 hours, about 48 RMB).
- Our tour transport service is more convenient and relatively economical in comparison with taxis.
Entry Fees for Simatai and Gubei
- Gubei admission fee: 140 RMB (mandatory for those entering the town)
- Simatai Great Wall admission: 40 RMB
- Combo ticket for both: 170 RMB The Simatai Great Wall and Gubei Water Town are owned by the same company.
- 2-Day Great Wall Mutianyu-Simatai Day-Night Tour
- 5-Day Huangyaguan to Huanghuacheng Great Wall Hiking Tour
The Jinshanling Great Wall - nearby, good for hiking, photogenic
The Jinshanling Great Wall is the most hiked section of the Great Wall. It has only been partially reconstructed, and that is one of the attractions since you will be hiking along a more naturally scenic partially restored section. Also, it retains the original Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) architectural style. The wall dates from about 1389.
Gubei is 30 minutes' drive from the adjacent Jinshanling Great Wall section's entrance. The road to the wall curves around a lot, so it is closer than the drive would suggest. You can't cross hike between Simatai and Jinshanling because the Great Wall sections are managed by two different companies and are fenced off. People have to go back down to the respective entrances and pay their fees to enter.
Enjoy Gubei Water Town More with Us
We can arrange a customized stay at the Gubei Water Town Resort. Our tour design experts can plan and arrange a Simatai and/or Jinshanling visit according to your needs and interests... as well as Beijing, China, and Asia.
These itineraries could be a starting point:
- 2-Day Great Wall Mutianyu-Simatai Day-Night Tour - Enjoy both major Great Wall sections and an overnight stay at Gubei Water Town.
- Secrets of Beijing - a 3-Day Beijing Highlights with a Great Wall Night Tour and overnight stay at Gubei Water Town.
- One-Day Private Great Wall at Jinshanling Hiking Trip - This is a fine option for those who want to enjoy hiking on Jinshanling while staying at Gubei.
Or tell us your interests and requirements, and we will create your tour.