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Gubei water town

Located in the Gubeikou Town of Miyun County in Beijing, Gubei Water Town is a popular day trip with tourists and locals alike. Mountains, scenic waterways and ancient villages are very much on the agenda at Gubei Water Town, which surrounds the Mandarin Duck Lake Reservoir.

Gubei Water Town is built on the former natural villages of Simatai Village, which sits at the foot of Simatai Great Wall - a section of the Great Wall of China. Day trips from Beijing to Gubei Water Town include majestic natural landscapes filled with stunning natural beauty.

How to get from Beijing to Gubei Water Town?

Gubei Water Town is 140km from Beijing. There are several ways to get from Beijing to Gubei Water Town, with the bus being a popular route. A direct bus goes from Dongzhimen and takes around one hour and 40 minutes.

Many tours to Gubei Water Town include transport, which is typically in the form of a coach ride. Coaches take a similar amount of time as the bus, often arriving in just under two hours.

How much do guided tours from Beijing to Gubei Water Town cost?

Prices start at around CNY395 (about US$55) for day trips from Beijing to Gubei Water Town, which includes entry to the town.

Almost all of the tours feature a trip to Simatai Great Wall. Other types of tours include evening visits to Simatai Great Wall and Gubei Water Town, which gives you the chance to see them illuminated at night. These tours cost around CNY1,075 (US$ 152).

In fact, there are many variations of the tours available - from jaunts with coach rides to and from Beijing to English-speaking taxi rides, which cost around €60. Private tours are also available and include car transport. These cost around €400.

What is the price for a ticket to enter in Gubei Water Town?

There is an entrance ticket for Gubei Water Town, which is CNY150 (about US$22). The combo tickets for Simatai and Gubei together cost CNY170 (about US$24).

The price of the tours includes the entrance tickets as well.

When is the best time to visit Gubei Water Town?

The short seasons (spring and autumn) are usually the best times to visit Gubei Water Town, as the weather is often pleasant. Between March and May is seen as the best time to visit Simatai Great Wall. This is when the scenery is at its most colourful, and there are generally fewer tourists. However, Gubei Water Town and Simatai Great Wall can be enjoyed at any time during the year.

What are the best things to see and do on day trips from Beijing to Gubei Water Town?

Boat tours around the town

One of the best ways to capture the magnificent views on offer at Gubei Water Town involves a boat ride. Starting at the Yangui Wharf, the boat tours often head to Riyue Island Wharf, Yuanyang lake Wharf and then to Simatai Great Wall entrance, where you can choose to get off and explore the wall.

Wangjing Street

Make sure you have an empty stomach when visiting Wangjing Street, where those on a day trip from Beijing to Gubei Water Town will find one of China’s best food markets. Expect to discover different types of kimchi, spices and much more. After a jaunt to the food market, head to the second floor for endless clothing and fabric shops.

Mountaintop Church

If you like soaking in great views, then a trip to Mountaintop Church should be on the itinerary for day trips from Beijing to Gubei Water Town. Located in the Wolongbao Folk Culture Region, Mountaintop Church sits at the top of a hill and offers panoramic views over Gubei Water Town. Once you’ve enjoyed the sights, enjoy a drink or a snack at the nearby cafe.

Sima Distillery

While sightseeing will be high on your agenda, Gubei Water Town also offers plenty of other activities - including local customs to participate in. Sima Distillery is ideal for those who want to experience Chinese spirits. Smell the aroma of the spirits, see how they’re made, and then enjoy a few sips.

The public hot springs

The natural hot springs at Gubei Water Town originates from 3,8000 feet under The Great Wall of China and has a temperature of 60 degrees celsius. It’s famous for therapy and is a regular visit for those on day trips from Beijing to Gubei Water Town. The hot springs are surrounded by green mountains and features emerald waters.

Yongshun Dyehouse

Set up in 1900 by Zhang Jukui, Yongshun Dyehouse features colourful clothes and is an ode to the Jukui, who invented his own colourant. Today, the dyehouse is a chance for visitors to learn more about the traditional ways of dyeing clothes in China.

Sun Moon Island Square

Sun Moon Island Square is where you can enjoy free shows from local performers. Northern classics are often performed here, including Hebei Xunzi. Visitors who enjoy taking in artistic performances while learning about other cultures will particularly enjoy Sun Moon Island Square.

Great Wall Music Fountain Show

There’s more entertainment on offer in Gubei Water Town with the Great Wall Music Fountain Show. The show starts at 7pm and provides an opportunity to listen to music while the water displays take many different shapes and forms, wowing the crowds in the process.

Should I also visit the Great Wall of China?

Definitely! The Great Wall of China is very closed to Gubei Water Town and it is a great idea to combine both attractions during the same day.

There are many tours offering combined tours including the Great Wall of China; Simatai Great Wall and Jinshanling are the two most popular sections of the Great Wall to visit from Gubei Water Town.

Simatai Great Wall

One of the few sections of The Great Wall of China to retain its original appearance, Simatai Great Wall is a hikers’ dream and the only section open for night tours. It’s built along steep mountain ridges, with visitors accessing the wall via a chain bridge, zip-line, or boat at the reservoir. Simatai Great Wall stretches 5.4km long.

Jinshanling Great Wall

Another hiking favourite, Jinshanling Great Wall offers plenty of well-served paths for explorers. Slightly less crowded than Simatai Great Wall, there is a short distance between the two and many visitors on day trips from Beijing to Gubei Water Town decide to explore both.

Travel tips

  • Day trips from Beijing to Gubei Water Town will include lots of walking, so it’s a good idea to bring suitable footwear.
  • There are many great sights on offer, from sweeping mountainous peaks to local architecture, which is why you should bring a camera to take plenty of pictures.
  • You need to pay to get into Gubei Water Town (the fee is often included in tours), and the only items you will need to pay for after entry is food and drink.