Jiaoshan and Yansai Lake

These two are close enough together to visit both in one day. My first visit, together with a group of Tourism students, was on an extremely hot and hazy day, which was not good for photography – but I tried anyway.

There is a service bus from near the First Pass in central Shanhaiguan to Jiaoshan.

The Great Wall of China zigzags in northern China from Laolongtou (Old Dragon’s Head) by the Bohai Sea all the way to the desert in western China. Jiaoshan is the first mountain it climbs going in this direction, so it is known as the “First Mountain of the Great Wall”.  

The high and precipitous Jiaoshan Great Wall was first constructed in the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), so it has a history of over 600 years. It is about 3 km to the north of Shanhaiguan, and about 8km north of Laolongtou. Some sections have been renovated, while others are wild and genuine.

Renovated Section  

The repaired section starts from Hanmen Pass, via No.1 Watchtower, No. 2 Watchtower, and ends at No. 3 Watchtower. It runs about 1.5 kilometres and measures 7 to 10 metres high and 4 to 5 metres wide. It occupies a place of strategic importance. In the steepest part, it is only about 2.7 metres wide. Its external battlement is precipitous and difficult to attack, while the internal side is low and convenient for climbing.

Wild Section

The original section extends from No. 3 Watchtower to Daping Peak, the main peak of the Jiaoshan mountain. In some sections, the battlement is only built on one side, with the other side being steep cliffs. Standing on the Daping peak, you can see Yansai Lake in the west, view Longevity  Mountain (Changshoushan) in the northeast, and enjoy the panorama of Jiaoshan Great Wall and Shanhaiguan to the south. If weather permits, you can even make out Laolongtou and the Bohai Sea.

Jiaoshan is all about the wall. And the views. And the Monastery. And the chair lift (very long and just a bit scary) – it’s a long way down.

As usual, click on any of the thumbnails to open the photo gallery. These pictures are from 2007.

After the descent by chairlift, it’s only a short distance to the lake, which is well set up for tourists, with signs in Chinese, English, and Russian.

By the lake there is an aviary and, oddly, a “Squirrel Park” with several varieties of squirrel.

Click on any of the thumbnails to open the photo gallery.
These pictures are mostly from 2007, though the clearer ones are from 2011, on a day when there was less humidity and heat haze. There was also a new-looking cable-car.

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