Gubei Water Town – Ticket, Transportation, Highlights, and Tips

gubei water town

Gubei Water Town (古北水镇) is a popular tourist destination located in Miyun County, about 150 kilometers from Beijing, China. It is a recreated ancient water town with traditional Chinese architecture, and it is situated near the Simatai section of the Great Wall. The town is built around a canal system, and visitors can take boat rides to explore the area.

The town has a rich history dating back to the Ming Dynasty, and it has been beautifully preserved to showcase traditional Chinese culture. It features stone bridges, winding canals, ancient houses, and narrow streets lined with shops and restaurants selling local delicacies and souvenirs.

One of the main attractions in Gubei Water Town is the Simatai Great Wall, which is located nearby. Visitors can take a cable car up to the Wall and enjoy a stunning view of the surrounding mountains and countryside.

Gubei Water Town is also known for its hot springs, which are said to have therapeutic properties. There are several hot spring resorts in the area, where visitors can relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Overall, Gubei Water Town is a unique and picturesque destination that offers a glimpse into traditional Chinese culture and history. It is a great place to visit for anyone who wants to experience the beauty of ancient China.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 2 days
Ticket PriceTicket to the water town: 140 RMB
Ticket to the water town and Simatai Great Wall: 170 RMB
Ticket to the water town and Simatai Great Wall (night tour): 280 RMB
Opening Hours24 hours a day
Telephone Number0086-010-81009999

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Location and Transportation

Gubei Water Town is located in Miyun County, about 150 kilometers northeast of Beijing, China. To get there from Beijing, there are several transportation options (how to go to Gubei Water Town from Beijing):

By car/taxi: You can hire a car or taxi to take you directly from Beijing to Gubei Water Town. The journey takes around 2-3 hours depending on traffic conditions. Or you can use the private transfer service, which is more convenient than the taxi.

By coach: There is an express coach departing at 9.00 am and 1.00 pm from Dongzhimen Stop to Gubei Water Town. The jorney takes about 2.5 hours and costs 48 RMB

By train: You can take a train (S501 or S503) from Beijing North Railway Station to Gubeikou Station, which is located near the town. S501 departs at 6.58 am, and S503 departs at 2.20 pm.

By organized tour: Many travel agencies in Beijing offer organized tours to Gubei Water Town, which includes transportation and guided tours.

History of Gubei Water Town

Gubei Water Town has a rich history that dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), when the town was originally built as a fortress to protect against invading forces. Over time, the fortress was transformed into a water town, as the local residents developed a canal system to transport goods and materials in and out of the town.

During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Gubei Water Town became a prosperous commercial center, as the local residents engaged in trade and commerce with nearby towns and cities. The town was also home to several prominent scholars and officials, who contributed to the cultural and intellectual development of the region.

During the early 20th century, Gubei Water Town suffered from a period of decline, as the canal system fell into disrepair and the town was cut off from the rest of the country due to political instability. However, in recent years, the town has undergone a major renovation and restoration effort, in order to preserve its cultural and historical heritage and make it a popular tourist destination.

Highlights of Gubei Water Town

Ancient Architecture

ancient architecture in gubei water town

Gubei Water Town is known for its well-preserved ancient architecture, which dates back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The town is built in traditional Chinese architectural style, with narrow streets, stone bridges, and ancient houses that feature distinctive roof styles, intricate carvings, and elegant decorations. The buildings are made of wood and brick, with white walls and gray tiles, creating a simple yet elegant atmosphere. The town’s layout is designed to reflect the principles of feng shui, with buildings arranged according to the natural landscape and the flow of water. The architecture of Gubei Water Town offers a glimpse into the traditional Chinese way of life and culture.

Canal Rides

canal rides in gubei water town

Canal rides are one of the most popular attractions in Gubei Water Town. Visitors can take a leisurely boat ride along the town’s ancient canal system, which offers a unique and peaceful way to explore the area. The boats are designed in traditional Chinese style, with ornate decorations and canopies to provide shade from the sun. The canal system itself is a testament to the ingenuity and engineering skills of the town’s ancient residents, who built it to transport goods and materials in and out of the town.

Hot Springs

hot springs in gubei water town

Gubei Water Town is famous for its natural hot springs, which are believed to have therapeutic properties. There are several hot spring resorts in the area, where visitors can relax and enjoy the warm, mineral-rich waters. The hot springs are heated by underground volcanic activity and are said to have a variety of health benefits, including improving blood circulation, easing muscle pain, and reducing stress. Some of the resorts offer private hot spring baths, while others have communal pools where visitors can soak and socialize. The hot springs in Gubei Water Town are a great way to unwind and rejuvenate after a day of sightseeing and exploration.

Simatai Great Wall

night tours in simatai great wall

Simatai Great Wall is a section of the Great Wall of China located near the town of Gubei in the northeast of Beijing (Mutianyu and Gubei Water Town – similarities and differences). It is known for its steep gradients, unique architecture, and well-preserved state. The wall stretches over 5.4 kilometers and has 35 watchtowers. It is one of the few sections of the Great Wall that retains its original appearance and has not undergone significant restoration. It is also the only section that is open for night visits, providing a unique and unforgettable experience.

Cultural Performances

cultural performances in gubei water town

Gubei Water Town is not only known for its natural and architectural beauty but also for its cultural performances that showcase the traditional music, dance, and martial arts of China. The performances take place in different venues throughout the town and feature talented local performers dressed in colorful traditional costumes. Visitors can watch traditional Chinese operas, folk dances, and acrobatics shows, as well as demonstrations of martial arts like Tai Chi and Kung Fu. These cultural performances offer a glimpse into China’s rich cultural heritage and are a great way to immerse oneself in the local culture and experience a unique aspect of Gubei Water Town.

Vlog about Gubei Water Town

Find the Best Hotel in Gubei Water Town

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Experience the Hot Springs: It’s highly recommended to indulge in the hot springs at Gubei Water Town, especially after exploring the Great Wall. Whether it’s soaking in the hot springs after a hike or enjoying them after a nighttime stroll through the ancient town, the experience is said to be excellent.

Evening Performances: Evening performances typically start around 8 or 9 p.m. These include a water dance show featuring music, fountain displays, and 3D light shows, as well as drone performances that may showcase the name “Gubei Water Town” and the release of Kongming lanterns.

Hot Spring Attire and Facilities: Remember to bring your swimsuit for the hot springs. The Duan Family Courtyard offers both indoor and outdoor hot spring pools. Indoor pools are segregated by gender, while outdoor pools are not.

No Pets Allowed: Keep in mind that pets are not allowed within the scenic area, so plan accordingly if you’re traveling with pets.

Dining Recommendations: Manage your dining expectations as reviews suggest that the food options may not be exceptional. Food prices within the scenic area are standardized, so there’s no need to wait in long queues at any particular food stall.

One-Day Itinerary: A single day is typically sufficient to explore Gubei Water Town. However, if you wish to experience activities like night climbing on the Great Wall or enjoying the hot springs, consider staying overnight at one of the hotels within the scenic area.

Weather Considerations: Be prepared for slightly cooler temperatures compared to downtown Beijing, as the climate in Miyun tends to be about 3 to 4 degrees Celsius lower. Bring along suitable warm clothing to stay comfortable during your visit.

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