Laolongtou Great Wall – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

laolongtou great wall

Laolongtou (老龙头), or the “Old Dragon’s Head,” is a historically significant site located on the southeastern coast of Bohai Bay, just 4 kilometers away from the Shanhaiguan scenic area. Serving as the eastern starting point of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall, this remarkable structure was constructed under the leadership of Ming Dynasty hero Qi Jiguang, who led troops in defense against Japanese pirates.

Resembling a colossal dragon, the Great Wall stretches across the vast expanse of China, with Laolongtou positioned at the eastern extremity, directly plunging into the sea near the southern part of the Shanhaiguan city. This unique feature, resembling the raised head of a dragon, earned it the name “Laolongtou” or the “Old Dragon’s Head.”

Laolongtou extends approximately 20 meters into the Bohai Sea, constructed predominantly from massive stones. About half of its structure rises above sea level, while the other half remains submerged beneath the water. During its initial construction, it is said that many iron pots were buried below sea level to reduce the impact of seawater on the structure – an ingenious method that found its place in architectural history.

Over the span of more than 260 years, from the early years of the Ming Dynasty’s Hongwu era to the end of the Chongzhen era, Laolongtou underwent continuous expansion and improvement. However, as the Qing Dynasty ushered in an era of unity within and beyond the Great Wall, Laolongtou lost its military defensive significance and evolved into a picturesque attraction for emperors, generals, literati, and tourists alike. It transformed into a place for leisure and appreciation of the scenic beauty, representing a transition from a military stronghold to a cultural and historical landmark.


Table of Contents


Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 2 hours
Ticket Price50 RMB (1st May – 31st October)
20 RMB (1st November – 30th April the next year)
Opening Hours7.30 – 18.00
Telephone Number0086-0335-5152995
0086-0335-5152996

Location and Transportation

Laolongtou is a significant historical site located at the easternmost point of the Great Wall of China. Situated in Shanhaiguan Pass, Hebei province, this remarkable section of the Great Wall offers breathtaking views of both the majestic fortification and the vast Bohai Sea.

Toursits from Qinhuangdao or Beidaihe can first take a train to Shanghai Pass Railway Station (山海关火车站) and then transfer to Bus 25 or a taxi to cover the remaining 6 kilometers.


Highlights of the Laolongtou

Great Wall Museum

great wall museum in laolongtou

The Great Wall Museum at Laolongtou, China, is a captivating destination that offers insights into the remarkable history and cultural significance of the Great Wall. Located near the iconic Old Dragon’s Head in Shanhaiguan Pass, the museum showcases a wealth of artifacts, exhibits, and informative displays. Visitors can delve into the construction techniques, historical context, and strategic importance of this ancient architectural wonder. The museum’s comprehensive collection and interactive exhibits provide an immersive experience, enriching visitors’ understanding of the Great Wall’s enduring legacy and its crucial role in shaping China’s past.


Coastal Views

coastal views of laolongtou great wall

The coastal views of Laolongtou at the easternmost point of the Great Wall in Shanhaiguan Pass, China, are simply breathtaking. Overlooking the vast expanse of the Bohai Sea, the scenery is a captivating blend of natural beauty and historical grandeur. The rugged coastline, coupled with the mighty stone fortifications of the Great Wall, creates a mesmerizing juxtaposition of man-made and natural elements. Visitors are treated to panoramic vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see, making it a photographer’s paradise.


Chenghai Tower

beacon tower of laolongtou great wall

Chenghai Tower serves as the commanding point of the Old Dragon’s Head. Built in the Ming Dynasty and later restored in the Qing Dynasty, it was erected under the directive of Qi Jiguang to prevent enemy forces from infiltrating during low tides or winter droughts. Adorned with inscribed stone tablets from historical figures, the tower showcases artifacts unearthed near Laolongtou. Three floors down from Chenghai Tower, a solitary stone monument bears the powerful inscription “天开海岳” (Heaven Opens, Seas and Mountains Tremble). From the tower, one can gaze southward at the vast sea and northward at the imposing mountain passes and signal towers.


Shanghaiguan Pass

first pass under heaven shanhai pass

Shanhaiguan Pass, located near Laolongtou in China, is a historically significant fortress that holds the key to the eastern entrance of the Great Wall. This strategic pass, also known as “The First Pass Under Heaven,” served as a vital gateway connecting the inner Chinese territories to the northern frontier. It features well-preserved walls, gates, and watchtowers, offering visitors a glimpse into ancient military architecture. Steeped in history, Shanhaiguan witnessed countless battles and military campaigns throughout the ages.


Vlog about Laolongtou Great Wall


Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Ideal Time to Visit: It is recommended to arrive around 3:30 PM to witness both the afternoon and sunset views, providing a comprehensive and beautiful experience.

Considerations for Winter Visits: In winter, temperatures drop significantly after the 5 PM sunset, and the coastal winds can be strong. Visitors are advised to dress warmly to combat the cold.

Photography Tips: For picturesque photos, the end of the Great Wall and the beach area are suggested locations. These spots offer scenic backgrounds for capturing memorable moments.

Clarification on Locations: Be aware that Laolongtou and Shanghai Pass are not in the same location. There is approximately a 4-kilometer distance between them, so visitors should not confuse the two.

Beach Karting Experience: Engage in the interesting beach karting activity. For a fee of 50 yuan, individuals can drive a kart for a round trip, providing a fun and unique experience.

Weather Considerations: Check the weather forecast in advance and choose a day with good weather to avoid being affected by adverse conditions. The area is prone to heavy rainfall and large waves.


Attractions near Laolongtou Great Wall

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