Depart your central Beijing hotel in the mid-afternoon with your guide, and travel by private, climate-controlled vehicle to Gubei Water Town in Myun County, about 96 miles (155 kilometers) from the city.
Arrive at Gubei—an architectural replica of Wuzhen in Zhejiang province, one of China’s most famous water towns.
Composed of picturesque canals, bridges, courtyard houses, shops, and hotels, all backed by mountains and the Simatai section of China’s Great Wall, Gubei is a delight to explore.
Enjoy a walking tour around the lanes, watching the boats ply the waterways and admiring the quaint architecture. Follow your guide around the highlights and as the sun sets, sit down to a delicious dinner at a charming restaurant.
Duly refreshed, ride the cable car up to the Simatai Great Wall: the only part of the UNESCO-listed structure open to visitors at night, and beautifully illuminated from dusk onward. Admire the lit-up ramparts tracing the steep spine of the mountains from your cable car, and then walk along the battlements.
First constructed during the Northern Qi dynasty (550–577) and rebuilt in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), the Simatai stretch extends for 3.3 miles (5.4 kilometers) and is studded with 35 beacon towers.
As you walk, note the architectural features of the ramparts—a microcosm of the building styles used across the entire wall—and absorb the spectacular views down over the lights of Gubei.
Then, descend by cable car and either choose to take a golf cart, walk, or take a boat ride (own expense) back to the parking lot. Finally, travel back to Beijing where your trip ends with a drop-off at your hotel.