How to get to Gubeikou Great Wall from Beijing city center
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Gubeikou is fairly far from Beijing at 140km. The trailhead is in the town of Gubeikou (古北口) in Miyun district and the best way to get there is to get on a tour as there's no direct bus or train to Beijing
It's possible to get there by public transportation, it's cheap and you can pay with your Beijing subway card all the way but you need to connect and getting there takes 3-4 hours. Basically you need to take bus 980 Express from Beijing to Miyun, then transfer to bus 25 to Gubeikou. Here's step by step guide to getting from Beijing
In the station, follow the overhead sign for "Bus Transfer Hall"
Find bus 980 Express "980快" and pay fare of 17RMB to get on the bus. You can also pay with your Beijing subway card (Yikatong). The bus should go to Miyun (密云). First bus Beijing->Miyun is at 6am, last bus is at 8pm. First returning bus Miyun->Beijing is at 4:30am, last returning bus is at 6:30pm. Bus leaves once every 5-15 minutes
Take 980 Express all the way to the final stop (18 stops in total), which is Miyun Bus Terminal (密云汽车站), located here. Should take about 1.5 hours
Get out from the bus terminal to the south, cross the main road (Jingmi Road, 京密路 in Chinese) to the other side (south side) of it, then walk west for 150 yards until you get to the first roadside public bus stop, located here. Here's the walking path shown on Google Maps
Get on bus 25 (密25路). Bus costs 7RMB (you can pay with your Beijing subway card Yikatong) and there are roughly 17 of these buses everyday. The departure times are approximately: 6:15am, 6:45am, 7:05am, 7:45am, 8:20am, 9:15am, 9:40am, 10:15am, 11:15am, 12:05pm, 1:15pm, 2:15pm, 3:15pm, 4:15pm, 4:40pm, 5:10pm, 6:25pm. Don't take these times at its face value you should try to get here early just in case. You might see 2 variations of this bus in Chinese character, 密25路 and less commonly, 密25路五里坨. Either one these are fine because they split after the stop you need to get off at. Trip should take around 2 hours
Get off at Suidaokou station (隧道口) station, located here, at the entrance to the village of Gubeikou. There's an information office located here for Panlongshan Great Wall, which is the official name of the eastern sections of Gubeikou (the official name of the western section is called Wohushan Great Wall. The two sections are separated by a river)
Get directions from the locals on how to hike to the wall from the village. Panlonshan section is more popular and in my opinion more scenic, and if you keep going east from Panlongshan you will get to Simatai and Jinshanling sections of the Great Wall (although I don't think it's hikable all the way). The trailhead for Panlongshan is located roughly here, to the north and east of where you get off bus 25. If you want to visit Wohushan instead, I believe the management office is located here, on the other side of the river from where you got off bus 25 (if you want to visit Wohushan you can actually stay on bus 25 for a few more stops until the bus crosses the river. But make sure you take 密25路 and NOT 密25路五里坨 as the latter does not cross the river)