Situated in Gubeikou Town of Miyun County in Beijing, Gubei Water Town surrounds the beautiful Mandarin Duck Lake Reservoir and leans against the Simatai Great Wall, the most dangerous and majestic section of the entire Great Wall. Regarded as 'Wuzhen in Beijing', Gubei Water Town boasts a combination of mountains, water and ancient villages. The town is characterized by the northern architectural style, and the history and culture of the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and the Republic of China (1912-1949) historic period. Most buildings are reconstructed in the traditional courtyard style. Based on five ancient villages and a water resource, this water town has developed into a large-scale sightseeing and holiday destination. Covering an area of 3.5 square miles (9 square kilometers), the holiday resort includes two scenic districts, the Gubei Water Town and the Simatai Great Wall.
What to See
This town possesses an old-fashioned simplicity and elegance. Row upon row of houses, old quartzite streets and long Hutongs show the style and features of the old town. River channels are scattered between streets; houses near the river are bathed in sunlight. When night falls, Gubei Water Town presents a tranquil and cozy atmosphere. Some spots of the attraction are open to the public, such as the Blocks of the Republic of China, the Old Camp Site, the Water Streets Region, the Wolongbao Folk Culture Region, the Old Village at Tang River Region, and the Local Accommodation Region.
Things to Do
Besides sightseeing, visitors can experience unique local customs and participate in native activities. If you like Chinese wine, the Sima Liquor Distillery may be a nice choice for a visit. You can smell the aroma of the wine from afar before you reach there. You can also witness the process of wine making and learn to cook dishes with vinasse (the residue that remains in the still after distillation). In the Yongshun Dye House, red, green, yellow and blue cloths hang flapping in the breeze. Some old-style looms and spinning machines are on display. You can learn about ecological cloth printing and dyeing, and even create your own DIY work with the help of craftsmen. In addition, you can spend your leisure time in the Yinghua Academy, where many Confucian classics, historical records, philosophical writings and miscellaneous works have been collected. You can read and enjoy some afternoon tea to relax and refresh yourself. There is also a Yang Wudi Temple built to commemorate the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in various wars. Generations of the Yang family devoted themselves to defending their country. Zhenyuan Safeguard Agency will demonstrate to you the real life of the ancient armed safeguards.Visitors can see the Plum Stakes, the Carts, and watch a martial arts performance. The Eight Banners Guild Hall, situated at the fortress of the capital, enable you to learn the traditions and the customs of Gubei Pass.
During the Chinese New Year, visitors can enjoy ice sculpture finished by professional teachers from Harbin. The temple fair has a Sugar Figure Maker, a Stilt Walker, Yangko Dance, a Dragon and Lion Dance and other acrobatic shows. You also can listen to the gereral chatter and enjoy traditional Peking Opera. In addition, the Simatai Great Wall is right next to this water town, so you can climb the Great Wall to have a bird's-eye view of the whole town. You will be amazed at the splendid scene from such a high vantage point.
Where to Stay and What to Eat
Two five-star hotels, six small boutique hotels and 400 local inns with different themes in Gubei Water Town can fulfill any visitor’s tastes. The Water Town Hotel is the largest, modeled in the style of a European castle with 409 rooms. Some other hotels also could be ideal places, such as the Wuzhen Boutique Hotel, the Great Wall Academy Hotel, the Eight Banners Inn, Yanmen Inn, the Opera Inn, the Escort Inn and the Wolongbao Inn. Some visitors prefer to stay at the homes of local people for they are much cheaper than hotels. Besides, there are many restaurants, stores and over ten related service facilities are also available. Travelers can find Halal Restaurant, Italian Café and Great Wall Bar for food and drink. Some local snacks, such as spiced corned eggs, pancakes, porridge, dumplings and barbecued pork, are worth a try.