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Jiankou (Arrow Lock) Great Wall
"Jiankou", is translated as "Arrow Lock" in English, for the shape of the mountain is like an arrow, with the collapsed ridge opening as its arrow lock. Jiankou Great Wall is the most dangerous and ruined section of the great wall around Beijing.

The Jiankou Great Wall (Arrow Lock) is located in Huairou County, 73 km north from Beijing City. This section was built in 1368 during the period of the Ming Dynasty. It is built of large white hill rocks which makes it very prominent from a distance. The major section of this Great Wall is built along a mountain ridge with tall cliffs on each side, and as a result of the lack of repairs, it is now one of the most dangerous sections of the entire Great Wall. This section is also a photographic hotspot due to its unique style, steep mountains and beautiful scenery.

Jiankou Great Wall consists of 28 towers. Highlights include the "The Eagle Flies Facing Upward" watchtower and "Sky Stairs" featuring 80-degree inclines. "The Eagle Flies Facing Upward" watchtower appears extremely high as it was built on a mountain which forms the highest section of the Jiankou Great Wall. The eagles can only do so facing upwards before reaching the top of the tower when they pass through here. The "Sky Stairs" is another famous scenic spot with a precipitous stair whose angle of elevation is 70 to 80 degrees. The stairs are so narrow that it is barely possible to obtain a foothold. Other scenic areas include the Beijing Knot (the meeting point for three walls coming from different directions), the Nine-Eye Tower (a watchtower with three layers, and nine holes which look like nine eyes on each side), the Zhengbei Tower (a good place to watch the sunrise and the sunset), the Cloud Stairs (a section of the Jiankou Great Wall which rises like a staircase into the white clouds), and many other watch towers.  

This is the real great wall, not something like touristic walls restored to please you. However, The Great Wall at Jiankou is a dangerous section to climb, due to its disrepair and desolate location bordering steep cliffs. Most of the wall is in ruins. Getting to the top of the wall is very difficult. Therefore, Jiankou Great Wall is recommended only for experienced hikers. You have to prepare for a good fitness and great care if you climb this section.

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