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Great Wall at Simatai, Beijing

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The Simatai Great Wall, two hours drive from Beijing in northeastern Miyun County, is renowned for its precipitous topography. Built by the Ming Dynasty general Qi Ji Guang, it is one of the few stretches of the Wall that still preserve the original construction features of that period. It not only incorporates differing characteristics from other Wall sections, but also displays some features not found elsewhere. To the west 20 watchtowers look out over gently sloping hills. To the east are 15 watchtowers atop peaks up to 1,000 meters high. The views are unparalleled.