Great Wall of China at Hu Shan - Tiger Mountain , how to get there :
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Tiger Mountain (Hu Shan) Great Wall location coordinates: 40° 37′ 37.51″ North, 124° 59′ 59.47″ East
- Great Wall at Tiger Mountain (Hu Shan) & Yalu River -
This page was last updated: August 3, 2013
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Before Dandong was mainly visited by foreign tourists for its border-views across the Yalu River at the North Korean town of Sinuiju beyond. However, since its restauration which was completed in the year 2000 the Hushan Great Wall has become the second hot tourist attraction for Dandong City.  As a result, by now, the site is well advertized at local hotels and around town.
Although fairly short, the Hu Shan great wall is built at a steep angle, and the wall and surrounding hills provide quite a challenge. It is not entirely an easy hike, so come prepared.
The Hu Shan Great Wall location is situated just North of the border city of Dangdong, which has its own International Airport. From the City of Dandong it is only 20 kilometers (12 miles) to Hu Shan village and its Great Wall section (Other sources say 30km (19 miles), which is an exaggaration).
Get up early and catch the morning bus to be ensured of plenty of time to walk the wall and browse around in its vicinity.
The Great Wall of China section at Hu Shan was built during the reign of the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD) over China and at that time was known as Ma’er mountain at the time. Its main goal was to provide a border demarcation between Chinese Territory and that of the hostile Jurchen Tribes, who were at that time united under one Chief Nuerhachi, the founding father of the Qing Dynasty (1644 A.D. - 1911 A.D.) who succeeded the Ming in the year 1644 AD. In the extreme East it provided protection from invasion by the unruly Korean neighbors, who had long considered the Liaodong Peninsula as part of their territory.
As the Jurchen (Manchu) grew in hostility and military strength, it was decided to build yet another wall in defense of Chinese Territory. This second Great Wall of China was specifically designed to keep the (not so) barbarian Manchu and other tribes out of what was by then considered Chinese territory on the Liaodong Peninsula. This area then, was made the first of 9 (forward) defensive areas in defense of the Chinese Borderlands along the Great Wall of China.
Although this Great Wall reaches further than the Hu Shan - Tiger Mountain section, ending well into what today is the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea), the Hu Shan is today's ending section.

The name of this location of the Wall was changed from Ma’er mountain to Hu’er mountain during the reign Qing Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD). The name Hu Shan is more recent and is of unknown origin.

Although Dandong and the Hu Shan Great Wall were located right in the middle of what was known as Mig Alley during the Korean War (1951-1953; ending in Armistice!) and many air battles raged in the skies above, no events relating to the Great Wall at Hu Shan in that time can be reported (the remnants of the wall were only refound in the year 1980).

Currently the discussion on whether or not the Liaoning Great Wall and thus the Tiger Mountain are part of the 'real' great wall, or if they are to be seen as a separate wall of lesser quality and importance, is ongoing.
In general, most foreign historians and 'experts' take the Liaoning wall to be a lesser wall. The two main reasons given for this are first of all that this outer or secondary section of the Great Wall was of far lesser strength and built of inferior materials. Thus, it was overrun much earlier than the main body to the south.
Secondly, it is often claimed that the Liaoning Section of the Great Wall is different from the main body of the Great Wall of China as recognized, since it was supposedly built exclusively during the Ming Dynasty Era. Thus, it is said: the main great wall has a lengthy history going back through the Dynasties, whereas the Liaoning Wall supposedly does not.
Tiger Mountain Watchtower o/t Great Wall depicted on Stamp valued 20 Fen.
In Hebei Province and Provinces and territories to the West of it are many sites where one can visit the ruins and remnants of the world renowned Great Wall of China. Due to its fenomenal reputation, most world citizens are aware that there is a grandiose protective wall running for 100′s if not 1000′s of kilometers across China and some even know that it was built mainly in protection of the Imperial Capital of Beijing. This is and was the main body of the Great Wall of China, last renovated and considerably strengthened during the reign of the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD) in China.
What most people however do not realize is that there was another wall, a secondary Great Wall of China built entirely during the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD). This secondary section was a protective wall and border demarkation that ran north from the border of Hebei Province and arched around much of the Chinese colonized regions that existed on the Liaodong Peninsula during the time of the Ming Dynasty rule and ended somewhere in the vicinity of Pyongyang, the latter currently the Capital city of the reclusive nation of North Korea (D.P.R.K.).
Although far less impressive and strong than its larger and older brother the true Great Wall of China, this secondary wall does exist today, and in the recent years interest in it has been growing.  At this time the easternmost point to visit this secondary "Great Wall of China" is the location of Hu Shan, the Tiger Mountain. At Tiger Mountain this "Great Wall of China" sections runs for a part across the mountain and it terminates at a watchtower which overlooks the Yalu River and the border of North Korea. It is not a much visited site which is however easily reached from the City of Dandong.

Grotere kaart weergeven
Go to the Dandong Railway Station (Dandong Zhan) and find Bus No.215B which heads directly to Hu Shan village (Hu Shan Zhen) and terminates there.
The Hu Shan Great Wall site is the only tourist site in the vicinity, so from the Bus Station it is easy to find your way to the Hushan Great Wall near the village. The bus leaves twice daily from Dandong Railway Station at 06:30 AM and 15:30 PM.  The return bus from Hushan Great Wall and village start at 07:40 AM and 16:40 PM.
The bus ticket cost CNY 2 in 2010.

Traveling by Taxi or even your own transport naturally is more expensive. However, anyone can travel to the Tiger Mountain Great Wall on their own account by hiring a local Taxi. Naturally, it is
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Liaoning Map 2A - Schematic Map
Schematic Map of Liaoning Province showing the location of Dandong City on the North Korean border and the nearby location of Tiger Mountain (Hu Shan) Great Wall of China.
helpful to give the driver proper instructions. Most local taxi cab drivers do not speak english (or other foreign languages. Therefor, if possible bring a map to show the location, show an image of the all and use the Chinese names (as well) to prevent any misunderstandings.
Make sure you get there for a reasonable fee. Possibly, your driver is willing to wait the entire time of your visit and drive you the return leg as well, again for a proper fee.
Modern Chinese historians and experts on the Great Wall of China however beg to disagree with the Foreigners. It would go too far here to explain all of history in due detail, however in essence, since interest in the Great Wall of China in the East has bloomed, research has shown that the Liaoning wall was also constructed, at least in part, upon the foundations of other (Chinese) defensive walls in the regions.
Where some sections of what is usually recognized as the 'true' Great Wall date back to the Q'In Dynasty (221 BC - 296 BC) - forming the historic first version of the Great Wall of China, in the case of the Liaoning Wall it is found that some of its origins date back to the 12Th Century. Quite possibly parts even date back another 1000 years earlier and were in fact based
upon the same 10 thousand Li Great Wall of China of Q'In Shi Huangdi as the main, 'true' or real wall. The latest Government supported theories even hold that the first walls in the Liaodong Peninsula date back to later years of the Zhou Dynasty (1121 or 1046 BC – 256 BC).
At the very least, it is well known that the Jin Dynasty (金朝) (1115 AD –1234 AD) a Jurchen based Kingdom which ruled over large parts of north China in the 12Th Century, had built several sections of defensive wall in an effort to keep out their Mongolian neighbors. (These walls failed during the advance of the Mongolian Khan Genghis and his hordes over what would turn out to be all of Asia and the Eurasian continent wiping out the Jin.)

The most recent chapter of the history of the Hu Shan great wall begins in the year 1980, when according to Chinese sources the wall in the area north of Dandong was 'refound'. Historical records of the Ming Dynasty do state that;  'the Great wall of Ming dynasty originated from Yalu river and ended to Jiayu pass', however due to the fact that most of the Liaoning Wall had disappeared from sight it was generally held that in fact, the great wall only reached the Bohai Bay of the Yellow Sea at the border of Hebei Province at Shanhai Guan. The finds in 1980 sparked renewed interest and the local Dandong cultural relics bureau made investigations in the years thereafter. Finding considerable archeological evidence along their way, eventually the theory came up that the Great Wall of China did reach historically reach further and did actually reach Dandong.
After years of discussions and preliminary explorations, in the year 1989 AD an excavation was undertaken at Hu Shan in order to find out more about the architecture, construction and possibly history of this section of ruined wall. During the operation no less than 600-meters (0.4 miles) of ruins at Hu Shan (Tiger Mountain) were scrutinized yielding several interesting results. Eversince, the local government of Dandong has been convinced that their wall is a real section of the Genuine Great Wall and it has acted to promote further investigations. Using, among things, satellite imagery, in recent years (2009 and 2010) more sections of Wall have been identified in Liaoning Province.
In 1992, the government invested a huge amount of money to restore the Hu Shan section of the Great Wall, in total renovating some 1,000 meters (0.6 miles) between the years 1992 and 2000 AD.

Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy (Chinese: 智取威虎山; pinyin: zhì qǔ wēihǔ shān) is a Beijing Opera, and one of the eight model plays allowed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The story is based on the novel Lin hai xue yuan (林海雪原), which in turn, is based on the real life story of an incident in 1946 during the Chinese Civil War, involving a communist reconnaissance team soldier Yang Zirong (杨子荣) who disguised himself as a bandit to infiltrate a local gang of bandits, eventually helping the main communist force to destroy the bandits. Unlike other characters depicted in the opera and novel, the protagonists' name and the bandits' names were real.

A film version directed by Xie Tieli was released in 1970.
Climbing onto the steps of the wall up to its 146.3 meter ighpoint visitors are greeted by a grand view of the beautiful scenery of the surrounding countryside of China and North Korea.  The main attractions apart from the experience of climbing the many stairs are the view of surrounding cornfields. Somewhat disapointing are the copies of Q'In Shi Huang's terracotta warriors set atop the platform of the Hu Shan Great Wall. These statues are a reference to the legendary '10.000 Li Great Wall' built by China's tyranical 1st Emperor, of which it is locally claimed the Hu Shan mountain was also a part. Although it is true that in the time of the Q'In Dynasty, the Liaodong Peninsula was already colonized by the Han, there is however little real evidence that a wall built in that era actually formed the later foundations of the site that was later utilized by the Ming and seen today in a restored form.

From the watchtower atop Tiger Mountain from one can see across the Yalu river and into North Korea (D.P.R.K.) an otherwise ultra-reclusive nation and unreachable forbidden destination. Normally one can get a fairly good view of the town of Uiju just across the border in North Korea.
With fair weather and clear skies one can see the waters of the Yellow Sea glimmer in the distance beyond Dandong City. Using binoculars from the top of the wall, you can see for miles into the North Korea, as well spot an air force base. In 2910 this air base was the place where a North Korean warplane took off before mysteriously crashing in China. It is said that the pilot wanted to defect to China, however official versions hold it that the aircraft strayed due to mechanical problems. The pilot was killed when his aircraft crashed into Chinese territory in neighboring Jilin Province. Interestingly from the tower one can also survey the plot of land situated in effect in the middle of the Yalu which officially belongs to North Korea. This small Island known at the foot of Hu Shan is known as Yi Bu Kua (One Leap Over) and is an increasingly popular tourist attraction. Situated near adjacent to Hushan (Tiger Mountain) Great Wall, Yi Bu Kua is easy to reach on foot from Hu Shan and is especially enticing in winter, when it is easy to walk to the island on the frozen river.
Chinese citizens sometimes wander onto stones set in the stream in order to trade goods and information with North Korean soldiers and farmers.
Until recently (2009), no Chinese borderguards were stationed there and the few foreign visitors who visited frequently walked across the Yalu to stand on the North Korean border before quickly returning to the Chinese side before North Korean border guards could appear.  However, several border incidents have since occurred, including a shoot out between North Korean and Chinese Border guards near Dandong. With a dire food situation and political crisis emerging in North Korea over the years 2010 and 2011, the overall security along the border has been increased.

Please note: as The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea) demands a VISA and passport, entry of that country is in effect illegal. Visiting the Yi Bu Kua island is therefor entirely at your own risk. The risk is considerable. Apart from possibly being shot and killed, a common sentence for illegally entering North Korean territory and spying is 20 years in labor camp. So, think before you act and/or follow.
The easier and far more relaxed option is to take a boat ride on the Yalu River underneath the Hu Shan Great Wall. A recently built boat-pier provides service during the tourist season.

Apart from all the above, the Hu Shan Great Wall site now further includes a small museum. Find the museum on your down journey from the wall, conveniently located at the very end of your descent. The small museum has two floors but only a few artifacts from the archeological dig in the 1990's. It is not much of a museum as of yet.
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