This highly restored section of the Great Wall is popular with tour groups, probably due to its close proximity to Beijing. It forms a circular route in and around a ravine, with beautiful scenery on all sides.
I chose to walk the western half of the route, which seemed to be much less popular (and hence less crowded), although it did sadly miss out some of the highlights such as the water gate and a glimpse of some of the original, unrestored wall.
My hike began at the northern gate, from where I took the steeper, less popular route up the western slope.
After the initial, steep climb, the wall began to meander over the top of the hill, striking through the landscape.
Along the way, I passed through several watchtowers, from where windows perfectly framed the beautiful landscape.
After finishing the hike (1.5 hours at a brisk pace), I descended at the southern gate and explored some of the temples around there, starting with the small Horse God's Temple.
Next I passed through the more disappointing Ministry of Finance Administrative Building, which contained some pretty red ribbons in a courtyard but otherwise just shops.
Finally, I explored the Luo Tong Memorial Temple, which was probably the most interesting – consisting of several halls and with some detailed decorations.
Overall, a very easy section of the Great Wall to reach from Beijing, but also pretty busy with tour groups – although the western route was more peaceful, particularly once you walk past the initial half hour or so.