1. August 2014. In the summer of 2014 my friend Anthony and I embarked on a two-week trip across the northeast of China. For me it was yet another corner of the country conquered: a couple of major cities and a flurry of off-the-beaten-track towns. Among the many highlights that fortnight was my third section of The Great Wall. Located twenty kilometers outside the city of Dandong, Tiger Mountain (known locally as Hushan) is a 1200-meter section of wall that twists dramatically around the rock face. Not many western tourists make it out here so we found ourselves much in demand that day, with just about everyone we came across stopping to point, laugh, take photos and chat.
2. August 2014. Tiger Mountain is the easternmost section of The Great Wall constructed during the Ming Dynasty to fend off Korean invaders. Security clearly isn’t what it once was though, as we bumped into a pair of Koreans during our hike. They didn’t speak any English but Anthony was able to converse with them in Korean, having lived in Seoul for a number of years.
3. August 2014. This very sweet Dandong schoolgirl was over the moon to see us, excitedly insisting her mother took a photo to mark the occasion. She was literally hopping up and down asking us where we were from, if we liked Chinese food, all the usual questions. As her mother lined up the shot, she instinctively locked arms with the pair of us.
4. August 2014. The Tiger Mountain experience only starts getting really interesting once the wall itself peters out, giving way to a forest trail that spirals across the giant cliff face. The path winds its way around several giant boulders, up a stone staircase or two and through a couple of narrow caves.
5. August 2014. Suddenly the trail brought us out into a large opening and we were finally treated to the moment we’d been most excited about… our own private panoramic of North Korean countryside! With the two countries separated only by a narrow section of river known as Yībùkuà (translated as one step beyond), it was a surreal moment to be standing there on Chinese soil gazing out over a North Korea that was so close it felt like we could reach out and touch it.
The Tiger Mountain section of The Great Wall is open daily from 07:00-17:00 with entrance tickets priced at 60RMB (£7/€7.60/$8.70). A public bus can be taken from Dandong Railway Station (21B) but Anthony and I simply jumped in a taxi for 50RMB. Just show the driver this address: 虎山长城, 虎山村, 虎山镇, 丹东, 辽宁.
Like this? Check out more 5s from my adventures on The Great Wall.
You can also check out my stacks of travel reports from all around China.
I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001, so why not have a leaf through my huge library of My 5s from over 30 countries.