(Last updated on: 22/10/2020)
Visiting the Southern Great Wall of Linhai is one of the coolest things to do in Zhejiang Province. A strong contender for the real deal in Beijing, this wall was built with the same architectural style and the same technique as the Great Wall of China. Here you can get a ‘Great Wall experience’ without the crowds of Beijing. AND it is just a couple hours drive from Shanghai, Hangzhou and Ningbo.
So, what are you waiting for? Read on to find out what the Great Wall of Linhai is, why you should visit and how to get there. Oh, and there is a great hotel that I recommend at the end too (many do not accept foreigners in this area-beware).
- What is the Great Wall of Linhai?
- Tips for visiting the Great Wall of Linhai
- Other things to do in Linhai
- Where to stay in Linhai
- How to get to Linhai
- The Great Wall of Linhai: To conclude
What is the Great Wall of Linhai?
Linhai is a city located in eastern Zhejiang Province, just a couple hours away from Hangzhou. It is a city filled history and culture, with its history dating back more than 2000 years. The cities most famous landmark is its Great Wall.
The Great Wall of Linhai, also goes by the names ‘Southern Great Wall’ and Jiangnan Great Wall. The wall was built by the jin Dynasty between 317-420. The Great Wall of Linhai who designed by the same architect who designed the famous Badaling section of the Great Wall in Beijing.
The purpose of the wall was to protect the city from floods from nearby Lin River. However, many believed that it was built to protect the city’s inhabitants from Japanese pirates.
The wall was originally 6,000 m (19,685 ft) in length, and today there remains 5,000 m (16,400 ft) of preserved and walkable path. Much of the wall was rebuilt in 1995 and continues to stand today in excellent condition.
You can easily walk the length of the wall in a couple of hours. It took us just over two hours and we were carrying two babies, so you can do it quicker if you want to. There are quite a lot of steps, especially at the beginning. The initial staircases has 198 steps to climb.
Along the wall there are many interesting things to see including ancient artilleries used by national hero Zheng Chenggong and inscriptions carved on a cliff side by Qing emperor Yongzheng. There is also a 700-year-old camphor tree and a vast stone altar.
There are a a number of watchtowers (ditai), each with some form of entertainment inside- from drums that you can bang to Chinese folk dressed in traditional outfits playing instruments.
Along the wall, you’ll come across , and plenty more interesting attractions. Bring along plenty of water for your hike, and make sure you wear comfortable shoes.
Tips for visiting the Great Wall of Linhai
The Great Wall of Linhai provides a pleasant alternative to the crowds of the Great Wall near Beijing. There are rarely many people here. I visited during the Golden Week national holiday (some of the busiest days of the year for most tourist attractions), and the crowds were ok. If you want to get those picture-perfect Great Wall photos without another person in sight, visit on a weekday- I expect you will have the whole wall to yourself!
There are a lot of steps so wear some decent trainers or hiking boots. Don’t take a pram if you have kids- our Tula carriers were a Godsend!
There isn’t anywhere to buy snacks or drinks on the wall, so take some with you.
Take lots of photos!
Linhai is actually a really great city. We literally visited the wall and left, but I was gutted that we didn’t;t have time to explore the beautiful East Lake and the rest of the city. I suggest that you stay overnight and spend two full days exploring this ancient city.
Other things to do in Linhai
Our visit to Linhai was very rushed. I recommend you take two days (including travel time) for your trip to Linhai. This way you will have plenty of time to experience the city to its fullest.
East Lake is Linhai’s second biggest tourist attraction. Situated just north of the entrance to Linhai Great Wall, the lake is very pretty. You have to buy a ticket to get into the lake area and there are lots of picturesque areas to walk around once inside. I suggest you spend one-two hours here.
Ziyang Old Street
Ziyang Old Street is an historic section of the city. There are many shops here and restored buildings that promote the ancient city and its original architecture. The street is fairly long and you can easily spend an hour or two growing in the shops.
Sample the seedless mandarins
Linhai is known as the hometown of seedless mandarins. There are 12,000 hectares of mandarin orchards in Linhai. These tasty mandarins are favoured throughout all of China.
Visit the National Geological Park of Linhai
This park is a great place to sit down for a picnic and enjoy the fresh countryside air.
Head over to Taizhou
If you have enough time, I highly recommend a side trip to Taizhou. This city is more developed and has more to offer in terms of restaurants and types of accommodation on offer. Whilst it doesn’t have its own Great Wall, there is nearby Tintai Mountain, Jiufeng Park with its 9 peaks to climb, Huangyan Grottoes and a small beach at Taizhou Dachen Island.
You could combine a trip to Linhai and Taizhou for the perfect 2-3 days break.
Where to stay in Linhai
If you want to stay in Linhai itself then the best option is the S&N Zhejiang LinHai International Hotel. This is the only hotel in the city that openly accepts foreigners. There may be others that accept foreigners too, but I can’t be certain (and don’t be surprised if you book a hotel only to be turned away when you arrive because you are not Chinese). This hotel has excellent reviews and facilities anyway, so I would be happy to stay here.
If you are planning to combine your visit to the Linhai Great Wall with a trip to Taizhou, then you have some more options. None of these are in the budget range (sorry), but if you can get some great deals outside of peak season. The Hilton, Crowne Plaza have great reviews. As they are international brands you know what standards you will get too, which I like when travelling in China.
My favourite hotel in Taizhou, however, is the S&N Phoenix Comfort Villa. These villas come with washing machines, self catering facilities and a buffet breakfast. And the pool looks incredible- the photos speak for themselves!
How to get to Linhai
Getting to Linhai is easy. You can either drive, like we did. Take a bus or take a train.
The best method would be to take the high speed train. This takes around two hours from Hangzhou and prices are cheap.
Driving works, but most of the journey is along two lane roads. We encountered traffic several times and the roads can jam up easily.
Usually I would recommend a tour, because they love tours in China! But I haven’t actually found any to recommend online. But don’t be put off- you can easily get to Linhai and find the wall for yourself. And doing the research and travel yourself is all part off the fun, right?
The Great Wall of Linhai: To conclude
If you want to visit the Great Wall of China without the crowds, then head to Linhai. OK, so you can’t see this wall for space and it doesn’t reach all the way to the ocean, but it is a pretty cool thing to do if you are in or ear to Zhejiang Province. Want more ideas on where to travel in China? Take a look at my traveling China articles and follow my stories on Instagram for more!