The First Strategic Post

The First Strategic Post, Jiayuguan

The First Strategic Post
4
Ancient Ruins • Architectural Buildings
8:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 8:00 PM
What people are saying
AZCasualTraveler
By AZCasualTraveler
First Beacon Tower of the Great Wall
Oct 2019
The Taolai River Beacon Tower is considered to be the first beacon tower of the Great Wall and is located in an area in far western China. At this historical site, there is a modern Visitor Center that overlooks the Taolai River from a cliff viewpoint. The entrance to this Visitor Center/Museum is quite interesting in that it is located on a pathway to the underground Museum structure. The Museum is small but still interesting with the nicest point of interest being the outdoor viewing platform at one end of the museum building. From this viewing platform, there is a stunning view of the Taolai River as it bends around a deep canyon. We came in late October, and snow can still be seen on the mountains beyond the river - nice view! To get to the actual first beacon tower structure, you had to take a shuttle bus from the visitor center and travel a seemingly long road to get there. The tower structure itself is not much to see (as can be seen in the photos) because it is quite worn-down from the weather elements - the same goes for the "Great Wall" section that runs adjacent to the beacon tower. Never the less, these structures are still significant in that it is located on the western-most area of China and is still considered to be part of the Great Wall which stretches far to the east. In my opinion, it is still worthwhile to visit these historical structures which is in contrast to the Great Wall sections to the East.

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AZCasualTraveler
Mesa, AZ1,794 contributions
First Beacon Tower of the Great Wall
Oct 2019
The Taolai River Beacon Tower is considered to be the first beacon tower of the Great Wall and is located in an area in far western China. At this historical site, there is a modern Visitor Center that overlooks the Taolai River from a cliff viewpoint. The entrance to this Visitor Center/Museum is quite interesting in that it is located on a pathway to the underground Museum structure. The Museum is small but still interesting with the nicest point of interest being the outdoor viewing platform at one end of the museum building. From this viewing platform, there is a stunning view of the Taolai River as it bends around a deep canyon. We came in late October, and snow can still be seen on the mountains beyond the river - nice view!

To get to the actual first beacon tower structure, you had to take a shuttle bus from the visitor center and travel a seemingly long road to get there. The tower structure itself is not much to see (as can be seen in the photos) because it is quite worn-down from the weather elements - the same goes for the "Great Wall" section that runs adjacent to the beacon tower. Never the less, these structures are still significant in that it is located on the western-most area of China and is still considered to be part of the Great Wall which stretches far to the east. In my opinion, it is still worthwhile to visit these historical structures which is in contrast to the Great Wall sections to the East.
Written January 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DaveLamb
Chengdu, China46 contributions
Strategically excellent
Dec 2019
Visiting in December meant there wasn’t really anyone there and it’s a little more difficult to get transport. Getting a DiDi taxi there was no problem but it was more troublesome getting a driver on the way home. Probably worth asking the taxi to wait and paying a fee. The site has an informative museum with some good photography to view. The bridge was freaking a bit too much for my liking in the cold so i retreated before the half way point
Written December 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JoeyPBrenner
Edinburgh, UK60 contributions
Interesting ruins (annoying placement of the ticket office)
Nov 2019 • Couples
We did this in combination with the fortress and the great wall (combo ticket 120y).

The site itself if interesting - original wall and a fire beacon tower, all in fairly ruined state but interesting to see without any reconstruction. There is apparently a good museum which we didn't see as it wasn't signposted. What I did find annoying though was that the ticket office is a kilometer or so away from the beacon. Once buying your ticket and entering you then have to buy another ticket (12y) for the shuttle bus. Why is it not included in your ticket price? We walked it which was fine as it's Winter so was cool. Just annoying as it didn't need to be so far away.
Written November 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Monika1958
Zhuhai, China215 contributions
Jiayuguan site we enjoyed the most
Sep 2019
This is one of the sites offered on the Combined ticket for Jiayuguan. Senior discounted ticket RMB 55, with passport, 60+.
Initially we didn't want to visit since it just looked like a "pile of rocks" left, bu we had still lot's of time "to kill" on that day. Are we glad we went it was definitely the highlight of our day. In the museum (which usually we ignore) they had this great photo exhibit of the great wall taken by the missionary Willian Edgar Geil in 1907/1908 and then in comparison by William Lindesay starting in 1987 at the same spots.
Initially it's not visible but the the museum side is on top of a cliff with a beautiful colored river at the bottom. There is some kind of fort below with a hanging bridge to cross the river.
You have a view across the steppe and see two mountain ranges, one capped with snow. It was quite enjoyable to hang out there.
Since we travel between Mid Autumn Festival and National days is was very quiet there.
Written September 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

StefanSchuppi
Beijing, China106 contributions
Historic location with good exhibition
Nov 2018 • Friends
Very historic spot, good explanation of the Great Wall’s history in well curated exhibition.
We did it as one of two sections s of the wall visited in Jiayuguan and we really liked the history explanation at this location.
We travelled off season, therefore most attractions such as archery, buggy, river drifting etc were closed, on the plus we got most of the place for ourselves.
Well worth the visit!
Written December 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TCPickhaver
Milton Keynes, UK5 contributions
Definitely worth a look
Apr 2018 • Friends
Made it out to the start (or end) of the Great Wall just as a sandstorm was blowing in from Xinjiang. Even with slightly less visibility it was totally worth a look, as long as you have realistic expectations. It is a significant monument of a very long time ago! The museum below was very good, particularly a contrasting photography exhibition of places along the Great Wall now and 100 Years ago.
Written April 18, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bean802
Shanghai, China270 contributions
Much more than just a ruin!
Jul 2017 • Couples
There's an excellent small museum and glassbottom overhanging viewing platform, an entire replica fort town and inn, and a terrifying but terrific role bridge across a gorgeous river canyon. Do not miss it!
Written July 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sarah C
Phoenix, AZ241 contributions
Check!
Jun 2016 • Couples
My husband and I really wanted to make it here because we have already been to Shanhaiguan where the wall goes into the ocean, so getting a picture of the wall where it started was why we came to Jiayuguan.

When you arrive you can either walk down the road to the wall or you can pay the 12rmb to take the car. It was really hot when we were there so we opted for the car, but it's not too far to walk if you want to save that extra money.

There is a small museum near the wall which is quite nice. We enjoyed looking at the now and then photos of The Great Wall. It was really interesting to see how great some spots looked only 100 years ago. From the museum there is an observation deck so you can get a picture of the wall on the edge of the cliff. Just up from the museum is the tower and wall itself. There really isn't much to do here other than take some pictures, but for us we got to check a big item off our "must see" list.

I will also add that this attraction is also included in your ticket to the Jiayuguan Fort. So why not visit.
Written June 20, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John G
22 contributions
ahahaha, no.
Jan 2016 • Couples
I'm sure it was interesting if you made it, however when I arrived there was no-one to open the gate.
Despite having paid for it.
And even if the gate was opened, our car was not allowed inside so I would have had to pay again for a bus to the post I presume (I was thoroughly sick of this particular tourist trap trick by this stage).
The lack of any sort of description or image of what it used to be is also disappointing
Written February 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jen R
Cairo, Egypt242 contributions
Worth seeing especially as it's part of the 120Yuan tourist pass!
Jul 2015
Don't be put off by previous reviews, yes the first strategic post is now reduced to a walled off area which is a mound of rubble and sand, but what else do you expect? Without renovating it (which will also receive negative comments about it looking fake) there aren't many other options! On arrival you'll find a large visitor centre where you can buy the tourist pass if you haven't already. There are souvenirs, drinks and ice cream here too, but this is very expensive! You walk through the ticket check and are greeted with golf buggys, these are not included in your ticket and cost 12 yuan each and will take you to the museum and back. We opted for using the buggy, but if the day is cool it could be a pleasant walk and it isn't that far away. The museum itself is underground making it very cool. If you take the time to go through the museum you'll find heaps of information about the first strategic post, the walls around and how they were manned which is very interesting. As one reviewer pointed out yes there are some dinosaur bones that don't really fit the museum but the rest is very good (and all translated into English!) and if you walk through the museum to the viewing platform you'll see an excellent view. Strong footwear is advised as well as sunscreen because as you exit the museum the path takes you through the old walls down to some steps that you take you into a canyon where there are reconstructed buildings, archery, restaurants, another place to dress up, access for the whitewater rafting, sand sledging and a rope bridge that take you across the river to another small reconstructed settlement. There is also a zip wire activity too! As you'll find at many tourist attractions in Dunhuang, as well as the main attraction you'll find all sorts of sideline activities you could take part in too.
Written July 23, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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