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Sanguankou Pass Great Wall

  Sanguankou Pass is located 40 km. southwest of  Yinchuan city, the provincial capital city of   Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. This pass is at the south end of  Helan Shan, the mountain range that separates northwest Ningxia and Neimenggu (Inner Mongolia). Historically, Mongolian horsemen crossed this openning on their way south to attack the Central Plains; so the pass has been of great military importance. A quick glance at the map will tell why Sanguankou is strategic: to the west of the pass is the great expanse of the   Tenggeli (Tengger) Desert where nothing can stay alive in its midst; so only along the western foot of Helan mountains were towns setup. And along this north and south span of Helan Shan, the Mongolian horsemen came rushing down every hungry winter. Ghengis Klan himself led his cavaliers through Sanguankou, then known as   Chimukou, to attack the  Western Xia kingdom, whose citizens were so adamant that it took the life of Ghengis to wipe out its last child and flatten its every living space. Today, the only solid proof of this mysterious kingdom's existence is the remains of its royal tombs. These unique cone-shaped tombs dotted the area north of the pass, on the east foot of Helan Shan.

The Great Wall at Sanguankou was constructed during the  Ming dynasty (1368-1644), in the tenth year of  Jiajing (1531). Nine years later, the Wall was rebuilt again because the earlier Wall was levelled by sandstorms. The new Wall was a composite of local gravels, and imported soil and water. It runs about 80 km. south, across level plains in an almost straight arrow, til it ends not far from the right angle bend of  Huang He (Yellow River). Today, a major highway runs through it at the pass, connecting Yinchuan city and  Alashanzuoqi in Inner Mongolia.

Getting There:
From  Yinchuan city's  Nanmen (South Gate) Bus Station, take the bus(Y10) to   Bayan (on the bus, it was written  Bayin, but I could not find this location on my map. Either I wrote it incorrectingly or the sign was written incorrectly.) and ask the driver to drop you off somewhere at the Sanguankou Wall. Have your eyes on the lookout for the Wall and get off where you see fit. My first bus driver forgot to drop me off and I did not notice the wall; so for 1.5 hours I was whistling along barren red-brown hills that lined both sides of the road. I got off and waited on the lone road with the wind smacking me for being unattentive. On the bus back, my head was glued to the window. So be aware: the Wall is easily hidden by the hills beside the road.

Entrance Ticket:
None that I know of.

  • The Northwestern Section of the Wall
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