Walk around Shanhaiguan’s old town, and you’ll be pestered continuously for rides to a series of nearby sights. It’s well worth heading to a couple, especially the (reconstructed) sections of Great Wall to the north and south – the latter is where the wall finally runs into the sea, while the former marks its first steep rise into the mountains. Intrepid hikers could try and make it to Yansai Lake (燕塞湖, yànsài hú), up in the mountains directly north of Shanhaiguan, or to Longevity Mountain (长寿山, chángshòu shān), a hill of rugged stones east of the lake, where many of the rocks have been carved with the character shou (longevity). There’s also a mountain pool here, a good place for a quiet swim.

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