Wǎnpíng Old Town

Walls in Wanping Town

An astonishing sight, given that you are still within the confines of Běijīng’s 5th Ring Rd, this double-gated, Ming dynasty walled town is still lived in today. Although few of its original buildings still stand (residents live in newish brick bungalows these days), its 2km-long, 6m-high, battle-scarred town walls date from 1640.

You can’t walk on the walls, but you can walk around them or inside; enter via the West Gate, which is beside Marco Polo Bridge, or the East Gate, at the other end of the town’s only proper road. On the outside of the southern wall, you can see scars from the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in the form of huge bullet holes.