Introducing The First Strategic Post
The First Strategic Post, also known as Taolai River Becaon Tower, dates to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and was constructed in 1539. It is located in Jiayuguan at the west part of Hexi Corridor of Gansu Province, about 7.5 km west from Jiayuguan City and 8 km south of the Jiayuguan Pass. Atop a 56m-high cliff overlooking the Taolai River, the beacon tower is considered to be the first and most vital signaling tower along the western front of the Great Wall. It was also regarded as the most dangerous beacon tower in the world. After hundreds of year, this beacon tower only remains with a large and wind-eroded chunk of packed earth.
The First Strategic Post Fast Facts
• Chinese Name: Chang Cheng Di Yi Dun 长城第一墩
• Best Time to Visit: May to October
• Recommended Visiting Hours: 1-2 hours
• Things to Do: Photography, Hiking, Nature
• Opening Hours: 08:30-20:00 from May to Oct; 08:30-18:00 from Nov to Apr
• Entrance Fee: CNY 22 from May to Oct; CNY 11 from Nov to Apr. The ticket is included in through ticket to Jiayuguan Fortress
• Address: 6km Southwest of the Jiayuguan City, Gansu Province
What to expect at The First Strategic Post
Museum of the First Strategic Post
The museum offers an exhaustive look at the Great Wall and its history. Inside, a very informative exhibition on the beacon tower, the fort and the history of the Wall in this area provides context, while a large diorama adds further dimension. Other sections of the exhibition also cover the rest of the Great Wall across other parts of China, including Beijing. Views over the Taolai River and bare gorge below are impressive which can be had from a see-through cantilever bridge here.
The Replications of camps and training facilities of the frontier troops of the Ming Dynasty are displayed here. Visitors can also get a closer look at the Taolai River by walking through the cantilever bridge, and also walk alongside lengthy attached vestiges of adobe Ming-era Great Wall.
How to get to The First Strategic Post
• The First Strategic Post is approximately 7 km away from Jiayuguan City.
• There is no direct public transportation from Jiayuguan City to the First Strategic Post.
• Rent a car/bus from GGC to enjoy a hassle free private transfer from hotels in Jiayuguan to the First Strategic Post.
Additional travel advice on The First Strategic Post
• Please wear sunscreen, hat and sunglasses to prevent strong sunlight.
• Please wear body lotion, lip balm and hand cream as it is always dry in Jiayuguan.
• Please prepare a scarf to cover your face in case there are sandstorms. It is better to check the weather forecast in advance when taking outdoor activities.