This place is a prison disguised as a pretty water town with access to The Great Wall - tourist trap!
We knew this place was a newly built town all Disneyfied up but we thought it would give us easy access to a stunning area of the wall - we were wrong. The Chinese have blocked access from Simatai to Simatai West, stopping you from crossing the bridge and continuing toward Jinshanling. While we were there, (July 2018) they had also blocked access after tower 8, again preventing you from continuing towards Simatai's tower 9, 10 etc and also tower 15 (the fairy tower),which is the highest point of this area and supposedly giving amazing views - we wouldn't know, as this resort kept us trapped inside the area they wanted us to remain within.
To add insult to injury, there is also a lot of reconstruction of the wall starting in this area and we could see a huge resort being built not far from Water Town (no doubt to give easy access for Chinese with cable cars and bus routes etc up to Simatai West).
So disappointed with my Great Wall experience based in this town. In hindsight I would advise to base yourself in Jinshanling and walk towards Simatai West, or go with a group tour and camp on the wall overnight.
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