One way to leave behind the crowds at the First Gate Under Heaven is to scale the wall as it climbs Jiao Mountain, about 3 km (2 miles) from the city. The first section has been restored and fitted with handrails and ladders up the sides of the watchtowers, but you can keep climbing until you reach a more wild, authentic stretch. After that you can take a path through trees that leads to the Qixian Monastery, or continue to the top for stunning if precarious views of the mountains and lakes beyond. A chairlift operates in high season. Jiaoshan is a 10-minute taxi ride from Shanhaiguan.
Jiaoshan Lu, Shanhaiguan, 066200, China