Chinese: 三道关
Pinyin: Sān dào guān
English: Three section pass
Coordinates: 40°3'41"N 119°45'12"E

Sandaoguan, located about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from Shanhaiguan and about 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) from the summit of Jiaoshan, is a strikingly beautiful area to visit. There is a Chinese saying, “The most beautiful places are also the most dangerous”, and Sandaoguan validates this saying. The Great Wall climbing the precipitous mountains here is a sight to behold. The wall here is made of stone. The Great Wall at Sandaoguan crosses a valley here, and three barriers were constructed to fortify this valley. One of these barriers is the Great Wall itself, and there is an additional barrier on each side, at each end of the narrow part of the valley. These three barriers give Sandaoguan its name which can be translated as “three section pass” or “three barrier pass”.

Sandaoguan viewed from the south
Photo by Kim Siefert

Sandaoguan is located in the Mount Changshou Scenic Area, an excellent place for photographers interested in unusual rock formations. Also interesting is the Xuanyong Cave in this area. Ming Dynasty carvings can be found both in the cave and in the nearby cliffs.

While it's possible to walk along the Wall from Shanhaiguan to Sandaoguan, this route becomes quite dangerous beyond the summit of Jiaoshan. It's probably a better idea to take a taxi from Shanhaiguan to Sandaoguan.

Continuing along the wall from Sandaoguan, the next two locations, Jiumenkou and Zhuizishan, were covered in the preceding section on Liaoning province.

Northern wall at Sandaoguan
Photo by Kim Siefert

Location summary: Sandaoguan is about 287 kilometers (179 miles) east of downtown Beijing. The path of the Great Wall from Sandaoguan to Lanshuiguan is about 0.85 kilometers (0.53 miles). The path of the Great Wall from Sandaoguan to Sieryuguan is about 4.9 kilometers (3 miles). The path of the Great Wall from Sandaoguan to Jiumenkou is about 10.6 kilometers (6.6 miles). The path of the Great Wall from Sandaoguan to Zhuizishan is about 23.1 kilometers (14.4 miles).

Driving directions: From Shanhaiguan, drive northeast on the G102 National Road for 5.3 kilometers (3.3 miles). Turn left onto Guancheng East Road and drive for 5.2 kilometers (3.2 miles). Continue straight to Changshou Shanlu. Drive 2.2 kilometers (1.4 miles) to Sandaoguan.