Chinese: 平型关
Pinyin: Píng xíng guān
English: Flat shape pass
Coordinates: 39°19'0"N 113°54'0"E

Located at Pingxing Mountain in Shanxi Province, about 44 kilometers (27 miles) west of the Hebei-Shanxi border, Pingxingguan Pass occupies a strategically important position with Hengshan Mountain to the north and Wutai Mountain to the south. The pass is nearly one kilometer wide. The entrance gate is a little over thirteen feet high and about nine feet wide. Sadly, the gate tower is mostly in ruins and the entire pass has suffered severe erosion over the years.

The road leading to the pass is perfectly configured for ambush, having high cliffs on both sides for a long distance with no escape routes.

From the pass, the Great Wall extends in a mostly continuous span to the northwest, towards Xihekou, and to the southeast for a total of about 23 kilometers (14 miles). There are many towers along this wall towards the northwest.

The walled city of Pingxingguancun is about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) south of the pass along the road.

Northwest of Pingxingguan, about half way to Datong, is the famous hanging monastery near Hunyuan.

A 6.2 kilometer (3.5 mile) long railway tunnel was opened through the pass in 1971.

The Battle of Pingxingguan, also commonly called the Great Victory of Pingxingguan, was an engagement fought between the 8th Route Army of the Communist Party of China and the Imperial Japanese Army on September 25, 1937. It resulted in a morale-boosting victory and is regarded as one of the key battles of the Sino-Japanese war. The battle took place near Guangoucun about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) northeast of Pingxingguan.

Location summary: Pingxingguan is about 223 kilometers (139 miles) west of downtown Beijing. It is about 12.8 kilometers (7.9 miles) southeast of Xihekou and about 101 kilometers (63 miles) south of Datong.

Driving directions: From Datong, take 203 southeast for 99 kilometers (61.5 miles) to Caijiayucun. Turn right and drive about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) to Pingxingguan.