So apparently, even Qingdao? and Shanxi province has parts of the Great Wall.
Banduling(?) is that the less touristic site... (Beijing).
I heard the one in Shanxi (Xi'an, the capital city) is the best, because it is more ancient.
Has anyone been to the Great Wall in Shanxi? I know someone who went there today. I just want to know if that area is popular and not as unknown as I think it is. It is in the north of Shanxi. Would you climb the great wall in winter?
I only went to Badaling and it's very touristy. But as many have limited time there, go a little way and you get away from many of them.
Great market by the wall with some real cheap prices.
December was very cold with a biting wind but OK. However some parts are very steep and I would not like to try them if there is ice on the wall.
I don't remember, which section I went to, years ago... But the name Bandaling comes to mind, so that must be it. But back then they said it was the less touristic site, it's the tour that does not include a stop at some ancient tomb, is that Bandaling? The part of which was obviously restored and you get to see a dam.
Anyway, I meant, Shaanxi and not Shanxi. I just saw the great wall today in the news, and it is definitely the worst time to climb it. The sight of the crowd flowing like water on the Great Wall is just hideous. I just might try it with the snow this January.
I used to live in Beijing in the 90's and Simatai was the best part of the Great Wall to visit. It was not touristy and actually had not been re-constructed - so you were actually climbing the crumbling wall AMAZING!
I'm not sure if it has been commercialized, but check it out!
Yes, Simatai is really great. Very authentic, with few souvenir-pushers. A little dangerous, though, in some parts... I went in January, and it was snowy and slippery. But amazing views, with no crowds.
I probably did Simatai as well, in 2008. Anyway, I just climb a hill during the double nine festival.
I got to see an ancient wall made of earth, it's not as epic as the great wall, but it is one ultimate off the beaten track eye candy.
There is a forum that is designated only to the Great Wall. I remember I would get a lot of useful info that was difficult to get elsewhere, especially when I was going to lesser known parts.
The website is: http://www.greatwallforum.com/forum/
Also an excellent website, with loads of practical info: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/china_great_wall/
I usually recommend Huanghuacheng section to people, as it is near Beijing, possible to get there and back by public transport, renovated so it is not dangerous but still adventurous, and surprisingly with only very few tourists.
Don't go to the Badaling section, it is basically a new wall with Chinese tourists all over it! We went on a trip to the Mutianyu section (which is probably a happy medium with good views). There are some really old and decrepit parts around the Jinshanling and Simatai sections, but are not as readily accessible form Beijing.
Incidentally, we met several people who took public transport to the wall, saved a bit of money but found it a real bind. The trips seem not to be too poor value and are easily arranged via hostels and hotels (the former tend to be cheaper).
I was thinking about the wall in Shaanxi, in a county near Yulin city... I just read online, that 30-40 meters or km was destroyed for a HIGH WAY project, and the construction companies were fine a total of 1.5 million RMB and the money will be used for the restoration and preservation of the wall. The incident happened, apparently in 2003.
The sight I visited has a restaurant like a cafeteria at the end of the walk and you see a DAM, so which part would that be. I just know the other travelers said it was the least touristic. The other option was the one with the mauseleum. I don't remember how much I paid, but I think it was 100-120 rmb for the bus ride and the ticket???? Is that possible. Because it's too cheap. That was 2008.... How much is the package now?
[ Edit: Edited on 11-Oct-2011, at 03:34 by Swept Away ]