Great Wall of it Great? Anyone been?

Travel Forums Asia Great Wall of it Great? Anyone been?

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1. Posted by dannyjp13 (Budding Member 25 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi all,

I'm going to Beijing early June and planning a day trip to the Great Wall of China.....

Has anyone been? which part of the wall did you visit? Any tips??


2. Posted by sooloo (Budding Member 8 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Badaling Great Wall is the site of the most visited section of the Great Wall of China, approximately 70 kilometers northwest of Beijing within the Beijing municipality.Badaling is the essence of the whole Ming Dynasty Great Wall.
Only one day in China?

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5. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 448 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

The great wall is huge.. even around Bejing you'll have an option of a number of different sections.. ranging for day trips. The Badaling section was too touristy and rather uninspiring to me since it had been rebuilt and refurbished. A great trip, but an active one is a section called the "secret" wall an unrestored section about 400 years old - which isn't well publicized. Very few people go.. on the day we went we didn't see another group anywhere - just about 12 of us. It's a full day of hiking, but you don't see many people at all and you get to see what the wall looked like before restoration and without vendors pestering you the whole way.

How can you book it? Not really sure.. I believe we booked it through the Leo Hostel.

It was a great day in my opinion.

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Mar-2011, at 22:53 by DocNY ]

6. Posted by kichikacha (Respected Member 328 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi Dan,

recommend reading this fairly good article for start:

a) i would not recommend taking a day trip to the most advertised/popular sections.
it will cost you app 300-400 yuan.

b) i would try the restored but less visited ones, they will still require a lot of effort to climb them.
mutianyu is a great place and can be done without a guide too:
i spent 15yuan on this trip.

c) should you want greater adventure, you can also go to an unrestored part, but one should not underestimate the challenges, as certain parts can indeed be scary and dangerous.
a "popular route" (i.e. foreigner is seldom seen here) amongst really adventurous chinese is the simatai trek.
read more on:
or if you need more info, ask experts:
you can also sleep at a homestay in a nearby village.
i spent 200 yuan in three days, including lodging, food, drinks and transport. but it was very difficult to get there and trekked around the check point where they collect the tickets for a section that is forbidden otherwise... :)

hope this helped!

7. Posted by dannyjp13 (Budding Member 25 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


Thank's for all the great info. I'm in Beijing for 3 days and definately looking for something less touristy. I did read the more touristy parts of the wall have recently been restored; I would prefer a bit of a hike to a more untouched area for sure.

Thanks for all your great links Kichikacha


8. Posted by kichikacha (Respected Member 328 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi Dan,

Sorry, I got the names totally wrong... (now, it's correct, promise...):
a) Unrestored part: Jiankou
b) Restored part: Jinshanling

a) It is possible but very difficult to get to the Jiankou on your own. Especially, when you get to Muyin town where you have to change bus. So, considering that you have limited period of time and don't speak chinese, better to arrange a taxi either from your hostel or when you get to this town (you will get better price here).

b) You can use public transport to Jinshanling. No need for taxi. Just follow:
You will be approached by a lot of taxi drivers in Muyin, but don't worry about them, just say no.

Note: if you use the top-up card for public transport in Beijing, this card will be valid all over in Beiing province and you can save a lot of money with that.

Don't underestimate the restored part, it still requires a lot of effort to climb.
Unrestored part can be quite risky and scary at certain parts. We did give up half way on Jiankou, it was just too dangerous (and we are not fainthearted...).

I used to live in beijing and these were my two favourite restaurants. If you enter them in google maps, it will give you the directions. This area is also my favourite of all hutongs and near the touristy ho hai (lake) and drum tower.

a) Second small restaurant coming from Andingmen Inner St in alley called "Fensiting Hutong, Beijing, China" - the place is called popozhi, try their kung pao zhi kai fen (kung pao chicken on rice, Y10)!

b) Small eatery with a grill outside. You can sit outside on the street or inside. Try chicken, mushroom, aubergine and octopus skewers! It is when you face drum tower turn right into alley "Caochang Hutong, Beijing, China" and walk app 50mts, it's on your right.

In any case this hutong area has many small eateries, some grilling skewers on the street. Also, nice to have a few beers (Y3-4) while chewing on the skewers. :)

9. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 415 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

The Great Wall is definitely worth it! But some sections are over-run with tourists and the vendors who flock to them.

I visited the Great Wall at Simitai, which is a much less touristy place. The wall there is less well-maintained than at Badaling or Mutainyu. You can't walk as far along it, but the view is spectacular, as you can see the wall in either direction for miles and miles, and there is a gorge right next to that section of wall. The wall is a bit steep, though- with no guardrails- so it's not for anyone afraid of heights.

10. Posted by dannyjp13 (Budding Member 25 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

thanks madpoet - I will be sure to research Simitai

how did you get to Simitai?...