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Travel Tips on Badaling Great Wall

However wonderful you expect the Great Wall of China to be, nothing prepares you for its majesty and the stunning scenery when you first step foot on this Wonder of the World. There is no visiting Beijing without seeing the Great Wall of China. Woke up early in the morning, after an hour driving, we got to our first destination of Beijing tour – Badaling Great Wall. Very exciting! For a distant view, it looks like a dragon snakes along the hills, so magnificent! 

Badaling Great Wall

At 10:30, we formally started our trip on Badaling Great Wall. It was bright sunny day but breath-taking hot. 30 degree is too high for climbing the great wall. How I wish the weather could be full of clouds. The majority of the tourists here are Chinese. I couldn't imagine how crowed here will be on weekends. Not all the paths to the watchtowers are steps, some took a 75-degree climb that I had to crawl, tightly grasp the baluster by the side of the wall. The worst part was that these climbs weren't short or few. Go ups and downs, my legs feel very tired, they started trembling without control. Just one hour hiking, I had to have a rest on the stairs with deep breathing.

Great Wall Carved with Names

The Great Wall is well protected however a fly in the ointment is that on the bricks there are fully carved with names by the tourists! A bit touristy attraction but we enjoyed our adventure through by without any disturbance. Also we took a lot of pictures to record our great trip and feelings on the Great Wall (the background of close shot is unique – full of people). One amazing thing is that for Chinese tourists, wherever full of people, they went there to take photos. Even more than 30 people line up for taking pictures at "Brave Man Stone". Trek for hours, standing on the top of the watchtowers and looking around, you will feel very proud, amazing at the magnificent scenery. This is truly one of man's greatest engineering feats when you consider the equipments they would have had to use. Great Experience!

Travel tips: Despite being high up on the top of a mountain ridge, the air is thinner and the sun strong and you will benefit by taking a hat and sunscreen. Comfortable shoes or trainers will be necessary. Take plenty of water with you. Bottles which will cost you 2 to 3RMB in Beijing are sold triple prices on the wall! And the most important one is that on rainy days, never been to the Great Wall, more dangerous.

Let's Enjoy the Beautiful Scenery of Badaling Great Wall

A highlight of our trip was visiting the Great Wall in Beijing - a section called Badaling. It is not far from Beijing downtown and only 1 hour driving. It is truly a major landmark of China. On the bus for afar view, it gives us some great views of the wall as it snakes its way through the hills - majesty and stunning.

Grand View of Badaling Great Wall

For the Great Wall tour, you have three ways to go up: first, use the cable car (round trip or one way) to get to the north 7 towers and then climbing; second, take the sliding car (round trip or one way) to get to the 4th tower and then hiking; third, just hiking from the 1st watchtower and then came back in the same way! We choose the last way – just climbing! Once on the great wall, there are two directions for tourists to choose. One part (the north part) is flatter and is more open to hike but is packed with tourists. The other part (the south part) is steeper, but with a fraction of the tourists, and from the high point, you can see the wall stretching for miles and miles!

We chose the north part with more watchtowers and tourists. Not all the roads lead to watchtowers are steps. Some parts were so steep you had to leak forward to keep from falling down the incline (much more difficult for climbing down). There is no "easy" portion of the wall.  It is either going up or going down. The view makes up for it.

About 2 hours hiking, we finally reached the top - 12 towers, however full of tourists that we could only take photos with people as the background. Went downstairs, I found it much harder than climbing up. My little legs are trembling out of control! Oh no, just stop for a short rest, my legs went on strike. Standing by the wall, deep breath the cool and fresh air, afar view of the green mountains and sinuous great wall, perfect feeling!

What an amazing feat it was for this wall to be built. I really enjoyed the experience and would do it again in a heartbeat. Despite the increased amount of tourists especially tour groups, it was still beautiful. You may see it in the history books or in documentaries many times, but the sheer size is awe inspiring up close and personal. It is a must see place in Beijing, China!

Badaling Great Wall Tour - So Crowded

I know Beijing is the capital city of China and enjoys very rich tourism resources. This time my wife and I could spend our holiday in Beijing and we both very excited about that. The advanced facilities in Beijing International Airport left us a good impression of the city.

Overlooking of Badaling Great Wall

We join the 2 day coach tour of Beijing. Our tour guide, Bruce, was very knowledgeable and spoke English well. We did not have much time in Beijing, so this tour package was great for us. The only thing we wish we could have done was to climb up and walk down from the Great Wall. In the description, it lists the cable car as an option, but our guide told us we did not have enough time to walk up and back down the Great Wall. So everyone in the tour had to fork out an additional 80 RMB for a round trip cable car ticket. We were not expecting that. I understand that there are time constraints on the tours, but we had plenty of time to at least be given the option to take the cable car up and walk back down. Fortunately by the cable car to the top, we had a whole view of the Great Wall which was so magnificent. It looks just like the dragon stretch the mountains.

After the Great Wall we went to the Ming Tomb – the largest clusters of imperial cemeteries in China. On the way back to our hotel, we had an outside look at the Bird Nest and Water Cube. I really like there and took a lot of photos. And then returned and finished dropping off everyone at the hotels at 6:00 pm.

Truly speaking, the tour is very good. However do not have enough time to climb the Great Wall is a pity. The tour started at 8:00 am. I suggested that whether it could started earlier so that we would got enough time to climb up and down the Great Wall.

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