Trekking Guide for the Great Wall in China
By José Ramírez |
Discover the Great Wall in China by visiting 3 of its most attractive and surprising sections.
THE BEST SECTIONS OF THE GREAT WALL
The Great Wall is one of travelers’ favorite icons when they visit China, and it’s no wonder. This lengthy structure that resembles a snake gliding on the valleys and mountains in Asia was declared World Heritage by UNESCO, and in 2007 it was chosen as one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World.
The Great Wall runs from the border with Korea to the Gobi Desert. It’s not easy to define its exact length because it’s not a linear structure. Besides, not all of it still exists. However, considering all its branches, it has an approximate length of 21,196 km.
The construction of the Great Wall used to run across several provinces such as Gansu, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Henan, Shandong, Qinghai and Inner Mongolia, among others. However, it’s estimated that nowadays only 30% of the original fortification still stands. Even so, it’s huge, soDINKtravelers suggests visiting these 3 sections where you’ll get the chance to appreciate its 7 meter-tall walls and its towers.
BADALING – THE FAMOUS SECTION
The Badaling section is one of the most popular sections in the wall and they say that many famous people have visited it, including singers, actors and chiefs of state. It’s famous basically because it’s close to the city of Beijing.
What’s good: It offers unique touristic services including a curved screen movie theater, helicopter rides, a museum and even a mall.
What’s bad: Because it is the most visited section, you’ll find lots of people, so it might be difficult to find a good spot to stand to make photography. Also, because it is so crowded, you might not get the chance to really take in the grandness of your surroundings.
What’s ugly: If you go on a tour, make sure it’s not a short one because in that case you’ll only have two hours to visit the whole place.
MUTIANYU – THE FUN SECTION
Mutianyu section is located approximately an hour and a half away from Beijing, so it’s less crowded and it offers a spectacular landscape.
What’s good: It offers two special attractions: on the way up, take the cable car, and on the way down, we recommend the slide. It’s quite original and fun.
What’s bad: The weather is not kind at this section. Winds blow at high speeds and low temperatures, and in winter the area reaches minus zero degrees.
What’s ugly: If you decide to walk this section, getting to the top won’t be easy because it’s quite steep and it has over 2,000 steps. But trust us, reaching the top is utterly gratifying and exceptionally fascinating.
GUBEIKOU – THE AUTHENTIC SECTION
Gubeikou section is very interesting because it hasn’t suffered any changes or restorations through time. That’s why it will give you the chance to see the original structure of the Great Wall in China.
What’s good: Not far from this section you’ll be able to broaden your cultural experience by spending the night at local hotels and trying traditional food from nearby towns like Hexi Village and Town Folk Village.
What’s bad: Not many tours include this visit, so it’s probable that you’ll have to plan it on your own.
What’s ugly: Given its location, it doesn’t have an easy access, so pack comfortable shoes and take a bottle of water and some snacks for your visit and you’ll be fine.
These are some of the recommendations DINKtravelers has for you, but remember that you can also visit the Great Wall in China along the more than 20 sections that are open to the public.