Great Wall, Beijing

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    by wilocrek
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  • xiquinho's Profile Photo

    The Great Wall

    by xiquinho Updated Apr 4, 2011

    The Great Wall Measuring 6000 km in length, it ranks among the greatest ancient projects in human history. The original wall was built in the Qin Dynasty, by China's first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang (221 - 206 B.C.). It was reinforced, reconstructed and extended over the centuries. The wall at Badaling, near Beijing, dates from the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), and is one of the best-preserved and most impressive sections of the Great Wall.

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    The Great Wall experience

    by K1W1 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Great Wall of China
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    Although not strictly in Beijing, most visitors will see the Wall via a tour from Beijing. Badaling, although I have not seen it personally is only a few years old as it has been vastly restored (including handrails !)and is full of tourists.
    I can highly recommend the Jinshanling to Simatai trip. It involves a 10km walk/trek over the wall, where there are very few tourists and the views are stunning. I would also recommend an overnight stay at the Youth Hostel in Simatai (100 Yuan for a double with A/C, T.V. and en suite bathroom). This enables you to take your time from Jinshanling and see the sunset on the wall before dropping off into Simatai for dinner and a good nights rest. In the early morning it is possible to get up for sunrise, and climb the opposite side of the wall to see where you walked the previous day. The colours and peacefulness of the wall in the late afternoon and early morning are spectacular.

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    take LOTS of water!!!

    by HyperMKIV Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    be prepared to walk and climb ALOT...it's a hike alright...but if you can't take the heat or the hike, you can take the easy way out and go for the cable car. i don't know how many places have this luxury but the place we went to had it.

    it was such an amazing site to see. the wall is spectacular. i guess seeing it in pictures is one thing, but when you're actually there and you think about the people that built it...it really is something to think about.

    anyway, enough talk...just go see it for yourself!!!

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    Bus Tour - Quite an Adventure

    by TravelFess Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The bus that takes you to the Great Wall, described in some travel books, is actually more of a tour. Unless you speak Mandarin, it will not do you a lot of good. The "tour" begins at the Great Wall and then takes you to a bunch of different manufacturing companies. There they take you on a tour and show you how they make thier merchandise ( jade jewelry, medicines, and food) and then try to sell you all of thier items at the end. You are provided a lunch, and do visit some tombs. My friends and I were stuck on this tour for about 8 hours, instead of the 4 we planned on. It ended up being a good story because we were meeting other non-chinese tourist that mistakenly thought it was just a normal bus route. None of us had a clue when where we were going next and when we would get back to Beijing. Unless you have plenty of time I would take a Taxi or rent a private car, especially if you're in a group.

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    Great Wall

    by magor65 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Great Wall at Badaling

    So much has been said and written about Great Wall, and one thing is certain: your visit to China would not be complete without seeing this symbol of China's isolation. Parts of it were built from 770 to 206 B.C. to defend the country from barbarians' invasion. 2000 years ago emperor Qin Shihuang known for his cruelty ordered to connect all the parts to make the whole. The legend goes that even the bodies of workers who died of exhaustion were used as the building material. Today most tourists come to see 'the stone dragon' at Badaling. It's true that the wall here is far from being authentic - it was reconstructed in the 1950's, but it still makes unforgettable impression. And looking at crowds of people of different colours and nationalities you can't stop thinking that no matter how high or long the walls are, on the long run they can't separate people.

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  • MISSQT's Profile Photo

    The Great Wall of China

    by MISSQT Updated Apr 4, 2011
    My snapshot!

    The Great Wall is truly amazing. It is much bigger than I had ever imagined. It snakes far into the distance and goes up and down mountains at an incredibly steep angle.

    Going up the stairs was hardworking. I was surprised that the path along the top of the wall is not a smooth surface and steps seem to have been made for giants.

    I managed to walk pass 3 sections and stopped to admire the view, and it is breathtaking.

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    The Best part of the Great Wall

    by charlesTea Written Jul 28, 2010

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    Jinshanling Sunset
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    One of my favorite parts of the wall is the Simatai to Jinshanling hike. On the si-ma-tai side they have a hostel that is inexpensive and provides everything one needs (lodging, food, advice, etc). If you start there then hike to the Jin-shan-ling side it should take about 4.5 hours. Take water if it's hot! Also, best to take lots of snacks because the hike can be challenging at times. I've included 4 links at the bottom: 1) a driver that speaks English to take you out to simatai then pick you up at Jinshanling and finally bring you back to the city 2) for the adventurous, a company that will take you up to the Great Wall in a sidecar 3) The Simatai hostel and 4) reviews written about other sections of the wall.

    1) Mr. Wang Ying (link: http://www.localnoodles.com/review/business_detail.aspx?businessid=24065)

    2) Beijing Sideways - sidecar to the Great Wall or anywhere else for that matter (link: http://www.localnoodles.com/review/business_detail.aspx?businessid=25046)

    3) Simatai Great Wall Youth Hostel (link: http://www.localnoodles.com/review/business_detail.aspx?businessid=23791)

    4) Reviews on other sections of the Great Wall (link: http://www.localnoodles.com/search/search_result.aspx?KeyWords=Great%20wall&orderby=Relevance)

    Good luck!

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  • sanluipal's Profile Photo

    The Great Wall

    by sanluipal Updated Jul 24, 2010

    Great Wall of China ... It seemed that I have already been here, so many images that we saw before. Some steps are huge, sometimes slopes are difficult to climb. Frankly, it was the first thing that made me feel really worth coming to Beijing ... It is is an incredible monument, imagine yourself in his time ... It has more than 6000 km of extension, and take years to completely precorrer ! I confess that some parts are heavy, physically ... and we only traveled a small part ... I recommend a visit!

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    Juongguan- Closer & less crowded than Badaling

    by ndkingdom Written Apr 10, 2010

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    Many websites say that Badaling is the closest section of the wall from Beijing. This is simply not true. We hired a driver to take us to Badaling, but he was sneaky and took us here instead because it was closer. We didn't realize that this wasn't Badaling until we bought our tickets which said: Juyongguan. After climbing, we could see Badaling off in the distance. We weren't disappointed however. This section was very scenic and had great views of the surrounding mountains. But the wall snaked up some very steep hills, so make sure you're ready for an exhaustive workout if you chose to visit Juyongguan. This section is much less crowded than Badaling, you won't find scores of tour buses here. And it's a little closer to Beijing, so I would definitely consider it a viable alternative when considering to visit Badaling.

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    The Great Wall at Jiankou

    by theo1006 Updated Jan 22, 2010

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    Great Wall at Jiankou in westerly direction
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    For the Great Wall at Jiankou you need to be physically fit. Like the wall at Huanghua the section at Jiankou is officially closed for visitors. And it takes at least an hour of tough climbing to even get to the wall. Theo got this far, but as Helen was waiting below, he had no time to explore the wal further. If you like trekking through the wilderness, make a daytrip of walking this part of the wall. This part of the wall has not been restored, towers and stairs are crumbling and most parapets have disappeared, so take care!

    Our taxi driver brought us to the start of the track in Jiankou village. No ticket sellers here. Theo was all alone climbing the steep and rocky path. From below the towers of the wall on the mountain ridge are fainlty visible. During the first part of the track they seem to come within reach tantalizingly slow, later they are hidden from sight until finally there is primitive wooden ladder for the last few meters.

    More pics: See Travelogue 'The Great Wall at Jiankou'.

    Directions:
    We took the fast bus 916 to Huairou leaving from Dongzhimen long-distance bus station (approx. one hour, RMB 11). The bus attendant guessed where we wanted to go and warned where we needed to get off. A number of taxis were waiting there and we made a deal with the only driver speaking English: mr Lei Hai Li. For a round trip to Huanghua and Mutianyu as well as Jiankou RMB 300. The time was rather too short for this trip, as mr Lei warned us! For trekking on the Jiankou wall only, you could agree on a time for him to pick you up.

    Mr Lei regularly brings visitors to six Great Wall sites: Mo ya shi ke, Jin shan ling, Sima tai, Huang hua cheng, Mutianyu, Jian kou. His phone number: 13 601 223 606.

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    The Great Wall at Huanghua

    by theo1006 Updated Jan 15, 2010

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    The Great Wall crosses a river at Huanghua
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    The Great Wall at Huanghua is easily accessible, yet it attracts far less visitors than the Badaling site. One reason is that this part of the wall is still undeveloped by the central government. The local community collects an entrance fee of only RMB 2. The villagers are eager to sell souvenirs, including fireworks which they want you to ignite for a safe journey.

    On a sunny first of December we had the wall practically for ourselves. We were alone climbing the wall east of the road, saw a couple of Chinese on the western part, and when we were leaving another foreigner arrived.

    The access point is where the wall crosses a river. That is to say the wall ends abruptly on both sides of the river. It is not possible to get on the wall immediately from the riverside. Whether on the west or the east bank of the river, one has to follow a path up to the first hilltop. The ticket-seller pointed out the way for us east over the dam, along a path north of the wall. Halfway the path lay a broken iron staircase, that once allowed to get on the wall at that point. At the second tower a precarious ladder enabled us to get into the tower and on the wall. Later we found that access is easier from the south side of the wall. A short distance downstream of the dam there is a foot-bridge from where a path leads uphill to an opening with stairs in the wall.

    More pics: See Travelogue 'The Great Wall at Huanghua'.

    Directions:
    We took the fast bus 916 to Huairou leaving from Dongzhimen long-distance bus station (approx. one hour, RMB 11). The bus attendant guessed where we wanted to go and warned where we needed to get off. A number of taxis were waiting there and we made a deal with the only driver speaking English: mr Lei Hai Li. For a round trip to Jiankou and Mutianyu as well as Huanghau RMB 300. The time was rather too short for this trip, as mr Lei warned us! For a really long walk on the Huanghua wall only, you could agree on a time for him to pick you up. There seems to be simple accommodation at Huanghua and we saw buses on the road passing by the wall, so it should be possible to stay over or take a bus for the back journey. We did not check this out though.

    Mr Lei regularly brings visitors to six Great Wall sites: Mo ya shi ke, Jin shan ling, Sima tai, Huang hua cheng, Mutianyu, Jian kou. His phone number: 13 601 223 606.

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  • jgacis's Profile Photo

    Walk the Great Wall

    by jgacis Updated Dec 27, 2009

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    The Great Wall can be physically demanding, but knowing a few things can help....

    1. The stairs can sometimes be steep, more than a 45 degree incline. Good walking/hiking shoes can help you on the stone steps.

    2. If you get tired midway up the steps, stop and rest!!! Many visitors can get a good view while resting near the siderails. When you catch your breath again, continue on up.

    3. Water/snack vendors are dispersed throughout the walkways. Hydrate/eat if you have to, just make sure to clean-up while helping the locals with their businesses.

    4. During the winter months, the wind chill factor can bring the temperatures below freezing. Wear extra clothing. Don't forget to bring gloves, scarfs, and caps - you'll regret it once the wind starts blowing. Be careful of ice/frozen water on the steps.

    5. Bring a secured bag/backpack. Items such as cameras can easily slip from your possession while traversing the steps.

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    views around the Juyongguan Great Wall

    by machomikemd Updated Dec 26, 2009

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    the view
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    located along the Juyong Pass, one of the 3 passes in the Beijing section of the Great Wall. As early as the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234), it was famous for the continuous mountains, verdant trees and blossoming flowers around. In the middle of Juyongguan, there is a "Cloud Platform" with another name of "Crossing Street Tower". It was made of white marble in the Yuan Dynasty with a height of 9.5 meters. Around the top of the platform there are many structures such as stone railings and a watching post. They are still kept in the style of the Yuan Dynasty. In the middle of the base of the platform there is an arched door where men, horses and carriages could pass through. Many animal images were carved in the arched hole and the arched door.

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    A Great Wall Battlement and Tower

    by machomikemd Updated Dec 26, 2009

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    one of the towers
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    inside a tower of the great wall. In the battlements, there are square holes, from which soldiers had an outlook and shot at the enemy. Two-storey castles or watch towers lie approximately every 400 meters (about 1,312 feet) on the wall. The castle's second floor gave soldiers an additional advantage over attackers; the arched cavity below was used to store artillery and also doubled as a simple dormitory for the watchmen. A number of high beacon towers were built so that when the enemies invaded, signals could be sent out to call for reinforcement.

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Views of the Juyongguan Great Wall

    by machomikemd Updated Dec 26, 2009
    nice
    4 more images

    assorted views around the Juyongguan section of the Great wall. Again the Juyonguan Great Wall has less tourists and more legrom to explore. Connected with the Badaling Great Wall in the north, this section of the Great Wall is featured by the grand Juyongguan Pass. The Juyongguan Pass is situated in the middle of a long valley and has a girth of over 4,000 meters (4,374.4 yards). With mountains as its east and west walls, this pass had played a strategic defense role in ancient times. As early as the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234), it was famous for the continuous mountains, verdant trees and blossoming flowers around. The Juyongguan pass has two gates: one in the south face while another is in the north face. To defend it, a round courtyard was built outside the south gate. An ancient-style street inside the pass makes visitors believe that they are back in ancient China.

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