After visiting and climbing the Great Wall many years ago as a single person with my journalist mates, I promised myself I shall bring my family of four her too.
I kept my promise and the second time around, I was with my loving family and it was a blast.
I booked a privately escorted tour for my family after our cruise on Diamond Princess which ended up in Tianjin port which is a bit far from Beijing so that we could have a reliable transfer and proper tour of the city.
Luckily, it was a great tour company I chose which sent us a very reliable tour guide. Climbing the wall this time was a bit hard, the weather was warmer, sun was stinking hot and there were more people than I expected and compared to my first, this trip was really a bit tiring but fun. Also, the one I climbed before was at the other less popular one and farther.
Climbing was lovelier the second time around!
So we still had a blast climbing the wall, without bumping into lots of people!
Shopping was also great here but you need to really haggle. Make sure you shop around before buying at the wall. It is usually cheaper at the city centre but if you have no time, it's fine, the prices are still good anyway. But if you are on a budget, do shop around, even souvenirs are sold at restaurants in Beijing and much cheaper we found! We had our main meals included in our tour including hotels ( two rooms for the four of us) at $1,000 US Dollars including the private van, driver, entrance fees to the tourist spots and lunch and dinners for 2 nights and three days.
Badaling Great Wall is the site of the most visited section of the Great Wall partly because it is close to Beijing city and connected with tgje urban area by expressway.
According to the Great Wall website for Badaling:
This section of the wall is the first section opened to tourists (in 1957) after reconstructed. Badaling Great Wall shows the Great Wall as it would have looked originally, and it does not look too new. That is another reason of why most travelers choose Badaling Great Wall.
There is a Great Wall Museum and Great Wall National Theater close to Badaling Great Wall. The theater offers you a chance to get a full view of the Great Wall of China.
I shall write another review for that part of our tour. But it is still as marvelous as before, the Great Wall is indeed a memorable place, I had more time examining the wall and the artefacts being displayed there compared to the first time I climbed it.
Indeed, it is lovelier the second time around! Especially as I had my lovely family with me!
We went to The Great Wall at Badaling with Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch. The trip was quite rushing, as we visited the Waxwork Palace as well. We arrived at the Great Wall around 2pm, we had only about three hours to walk around and enjoy the views. It was very crowded with tourists. We took the cable car cost Y60 return, not included in the tour package. The view was stunning. We started to walk around the wall. There were steep steps, not easy as we thought. It was a long wall surrounded by mountains.
Tour Package Cost: Y100 (including transportation, lunch, entrance fee to the Great Wall).
Government Run Tour Company:
Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch (北京旅游集散中心), these are their stations:
1) The southwest corner of the Tiananmen Square
2) The southeast corner of the Tiananmen Square
3) The northeast corner of Xuanwumen Crossroads
Great part of the Great Wall to visit. It's not in Beijing central so it will take an hour or more to get there by car. There are plenty of photo opportunities from high up. They have cable cars that take you to a higher altitude, but you can walk too. Great exercise and fresh air which is hard to come by in Beijing.
Most of the ten thousand kilometres of wall is ruined, and the visits are concentrated in only three easily accessed points. Badaling is the most visited (maybe for being so close to Beijing, maybe for being the most scenic of them).
With the thousands of people coming each day, soon they will have to open other segments to the public. But this small part of the whole is perfect to give us a correct idea of the complexity of the construction, and the hard job it was to spread it upon those mountains and valleys.
When visiting Beijing for me it was imperrative to visit the Great Wall (Changcheng) as it would be I'd imagine with everyone else that visits the city.This obviously is a mandatory thing to do as it is not often you get to visit and walk on a Wonder of the World. The day I chose to go to The Great wall the weather was a little on the cold side so myself and my Chinese friend made our way to the bus station and headed for Badaling .Today was my first journey on a public bus here in China and the volume of noisy chatter was a different experience and very enjoyable. I was ready for and accustomed to large crowds and expected plenty at Badaling..
This particular section of the wall is an extremely popular section I imagine because it is probably the closest to Beijing City to visit being just 70 kilometers north west of the City.. I found though as we walked along the wall the crowds seemed to diminish a lot and it wasn't that crowded at all...The photo opportunites are everywhere and talking to some workers that were doing repairs I was given a piece of an aged old floor stone that was being replaced and the old broken up and used as a filler..I was thrilled with the fact that I had this piece of ancient stone from such an amazing place.I couldn't help but wonder just how long it had been there in its place!!..I was assured by the workers, through my Chinese interpreter friend that is was ok to have..
I was surprised how steep some of the sections were as we walked quite a long distance along the wall...and then wile on our way back quite suddenly the temperature dropped noticeably and the wind started to blow very hard with snow ...as I was only dressed for a cool day I had to make a dash for it and caught the biconvex pulley that raced down the tracks to our bus..This was a shame as I wanted to spend a night on the wall..
A LOCAL BUS TICKET FROM THE BUS STATION .RETURN TO THE WALL IS VERY CHEAP AND IS AN ALLROUND BETTER EXPERIENCE THAN A HOTEL ORGANISED TOUR THAT CAN BE AN EXPENSIVE "RIP OFF"
I tryed to go to Badaling using a official bus, but I didn't get the information on time. Lonely Planet guide has the accurate information!
I went to Badaling on a day trip from Qianmen Square. I found a bus with a local guide for 50 CNY return ticket. I didn't like the trip because I was expecting to spend a day on the wall, and I arrived there at about 4:45 p.m. We had to return to Beijing at 06:00 p.m. During the trip, the bus stop in several places including Ming's Tombs...
Entrance to the Wall: 45 CNY
Fixed cable car to the Wall: 60 CNY [possibility in one entrance]
I suggest you to go to Simatai, located 110km north east of Beijing.
Badaling Section of the Great Wall is the most touristic section of the wall, but it deserves a visit in spite of the thousand tourist you'll find along.
It's just an hour ride from central Beijing. As you aproach to the site, you leave the even terrain of the city and begin the steep mountains. From that moment you star to feel the magnificent of the Great Wall, because the construction site is in middle of the mountains, in very rough landscape.
Certainly a marvel.
There are several sites around Beijing where you can experience the Great Wall: Badaling, Mutianyu, Simatai and Jinshanling. Badaling, 70 km northwest of Beijing, was the section first open to visitors in the 1950s - it remains the most convenient part to get to, but is also the most touristed. Make sure you wear sensible walking shoes and bring an umbrella. You can combine a day out to Badaling with a tour of the Ming Tombs if you hire your own car.
The Great Wall was once built to keep other people away, but these days you just can't stop them coming! From the main entrance, there is a cable car that takes you up to the Wall. Once up on the Wall, the views of the hills are really great and you can walk along a fair length of the Wall (along with masses of tourists), which provides a welcome break from the pollution of Beijing. There isn't much else to do though, and those who cannot walk much won't have much fun.
There are different sections of the Great Wall namely Badaling, Mutianyu (with cable car), Simatai (older section of the wall with bricks stamped with dates of when they were manufactured). I visited Badaling's West Wall. I learned castle terms like parapets, merlons (raised parts of the wall used as protection to hide from enemies; gave the wall a saw-tooth look) and crenels (gaps in between merlons). An intriguing custom that I saw was attaching padlocks to a chain in one section of the wall. The padlocks (with inscriptions of Chinese names) and tied with a red ribbon, symbolize everlasting love and are usually attached to one long chain by amorous couples.
Please bring wipes/tissues since most of the time you'd be holding on to the rusty handrail as you descend/ascend the Great Wall. Bring water and moisturizer as it gets too dry in that altitude
It has always been my dream to visit the Great Wall of China. The section of the wall that I was so fortunate to visit is known as Badaling. When embarking on your long walk upon the wall, proceed to the right side if you want to take the easier route. The left offers a more challenging hike up the wall. I did a little bit of both. Don't get to excited and go up to fast, or else, you could get winded quite easily, especially if you are not in shape. haha. Bring adequate shoes, your camera, and drinking water. Be careful when coming back down for it can be quite steep. In some areas, coming down is harder than going up. For the animal lovers, there is a horse and a camel located on the right side of wall (easy side). They are photogenic and would love to take a picture with you. By the way, I talked to people who did both sides, and they all told me that they didn't think the right side was easy...so, perhaps, depending on the individual person, both sides are hard. Perhaps my enthusiam didn't cause me to take notice. I didn't find either side to hard. For those people who are adventureous, perhaps they would like to venture on to the less known parts of the wall that remain unrestored and badly weathered...anyhow, no matter where you visit, you are guarenteed to have spectacular panoramic views.
Badaling Great Wall. Not so crowded during the winter but it sure is chilly and windy there. Be sure to bring in warm jackets and ear muffs and gloves during the winter. It still is a great experience though to climb the great wall.
We travelled to Badaling to the Great Wall with our tour guide. This was one of the high lights of our trip to Beijing.
It is interesting to see how the grade of the walk way becomes steeper and steeper until it reaches about 60 degrees.
We have always heard about the Great Wall and it was fantastic to be able to see it.
I visited the Great Wall at Badaling. It was a perfect day and a long walk, but worth all the work.
I was amazed to see some elderly Chinese still trekking up the wall. Yes, UP the wall, because it can get kinda steep in places.
Note: buy water beforehand (expensive at the top) and do your shopping outside the wall entrance for better deals (e.g. $1 Tshirts).
The view was beautiful, especially because everything was lightly snow-covered. We organized the tour through the business desk at our hotel, which is available at most hotels in Beijing. the price was great, and it included lunch, a trip to traditional doctors and the Ming Tombs. The people on the Wall itself were very pushy, trying to sell postcards and T-shirts, but they still were unable to take away from the feeling of being there. It's a must see, a tough climb, and cold in the winter, but much less tourists.
Took a return trip on the cable-car to the top of the Great Wall. Cost 300RMB for 2 adults and 3 kids. Admission to the Great Wall is charged separately - 40RMB for Adult and 22.5RMB for kid.
The section of the wall is crowded even in Winter and needs to venture into steeper section to get an un-interrupted picture.