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.
********NOTE: Heard from my friends in Beijing that the authorities have increased the entrance fees to all historical sites by double! Hence it may cost RMB 80 to enter the Great Wall from 1 Dec 2004. Hope to confirm this soon!***********
One of the most popular, and "easier" parts of the Great Wall is at Badaling. It took us around 50 mins to reach Badaling from central Beijing by taxi, but we left at 6.30am when traffic was stil very light.
You need to pay RMB40 entrance fee (USD 5) and the climb up the wall and back takes around 2 hours. There are souvenir shops and coffeehouses at the great wall entrance in Badaling, incl good toilet facilities.
Plenty of souvenir stalls, even on the wall itself. There are also photographers with camels and horses, and chinese costumes.
The area's very windy especially in winter so wrap up nice and warm (it's usually 5-7 deg cooler than the city). Army coats and russian style hats are available for rent at the souvenir stall
WOW. I mean, christ, you can't get any better than THE GREAT WALL. Anywhere.
Entry fee was 45 RMB / person. They give you this cool ticket with chinese stamps, etc. It's also a postcard (although who would wanna part with the ticket?!)
Easy to get there. All around Tianenmen Sq. buses leave to go to the wall. We took a bus (tour) that was all Chinese, but hey, it was cheap to get there (7 RMB each for the ticket). Howeverrrrr they first bring you to a section of the wall called Juyongguan. Entry there is 40 RMB / person. Climbing is very steep, so beware! Thennnn they bring you to Badaling, which is the real touristy-section of the great wall, and the best-kept section. Pictures galore. Great place. Remember, it's another 45 RMB to get in there. T-shirts are expensive, don't buy them there, wait 'till you walk back down the hill, hawkers will desperately sell them for 5RMB.
Anyway, really worth it and the best attraction in Beijing, by far.
P.S. If you MUST go by taxi, try to go for 300-400 roundtrip. Only pay HALF once you get there, so the guy will wait for you. Once you get back to beijing pay the other half. Don't do it any other way or you'll get screwed.
Climbing the Great Wall was really the highlight of our trip. What an incredible place!
Our tour guide provided us with a little history about how the Wall was made. The emporers of the period were so obsessed with building it that they pulled men away from all other areas of life to build it, including agriculture. The result was there was no food to feed the construction workers. Many died from starvation and exhaustion. Our guide claimed that the Wall is a testament to the Chinese spirit.
We visited the Wall at Badaling. The site is extremely well maintained: no garbage, no loose rocks, hand rails, etc. I realize that those last two are the result of alterations to the site, but I personally will take my safety over 100% historical authenticity!
The climb itself was much longer than I had imagined. I always thought that you climbed a flight of stairs and then you were at the top...! When I got there and looked up the hill, I just about fell over. Jesse and I made a pact to get to the top no matter how tired we got, and we did it!
For those of you coming to Beijing, put this at the top of your list. The climb itself is pretty satisfying. Add to that the view and the history, and you have an all around spectacular activity!
I can't imagine anyone visiting Beijing without seeing the Great Wall of China.
So anyway, I'll put my two cents worth in about my tour trip to the Wall. I knew ahead of time that the Badaling section was wicked commercialised, but I really didn't care.
In a tour, you'll most likely only get about an hour and a half to explore the wall, take some pictures and spend your money on cheesy tourist gifts that line most of the Badaling section of the wall.
The more difficult side is to the left and the easier side is to the right. I can tell you this much.....in a foreign country where their language and written characters seem so bizarre and hard to understand, there is one universal symbol....
Some of the stairs on the left side, take the word "steep" to a new level but you can only go just so far until you have to turn around, as there is a guard positioned at the end to keep people from traveling on beyond, where the more undeveloped section of the wall continues.
Although I just stuck to the short tour of Badaling, I was told it isn't too difficult to get a tour guide for the more difficult sections of the wall at Mutianyu or Simatai. Just ask your tour guide or the tour desk at your hotel.
Commune by the Great Wall is a private collection of contemporary architecture. it is a valley near Badaling section of the Great Wall in which contemporary Asian architects displey their work.
Visit of the Commune makes a nice one day trip out to the outskirts of Beijing. The entrance fee is 120 RMB (12 EUR) and includes private guided tour of the area, visit of 3 selected houses and visit of the Club House with coffe/tea for free...
It is also possible to hire a house there - the Commune is also a very posh hotel.
Place is open from 9 am to 6 pm.
Be sure to choose a suny day for a visit!
Oh, there are also beautiful views of the Great Wall from the valley and from some of the houses...
Firstly, I was told to get to Badaling using Bus #919 from Dashengmen. We have tried to ge there using Subway Line 2, alight at Jishuitan, and walk toward East to North of Dashengmen. When getting out of Jishuitan subway station I walk toward East and there is bus 919 near the station, this is not bus toward Badaling. We had to walk straight until the next traffic light turn left and find a bus station behind the coin museum, it turns out that bus to Badaling is from 6 - 12 only. We are told by bus driver in that bus stop that one way to Badaling using bus 919 is RMB 80 (!!, it is a scam offcourse), and another RMB 80 return, and he said to return the day after.
We didn't want to take the bus, since we know the rate is RMB12. We went back to the subway station (Jishuitan), and return to Xixhinmen Subway station. From the station we walk short distance to the next building that is Beijing North Railway Station. We were told by a nice-english speaking officer in that station to purchase train ticket to Badaling. So that's helpful, the train runs every morning Beijing - Badaling at 9:33 at RMB 14 (using train Y 567), and return back Badaling - Beijing at 15:22 same day at 15:22 at RMB 14 (using train Y 580). It was a very nice train. We suggest that you purchase ticket the day before for being safe getting the ticket, or the same day (we haven't tried purchasing ticket at the same day). I purchased round trip ticket. The ticket office is next to the entrance in the the from of Bejing North Station.
From Badaling station, it is only 15 minutes walk to the Badaling greatwall entrance. The ticket price to enter Greatwall is RMB 45. I think it is a economic way of travelling, rather than hiring car/driver that cost us over RMB 250 - 600 just to get to Badaling.
At Badaling the wall makes a full circle, perhaps a stratagem for trapping the enemy if they might breach the main gate. One may walk the full circle provided one has time. That's why we were glad we took the public bus. Some tourists we met turned back half way up the wall 'because we have to be back at the sightseeing bus in time'.
Even on this late November day it was quite busy on the wall. Fortunately the snow of three weeks earlier had all melted or cleared a way. We wonder what they do if the steps are slippery with fresh snow!
Walking the full circle takes at least 2 hours. The first stretch goes mainly up to the highest watch tower. From there it is several times steeply up and down to the exit. For those who find the going to strenuous, it is possible to take a shortcut getting off the wall half way up.
Some details in next tip, and more pics in travelogue The Great Wall at Badaling.
Directions: Bus 919 offers a frequent service to Badaling for RMB 12 one way. The buses leave from Deshengmen bus station which lies nort-north-west of the Forbidden City. To go to the bus station from Tiananmen square the receptionist advised us to take bus 5 (RMB1). Good advice, because the end of line 5 was just a few paces from where 919 left.
The buses 919 drop you of near Badaling ticket office and entrance; for the return journey they are waiting at a bus station downhill, so do not try to go back to the entrance.
The Beijing Olympics in 2008 have not been forgotten.
Whereas most information in English was quite good, one warning sign in 'Chinglish' at a particularly steep slope downwards had us puzzled!
The Badaling wall has been supplemented with attractions for a family outing: roller coaster track and bear pit. (Not mentioning the souvenir stalls you have to pass when leaving.)
By the time we came down to the exit the sun had gone, we were cold and hungry. Fortunately there was a restaurant at the downhill bus station with good hot bowls of noodles.
Visiting China? The Great Wall visit was on the top of my things to do list, just unbeleivable! We went early and glad we did, as the crowds were gathering on the descent...lucky! Do wear warm clothing as not only did it snow but the ice makes for a slippery walk....enjoy!!
One of the most visited Beijing tourist sites is the Great Wall. There are 4 places where one can visit the wall to, from Beijing: Badaling, Mutianyu, Simatai and Jinshanling, Badaling and Mutianyu being the most visited due to their proximity to the city. We chose Badaling, which is the closest one to Beijing and easily accessible by bus or train.
We decided to take the train there and arrived sometime after noon. There was pretty much no queue to buy the ticket (as of Oct 2009, 45 RMB). Once we got in, we decided to walk/climb counterclockwise to avoid some of the bus tours that were already there. The day we arrived the sky was clear (sort of), it was warm and we had great visibility and it made the climbing, even the steep parts, easier.
The Wall was built in sections along several provinces in China to protect the country from invaders. The whole structure was built during several Chinese dynasties, utilizing the mountains and the natural defenses, such as barriers and rivers. The Wall itself is about 8 km long.
One thing I noticed while climbing and catching my breath (and taking in the views) is that most bricks had inscriptions and dates (see picture #3) but I can't say if the inscriptions are names of important people in history or the kind of "(name) was here".
We went to Badaling Great Wall buying tickets entry fee RMB 40 and up with the Biconvex Pulley RMB 60 . " Is it save " I asked .. then the old man said " Of course " .. his answered gave a nice feeling to going up .
The Great Wall at Badaling is the most visited section of the Great Wall of China, approximately 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Beijing. It is the most well-preserved section of the Great Wall, built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). This section, with an average altitude of over 1,000 meters (3,282 feet), was the first section of the wall to open to tourists when it opened in 1957 and is now visited by millions annually. Because of this, the area has become a bit of a tourist trap with souvenir shops, hotels, restaurants, theme rides and a cable car. I actually thought they'd be a lot more commercialism here than there actually is but what is here is a bit too much - local bears in a bear pit being one example. I came here on a tour which also included the Ming Tomb at Changling for RMB130 that my hotel (a Home Inn - see my accommodation tips) had at their reception. This also included lunch, transport, a visit to a duck factory shop and a jade factory shop and a tour guide (although it was in Chinese with other Chinese tourists). The wall is a remarkable feat of engineering and a must-see-thing if you're in Beijing.
Open: 6.30am-7pm. Admission: RMB45.
The Great Wall is more than one hour drive outside Beijing, and the driving time depends on what part of the wall you want to visit. The sections of Badaling (see photos) is the closest and most crowded part. A cable car takes you up to the wall in Badaling. Other parts of the wall is better and less crowded. But you have to walk a longer distance, and there are no cable car. Many inhabitants in Beijing have never been to the wall. Wonder why...?
The Great Chinese Wall is a majestic sight, and it's great to have been there.
I was looking for a means of transport to the Great Wall, nothing more, nothing less. This place gives you a couple of options. However, you need to know about this:
œThis is not just transport and admissions to the Great Wall. You end up making a stop at a tacky wax museum of Ming dynasty dioramas. Not worth the RMB 40.
œIn addition, you also make a long (2+hrs) stop at a giant jade shop. They throw in a meal that the guide herself said was horrible. Boy, was she right.
œSo, how much time are you given at the Great Wall? 3 hours out of the 9-hour tour.
œOne more thing: the tours depart as they fill up. It pays to check every 15 minutes or so to see if Tour C (Great Wall and Ming Tomb) fills up first. Since Tour A also wastes a lot of time in stupid places anyway, just ask to be put on the tour that departs first.
HONESTLY, IF I HAD HAD MORE TIME I WOULD HAVE EXPLORED OTHER OPTIONS THAT WOULD GIVE ME MORE TIME AT BADALING.