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.
********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.
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