Badaling Great Wall, Beijing
Again this will be a tourist trap if you don't know how to haggle ok! you can haggle great wall key chains at 8 RMB aeach, ceramic refrigerator magnets at 8 RMb, Great Wall T-Shirts at 35-40 RMB, pewter great wall displays at 50 RMB and other stuffs. Again this will be a tourist trap if you don't HAGGLE! remember to feign nonchalance and act as leaving to be able to get them lower to the price you want ok!
bottled water drinks are 5 RMb, Bottle Juice is 6 RMB, Chinese Sausages at 4 RMB here.
Unique Suggestions: don't buy anything if you don't want!
Fun Alternatives: none
We made this tour to the Great Wall and due to lack of time we had to take this sleigh instead of walking. Man... we are not children anymore! I felt so stupid sitting in this small sleigh...
Unique Suggestions: Insist in walking up the Great Wall. It might take a while, but you see much more and you don't have to feel stupid....
expensive, you must haggle!
one of the more popular souvenir items at the various Great Wall Locations of Badaling, Juyongguan, Mutianyu, etc is the Great Wall Coffee Table Books being peddled by the souvenir shops and hawkers. they are glossy and with great pictures and is nicely done but are really expensive, so if you really want to buy one as a souvenir, then you must try to haggle a lot to knowk down the price as they can go up to 200 RMB iuf you don't haggle
Unique Suggestions: don't buy as you have your own camera to take free pictures of the great wall and you can frame them at your friendly photo store in your country for a far less price
Fun Alternatives: don't buy
Due to the distance between Beijing and the Great Wall we opted for a scheduled visit. The hotel has several chances to tour and this is one of the possible. It is economic, because a small bus picks up people in different hotels, the lunch is included and we have not to worry anymore. However, only arrives at the desired location after lunch.
After spending the morning traffic of Beijing, we had the first stop, objects of jade factory... Of course that was not part of the route, but here Jade is very sold, and seems to be a good policy, buses stop there. Nobody bought anything! Later before lunch we had to stop another surprise: a traditional Chinese medicine clinic. The idea was that someone would do treatments after an assessment very quickly. Again no one was interested. I do not know whether this form of marketing will be effective! ~~
Next stop, the Ming tombs. There followed a lunch served in a room in the same jade factory, where we sat at round tables in groups. Several dishes and tea were placed on the center of the table. It was not bad, but the underlying idea was that once again we buy anything at the end.
Finally in the afternoon we arrived at the beautiful wall and we had a few hours to spend there before returning to a complicated traffic of Beijing. Again I loved the wall, but the next time I would consider otherwise of visiting.
About Great Wall Tour Packages : Long Di Superior Jade Factory
A Virtual tourist contributor ,Confucius,reviewed a typical organised tour of the "Great Wall" .The reviewer writes a most entertaining but unfortunately rather accurate account of the seemingly compulsory stop-off at the Long Di Jade Factory.Confucius compares the visit to being held "captive inside a sales exhibition warehouse "!I found the information the guide had to impart rather interesting and listened attentively.Big Mistake!No sooner had the presentation ended when the guide transformed into a high- pressure salesman from hell.While he relentlessly pressured me to try umpteen teeny Jade bangles that would not go over my hand,potential customers with actual money gratefully slunk away.I finally extricated myself from him by grabbing my sister-in-laws arm and making a dash for it.Good ole Confucius was kind enough to refrain from describing the set meal.All I can say is :"Buyers Remorse"'. We spent quite some time regretting our greedy ways.The apparently mute , grim-faced waitress slapping down the serving plates must have insider knowledge of the kitchen. After that meal we too were mute and grim-faced. The jade on display is exquisite though and seeing the artists at work in the glass-walled workshop is enjoyable.Unless you arrange your own trip it seems that you are bound to end up here. This is a tourist trap plain and simple. A guide /sales-shark will circle you relentlessly trying to part you from your hard-earned cash.No genuine dealer with the best interests of the customer in mind will be so pushy when it comes to buying such an expensive piece.
Unique Suggestions: Do try to arrange your own driver and go to the Great Wall on your own. If you have to take the packaged tour and you end up at the Jade Factory revel in the toilet facilities on offer. The comparatively pristine Western -friendly bathroom is a big bonus.
Enjoy the beautiful collection of Jade but don't purchase any.
Fun Alternatives: On the packaged tour it seems you will be compelled to visit the factory.
Way too many people at the BaDaLing section of the wall. Don't go there.
Unique Suggestions: Well, if you are stuck going there, at least go on the darn wall. You did make the trip. But try to avoid the street vendors. Most of the stuff you can get cheaper in markets in the city.
Fun Alternatives: Go to some less conjested sections of the wall, check a tour book like Lonely Planet's China book.
If you go to see the Wall in Badaling, the best way to go up is NOT BY FUNICULAR, but by foot . Is cheaper and you see more, the funicular goes too fast and you don't really enjoy ir.
BaDaLing Great Wall and Ming Tombs day trip. Spend your money on a trip to the Great Wall at MuTianYu and buy some postcards of 'Spirit Way' (unless you like a 30 minute walk around an old basement).