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Great Wall Tourism Board | Updated Great Wall of China Travel Information
“He who has not climbed the Great Wall is not a true man!”, as what was said by China’s first Chairman Mao Zedong, the Great Wall should be on every traveler’s bucket list. This China’s greatest engineering triumph, made from brick, stone, tamped earth and wood, is a direct link with legendary dynasties of China’s past as there were continuous ancient dynasties invested unquantifiable labour and material resources to construct and reconstruct the Great Wall. Nowadays, you can still see there are more than 5,500 miles of the Great Wall snaking its way over the perched mountainsides from the gobi desert in northwestern China to the sea coast of far eastern China. Beijing, the capital city, possesses about 573km (356 miles) of the Great Wall including the world famous Badaling, Mutianyu, Jiankou, etc., stretching alone the steep peaks and hills at its remote northern districts. You can easily plan a satisfied day trip to the closer sections of the Great Wall from Beijing. But for those who want to explore, it’s available to hike, bike even camp on some sections. Contact China Discovery to tailor-make a Great Wall trip now!
Latest Notice on Great Wall Travel - Updated on May 25, 2023 :
The Beijing Great Wall Protection and Management Regulations clearly state that it is prohibited to organize tours or climb sections of the Great Wall that have not been approved for visitation. Violators may be subject to corresponding fines. The Jiankou Great Wall is an unopened section of the Great Wall, and climbing it can cause damage to the structure. This not only hinders the preservation of the Great Wall but also poses significant risks to the safety of visitors. Therefore, we urge everyone not to climb the Jiankou Great Wall. Tourists can visit and hike at well-developed sections of the Great Wall such as Mutianyu, Badaling, and Jinshanling instead.
- ① Where is the Great Wall of China Located?
- ② When was the Great Wall of China Built?
- ③ Who Built the Great Wall of China?
- ④ How Old is the Great Wall of China?
- ⑤ How Long is the Great Wall of China?
- ⑥ How Tall is the Great Wall of China?
- ⑦ How Big is the Great Wall of China?
- ⑧ How was the Great Wall of China Built?
- ⑨ Why was the Great Wall of China Built?
- ⑩ Can You See the Great Wall of China from Space?
Top 7 Most Popular Sections of Great Wall
Many people mistakenly assume that the Great Wall of China is a continuous entity. Actually, the Great Wall exists in chunks scattered with natural defenses, usually the precipitous mountains. According investigations, the Great Wall of China stretches through 16 provinces, cities and autonomous regions, such as Shandong, Henan, Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Liaoning, Ningxia, Beijing, Tianjin, Xinjiang, Heilongjiang, Qinghai, Jilin and Hubei, etc. Taking into location, landscape, transportation, tourist amenities into consideration, below 7 sections of Great Wall are most popular among tourists.
Which Section of Great Wall to Go
Generally speaking, Mutianyu is the best option if you travel with kids, or want to enjoy a leisure and scenic hike. If you are a hiker, choose 1 or 2 sections among Jinshanling, Simatai and Gubekou to hike 1 or 2 days. If you are the second-timer, maybe Huanghuacheng section will be very attractive to you. Its lakeside walls are very stunning. Read more about What Are the Best Sections of the Great Wall to Visit from Beijing?
Important Great Wall Travel Information & Tips
Below are the most important and useful articles with information and tips to help you plan your Great Wall trip easier. Fee free to contact us if you have any question about the Great Wall.
Great Wall Trip Planning
We have complied this Great Wall of China Ultimate Guide which have synthesized the most useful insights and tips from our Great Wall researcher and Beijing local tour guide to help you plan the perfect Great Wall adventure.
Great Wall Hiking
Our travel experts’ handpicked top Great Wall Hiking tour packages which take you to explore the best sections of Great Wall, such as Mutianyu, Huanghuacheng, Jiankou, Jinshanling, Simatai, etc.
Best Time to Visit
The Great Wall is theoretically suitable to visit all year round. But considering most people would prefer a trip on beautiful days with fewer crowds, the best time is spring and autumn, especially in April, May, September, and November.
Great Wall Restaurants
There is no restaurant on the Great Wall, but some sections of Great Wall, such as Mutianyu, Jinshanling, Badaling, provide restaurants which are usually located at the feet of the Great Wall.
How to Get to & Around Great Wall of China
The location of each section of Great Wall varies greatly so is the available transportation. Some sections, which are closer to Beijing, can be reached easily, such as Badaling, Mutianyu, Juyongguan and Huanghuacheng. These sections of Great Wall provide flexible choices of transportation, including private car, train, tourist bus and public buses. Some sections of Great Wall are much further away from Chengdu, including Jinshanling, Simatai, Gubekou. Travellers can only get there by private car or public buses (usually takes much longer, and need to change bus for several times). To know more transportation information of Great Wall, please check how to get to & around Great Wall !
- How to Get to Mutianyu Great Wall
- Location : Bohai Town, Huairou District, Beijing, China北京市怀柔区渤海镇慕田峪村, 75 kilometers (46 miles) from Beijing
- By Private Car : taking a private car is the most recommended way to get to Mutianyu Great Wall. It takes only about 1.5 hours to get there. Your driver can pick up you from your hotel, airport, train station or other locations in Beijing.
- By Bus : You can go to Beijing Tourist Distribution Center (北京旅游集散中心) or Dongzhimen Wai Bus Station (东直门外站) to take tourist buses to Mutianyu Great Wall. These buses only depart during 8:30am-9am, and return from the Great Wall at around 16:00. Beijing Tourist Distribution Center (北京旅游集散中心) is located near Tian’anmen Square, and connected by metro Line 2. Dongzhimen is about 7km away from Tianmen Square and you can get there by metro Line 2, metro Line 13 and several public buses.
- How to Get to Jinshanling Great Wall
- Location : Hualougou, Bakeshiyin Town, Luanping County, Heibei 河北省承德滦平县巴克什营镇花楼沟村160 kilometers (100 miles) from Beijing
- By Private Car : using a private transfer service arranged by a travel agency can save you from the crowdedness of public buses. It takes only about 2.5 hours to get to the entrance of Jinshanling section of Great Wall.
- By Bus : There are usually 4 daily tourist buses running from Dongzhimen Wai Bus Station (东直门外站) for Jinshanling Great Wall, but only operating during April ~ October. It takes about 3 hours to get to Jinshanling. You can get to Dongzhimen Wai Bus Station by metro Line 2 or 3.
- How to Get to Simatai Great Wall
- Location : Simatai, Gubei Ancient Town, Miyun District, Beijing北京市密云区古北水镇司马台村,150 kilometers (94 miles) from Beijing.
- By Private Car : pick up you from your hotel, airport, train station or other locations in Beijing, and need only about 2.5 hours to get to Simatai.
- By Bus : Simatai Great Wall belongs to the Gubei Water Town Scenic Area. You can take a tourist bus from Dongzhimen Wai Bus Station (东直门外汽车站) to Gubei Ancient Town first, then walk for several minutes to Simatai section of Great Wall. The morning bus departs at around 8am, and the afternoon bus departs at around 15:30.
- How to Get to Badaling Great Wall
- How to Get to Huanghuacheng Great Wall
- How to Get to Jiankou Great Wall
- Get from Beijing to Great Wall
- Travel from Beijing Airport to Great Wall
- Beijing South Railway Station to Great Wall
- Beijing West Railway Station to Great Wall
How to Get Around Great Wall of China
Walking is the major way to get on and around the Great Wall. But usually one need to hike on some mountain paths to get on to the wall and towers from the entrance of the scenic zones. For those who are not in good physical condition or want to save energy and time, you can take cable cars up and down at Badaling, Mutianyu, Jinshanling and Simatai sections of Great Wall. The wild sections of Great Wall at Gubeikou, Jiankou, Huanghuacheng, Jinshanling (unrestored part), Simatai (unrestored part) have no cable cars. Taking toboggan down the Great Wall is also very popular among tourists. Currently only Badaling and Mutianyu have toboggans.
- Mutianyu Great Wall Cable Car
- Mutianyu Great Wall Toboggan
- Badaling Great Wall Cable Car and Toboggan
- Get from Jinshanling to Simatai
- Get from Jiankou to Mutianyu
- Get from Gubeikou to Jinshanling
Useful Great Wall of China Maps
To help you know better about location, transportation and attractions of Great Wall of China, here we prepare some useful Great Wall maps. Please feel free to read and download. Contact us if you have any question about the Great Wall.
Mutianyu Great Wall Maps
Badaling Great Wall Maps
Jinshanling Great Wall Maps
Simatai Great Wall Maps
Jiankou Great Wall Maps
Huanghuacheng Great Wall Maps
Great Wall Google Map
More Great Wall Maps
Most Popular Great Wall Tours 2023/2024
No matter it is your first, or the second or the third trip to the Great Wall, China Discovery will always find a suitable tour package for you to see and experience the Great Wall in the best way. If you are one of the first-timers, you are suggested to visit Mutianyu section of Great Wall or Jinshanling Great Wall. If you are the second-timers, it's time to take a memorable hike to those wild section of Great Wall, such as Simatai, Jiankou, Gubeikou, Huanghuacheng, etc. If you still have no idea where to start, you can contact us to design a tailor-made Great Wall trip for you!
Jinshanling Great Wall, Simatai Great Wall
Great Wall Section(s): Mutianyu/Huanghuacheng
Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, Mutianyu Great Wall, Hutong, Bird's Nest, Water Cube
Great Wall Section(s): Jinshanling
Great Wall Sections: Jinshanling + Simatai
Great Wall Section(s): Mutianyu
Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors, Jinshanling Great Wall hiking, Mount Huashan hiking
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17 Facts About the Great Wall of China You Should Know
The Great Wall of China inspires wonder among its millions of visitors each year. Read on to learn about its unique history and how to visit.
Melanie Lieberman is the senior travel editor at The Points Guy and was an editor at Travel + Leisure.
Like a writhing dragon’s tail, the Great Wall of China snakes its way across China ’s northern border. As its name suggests, the Great Wall is an imposing architectural marvel, and it’s often hailed as one of the greatest manmade wonders of the world. The Great Wall of China’s history stretches back more than 2,000 years. Despite its cultural and historic importance, it wasn’t until 1987 that the Great Wall of China was listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO .
But the Great Wall isn’t even a single wall.
“The first thing to note,” travel expert Stan Godwyn told Travel + Leisure , “is that it’s actually a series of walls and fortifications.”
Godwyn typically arranges for clients to visit one of four main sections — Badaling (the most accessible for travelers of varying mobility), Mutianyu (extremely popular and well-restored), Simatai (a crumbling, rugged stretch of wall), and Jinshanling (for serious hikers).
Want to discover more Great Wall of China facts and bits of history? Read on for our definitive guide to this world wonder and ancient marvel.
Where Is the Great Wall of China?
The Great Wall of China is easily accessible from Beijing, though the massive structure stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east all the way to the city of Jiayuguan, in the country’s northwest. Generally speaking, the Great Wall of China defends the country’s northernmost border. A 2012 archeological survey estimated that the wall (taking into account all the dynasties that had worked on the structure) crosses 15 provinces and extends from Xinjiang, in the northwest, to the border of Korea in the east.
How Long Is the Great Wall of China?
If you were to measure all the sections ever built, some reports suggest the Great Wall of China could be a staggering 13,170 miles long. The most popular (and arguably the most beautiful) section was erected during the Ming dynasty, and runs for 5,500 miles between Hushan to the Jiayuguan Pass. Even if you only take into consideration the main-line length (about 2,150 miles) of the wall — not including branches and spurs — it’s still the record-holding longest wall in the world .
For those wondering how tall the Great Wall of China is, the general answer is that the structure’s height varies considerably, from 15 feet all the way to 39 feet. At its widest point, the wall is 32 feet thick.
When Was the Great Wall of China Built?
It’s hard to say precisely when the Great Wall of China was built, as so many dynasties and rulers contributed to its construction. Some 20 states and dynasties contributed to the construction of the Great Wall of China over the course of millennia. It’s thought that the first lengths of the wall were built as early as 771 B.C.E., though official work didn’t begin until 220 B.C.E., during the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Most of what remains today — that 5,500-mile stretch — was built during the Ming dynasty (between 1368 and 1644).
Why Was the Great Wall of China Built?
Originally built as a wartime defense, the Great Wall of China features many towers and passes. When Emperor Qin Shi Huang first proposed the so-called Long Wall, it was meant to defend the Chinese states against nomadic tribes from the north.
During the Han dynasty, (between 202 B.C.E. and 220 C.E.) the Great Wall was extended to protect the Silk Road trade. The Ming dynasty is known for not only extending the Great Wall, but also repairing and reinforcing existing structures.
How Was the Great Wall of China Built?
Despite its name, the Great Wall is actually a collection of fortifications, some of which run parallel to one another, while others are circular or side walls. There are even portions of the Great Wall that are natural barriers, like rivers or high mountains.
Hundreds of years before any official construction on the Great Wall began, individual Chinese states built fortifications against one another, using mostly earth, wood, and stones. Construction during the Ming dynasty made use of bricks rather than cut stone, which appears largely in the foundation and gateways.
More than a million soldiers, commoners, prisoners, and animals were recruited to help build the wall. Hundreds of thousands of men died while working on the wall, which required them to carry heavy materials on their backs up to the top of the ridgelines. There are rumors that many of the dead were buried in the wall, though to date there's no hard evidence of this.
Much of the work on the oldest sections of the Great Wall were built by hand, though primitive technology — wheel barrows, ropes, basket-and-pulley systems, and horse- or oxen-drawn carts — was also used.
When Is the Best Time to Visit the Great Wall of China?
The most popular times to visit the Great Wall of China are early May or October — but travelers should expect massive crowds during these periods.
“These are major holidays and everyone travels,” explained Godwyn.
Autumn is arguably one of the most popular and beautiful times to visit the Great Wall of China. Weather is comfortable and dry, and the mountains’ foliage is a kaleidoscopic array of hues.
During the winter, the Great Wall of China is blanketed in snow — and the number of tourists will drop dramatically. Winter is Beijing's shoulder season, so you will enjoy serious deals and discounts on hotel rooms and tours. If you do make a winter trip, be prepared for a slippery, windy walk, and pack accordingly.
Can You See the Great Wall of China From Space?
Contrary to popular rumor, you can’t see the Great Wall of China from space with the naked eye. As NASA reported , however, photographs taken from the International Space Station under ideal conditions have depicted sections of the wall.
How Many People Visit the Great Wall of China?
Every year, more than 10 million people flock to the Great Wall of China, making it one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. The Badaling section sees the most visitors each year. It once received 100,000 visitors in one day.
How to Plan Your Visit
The Great Wall of China is a perfect day trip for travelers based in Beijing.
“Most clients do one day at the Great Wall as part of a visit to Beijing,” explained Godwyn. “Typically, we have a day of sightseeing in Beijing — then the second day is an excursion to the wall.”
Pick the part of the wall that best suits your needs and interests. Active, confident hikers should venture to Jinshanling, while families may want to stick with the more accessible Mutianyu section (there’s an unforgettable, five-minute toboggan ride from the top of the eastern end to the bottom).
Check specific fees in advance, but expect to pay around 25 to 65 yuan (under $10) for general admission to the Great Wall.
And don’t rush it. Whether you’re visiting the Great Wall of China on a layover or during a longer trip, we recommend spending at least two or three hours exploring the ancient structure.
Getting to the Great Wall From Beijing
The beautiful Ming dynasty portion of the Great Wall is around 50 miles from Beijing. But getting there can be a bit tricky for travelers making the trek solo.
Visitors sticking with public transportation will first need to get to Dongzhimen Station, where you can take an hour-long express bus ride to Huairou Station. Here, you’ll need to transfer to a bus stopping at the Mutianyu Roundabout.
The Airport Express connects directly from the Beijing Capital International Airport to Dongzhimen Station. Subway lines also transfer to Dongzhimen Station from the Beijing West Railway Station and Beijing South Railway Station.
However, one of the most convenient (and exciting) ways to get there is by taking the train to Badaling Great Wall Railway Station, also known as the world's deepest and largest underground high-speed railway station, which was completed in 2019. There are more than 10 pairs of high speed trains that travel between Beijing and Badaling Great Wall Railway Station, running from Beijing North Railway Station or Qinghe Railway Station.
Many travel experts recommend skipping the train and opting for a hired car and a guide. They’ll be able to take you to less popular sections of the wall and can help navigate unexpected hiccups, such as road closures. A car is also the best way to maximize your time.
Great Wall of China Tour Groups
For a private, luxury tour of the Great Wall, book an itinerary with Imperial Tours . A Beijing day trip with stops at the Forbidden City and less-touristy sections of the Great Wall also includes fine dining experiences.
If you’d like to hike, but would prefer not to go it alone, consider the four-day Great Wall Hiking Tour with China Odyssey Tours . After a day exploring the highlights of Beijing (Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, etc.) you’ll begin a moderate hike from the Jiankou section to Mutianyu.
Try TravelStore for a personalized trip to the Great Wall of China, which might include a customized Silk Road itinerary with stops in Jiayuguan, a northern Chinese city with restored wall sections and the last fortress of the Great Wall.
Even if you’re only in China for a layover, there’s still plenty of time to see the Great Wall. Every single day, Beijing Layover Tour offers private and small-group tours of the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, ranging from four to five hours in length. You’ll be picked up at arrivals by a tour guide, and transferred back to the airport after the trip. These tours start at $50 for a private visit to the wall.
Hiking the Great Wall
One of the most popular hikes along the Great Wall snakes from the Jiankou section to the Ox Horn at Mutianyu. Here, unrestored sections of wall switch back and forth along steep mountain passes. Hikers should expect to spend up to four hours each way.
Another good hike covers the section from Jinshanling to Simatai West — a challenging route that covers four miles each way, and passes a series of watchtowers.
Or, start at the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall in Gubeikou Town — approximately 90 miles northeast of Beijing. From these quiet, never-repaired stretches of wall, visitors will find unobstructed views of the Yan Mountains before they descend to the Jinshanling section.
The Great Wall of China Dos and Don’ts
Don’t visit the Great Wall during a holiday. The attraction is popular with tourists, but locals love the site as well. Tomb-Sweeping Day in April, for example, sends claustrophobia-inducing crowds to the country’s most famous sites.
Do consider waiting until the late afternoon to visit the Great Wall, when insiders say many of the early morning and afternoon crowds begin to clear out.
Do pack comfortable walking shoes , and plenty of water.
The Great Wall Has Faced Erosion Concerns Over the Years
After centuries defending dynasties, China’s Great Wall has begun to crumble. Entire sections of the wall have been swallowed by weather and time — and that’s to say nothing of the many wars and manmade afflictions. Chinese state-run media has reported that nearly one-third of the walls have already disappeared. It’s not just slow-moving erosion wreaking havoc on the wall — the site has also succumbed to earthquakes and torrential storms.
The Best Restaurant Near the Great Wall of China
One of the most popular places to eat near the Great Wall is Commune by the Great Wall — a five-star hotel with a restaurant, Commune Kitchen, that serves Peking duck and other regional Chinese cuisine with a dining room that overlooks the Great Wall.
Generally speaking, however, food near the Great Wall is quite expensive and not particularly notable. Travelers should consider venturing into the nearby towns for affordable, authentic meals — or waiting until they’ve returned to Beijing for a seat at a top table.
Laws Protecting the Great Wall
It’s not just the immutable forces of weather and time that have destroyed the Great Wall of China. Alarmingly, 30% of the original structure has disappeared, largely because of mankind’s endless meddling.
In 2006, China passed the Great Wall Protection Ordinance, though the country has struggled to enforce any rules or regulations.
Travelers should note that there are fines for taking bricks or other sections of the wall, and that it’s inadvisable to pay locals for access to less-traveled sections, as this puts even more, unregulated parts of the wall at risk of destruction.
Notable Visitors to the Great Wall
In November of 2009, President Barack Obama visited the Great Wall. He famously said the imposing structure puts life in perspective: “Our time here on Earth is not that long, and we better make the best of it.”
President Obama isn’t the only notable world leader or celebrity to visit the Great Wall. Queen Elizabeth II spent time there in the '80s, while famous athletes like Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Shaquille O’Neal have also made visits. Celebrities like Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Jennifer Lawrence have been seen sightseeing at the Great Wall.
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Photos of the Great Wall of China
Presentation of the great wall of china.
The Great Wall of China , a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It remains unquestionably one of the most beautiful and most impressive buildings on our planet. Like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall dominates deserts, valleys, mountains and plateaus. It stretches for almost 9000 kilometers from east to west. Built some 2,000 years ago, some parts are now in ruins or have disappeared altogether, but the Great Wall of China continues to attract thousands of tourists every year from around the globe thanks to its architectural grandeur and legends that surround it.
First serving fortifications in the states of Yan, Zhao and Qin, the Great Wall has undergone several extensions and repairs over the years. At first, the walls were not attached. It was Emperor Qin Shihuang who had the various parts connected to repel the Huns. However, there is very little information on its construction. We imagine that regional materials were used. Among the workers are soldiers, prisoners and natives.
Even today, the Great Wall of China plays an important role in the culture of the country. It has long been embedded in Chinese mythology and symbolism. The best-known legend is probably that of Meng Jiangnu who would have collapsed part of the wall as her tears of sorrow following the death of her husband during the construction were powerful.
To visit the Great Wall of China, we recommend you to go through Beijing. There are three sites that stand out perhaps more than others: Badaling, Mutianyu and Simatai. These are the most visited sites because the most accessible. Badaling is one of the best preserved parts of the Wall. It is 70 kilometers from Beijing and follows a winding path in the mountains, 1000 meters above sea level. The landscapes, splendid, can not be more green.
Also very well preserved, Mutianyu is a site noted for its 22 guard towers, also called miradors. This section was built in granite and is 7 meters high. There are many streams and forests nearby. The setting is again very natural and lush nature. Mutianyu, like Badaling, is 70 kilometers from Beijing.
Simatai is probably more difficult to access but less invaded by tourists and especially more authentic. After 3 years of renovation, this part re-opened in January 2014 but has kept its original appearance dating from the Ming Dynasty. Simatai is separated by a lake with two different sources: a hot spring and a cold source. It is 120 kilometers from Beijing.
Map of the different sections of the Great Wall of China
When to visit the Great Wall of China?
To get to the Great Wall of China, you can take the bus from Beijing Bus Station. The sites are accessible by car as well. In addition, the climate can be tough in this part of China. The temperature in winter can drop steadily down to -20 ° C while in the summer the mercury can go up to 40 ° C. Be sure to plan and take the right equipment with you! You will find more detailed information on the climate of Beijing on the page: Weather Beijing .
A visit to the Great Wall of China is a must for any trip to China. Since Beijing, there are many sections that you can visit by day. Some sections of the Great Wall are extremely popular, others are wild and quiet, you are spoiled for choice. We present below different sections of the Great Wall of China in order to help you in your choice of selection of the section that you think is best adapted. There are different ideas for hiking on the wall of China that we also present. In our opinion, a hike on the wall is the best way to appreciate all its grandeur by avoiding the many Chinese tourists who go there every day from Beijing.
Where to sleep near the Great Wall of China?
Staying in a good hotel is the beginning of a successful holiday. Indeed, a good accommodation can make your vacation even more exceptional … like a bad one can spoil a stay.The world-famous Wall of China is home to many places to stay nearby. You will have for all budgets, small cottages with incomparable charm to large luxury hotels located close to the direct or in the surrounding countryside. That’s why we have selected for you the best hotels of the China Wall, combining comfort and quality of services.
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How to Visit the Great Wall of China — Insider Guide
To get the most from the Great Wall, a must-visit China attraction, you should follow the advice to plan a perfect Great Wall trip:
- 1. Choose the Best Times to Visit
- 2. Select the MOST Suitable Section to Visit
- 3. Learn How to Get to the Great Wall
- 4. Spend a Night at the Great Wall or Maybe Camping
- 5. Consider Having a Guide for Your Great Wall Trip
The Best Times to Visit: Spring and Fall
The best times to visit the Great Wall (around Beijing) are spring and autumn to avoid the summer heat and crowds , and winter freezing conditions .
Spring (April–May) in Beijing's mountains is cool/warm and the green plants and flowers make the Great Wall beautiful.
Fall (September–November) is the best hiking season due to the clear weather, allowing you to see the Great Wall snaking off into the distance. The mountains are blanketed by colors of red, golden, yellow, and brown, which sets off the gray and paler Great Wall colors.
You can also visit the Great Wall in summer and winter if that would suit you better. Summer is peak season and popular sections get crowded . It's hot with bright sunshine and some downpours. Winter is very cold , even icy, on the Great Wall, but there's almost no crowding.
- More on Best Times to Visit the Great Wall and Packing >>>
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Select the MOST Suitable Section to Visit
The Great Wall of China lies mostly on the mountain ridges and crosses 15 provinces. The four most recommended sections are all around Beijing . See the table below to make a simple comparison and decide which section to visit.
- More on The Best 10 Sections/Parts of the Great Wall to Visit >>>
Recommended Sections for Wheelchair Users
The Great Wall at Badaling, Mutianyu, and Juyongguan is (more) wheelchair-friendly . You could at least see some of the Great Wall near Beijing at the valley-bottom level there.
- At the Badaling section, wheelchair users can get to the first north watchtower by ramps. Wheelchair users should book the elevator service in advance.
- At the Mutianyu section, there is a cable car for wheelchair users ascending the wall and ramps to a platform below the 14th watchtower, from which you can appreciate the beautiful scenery from the Great Wall.
- At Juyongguan , the Great Wall Fortress area in the valley bottom can be navigated by wheelchair.
Otherwise visiting the Great Wall in flatter areas is recommended for wheelchair users, like Shanhaiguan on the east coast and Jiayuguan on the western desert.
Conquer the Most Challenging Great Wall Section: Jiankou to Mutianyu (4–5 hours hike)
If you would like to experience the steepest section , the Great Wall at Jiankou is the best choice for you. This section is wild Great Wall without cable cars or any new steps. Many of the Great Wall stairs are broken or crumbling, which makes this section more dangerous. This most popular hiking route follows the wall down to Mutianyu — a magnificently restored section .
- Read more tour details: 1-Day Jiankou to Mutianyu Hiking Tour
How to Get to the Great Wall (From Beijing)
For some well-restored Great Wall sections, like Badaling and Mutianyu, you have the choice of taking a public or tourist bus, taxi, or even a bullet train (Badaling only).
- More on How to Get to the Great Wall from Beijing >>>
But considering the language barrier, fixed departure time, and inconveniences of catching these public transportation, etc., taking a private transfer service with a spacious car, an English-speaking guide, and the one-stop pickup service would make your trip more enjoyable. If you come all the way to China to see the Great Wall, why settle for a second-rate experience.
While for the wild Great Wall, it's difficult to go there independently . You may consider taking our Great Wall Tours >>>.
Spending a Night at the Great Wall
It takes about 2 hours on average to get to the Great Wall from downtown Beijing. If you do not mind changing hotels for a night, an overnight stay near the Great Wall is highly recommended as you you can:
- Avoid traffic jams and lining up at the ticket gate.
- Appreciate the Great Wall in the early morning when there are no crowds.
- Enjoy sunset and night views of the Great Wall.
At Simatai — Gubei Water Town Resort
Simatai offers the best Great Wall night experience and a range of 5-star hotels, boutique hotels, and local inns in the nearby Gubei Water Town (1 km or half a mile away).
Tell us your interests, and we can choose the accommodations you'll enjoy.
At Mutianyu — Brickyard Retreat at Mutianyu Great Wall
Brickyard Retreat at Mutianyu Great Wall is reconstructed from a cultural revolution tile factory by Beijing expats. It aims to provide an environmentally sustainable and Western-style countryside hotel.
Highlights: green gardens, original brick rooms, Great Wall views from the hotel.
At Badaling — Commune by the Great Wall
Commune by the Great Wall is a private collection of modern-architecture boutique hotels , 200m from the Great Wall at 'Water Pass' (Shuiguan).
Highlights: Different designs by accomplished architects. It's not only a hotel to stay in, but also an architectural attraction in itself.
Camping on the Great Wall — Be Prepared
Camping is not allowed at popular sections like Mutianyu. Camping would need to be done at the wild sections (e.g. Jiankou, Gubeikou).
Shops/guesthouses near the wild Great Wall are very rural and don't sell camping equipment/supplies. Campers would have to carry tents and everything else needed on the uneven and sometimes steep Great Wall paths, which are very strenuous. Beware trips and sprains, and dehydration. Carry lots of water.
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Food at the Great Wall
In restored sections, there are many restaurants and hotels that provide local food and a place for travelers to stay at. Restaurants at the Great Wall may not meet the standards of those in downtown Beijing, but you can try local dishes there.
Wild sections don't have restaurants or hotels, so you need to bring food if you are planning a Great Wall hike.
You may be interested in Best Places to Eat Near Beijing's Great Wall Sections >>>
A Travel Guide is Recommended for a Great Wall Trip
China Highlights provides a tailored itinerary, comfortable air-conditioned transport, and one-to-one tour guiding, if necessary.
In wild sections, there is a real possibility of getting lost without a guide, and getting there on your own would be very difficult.
Also, as the Great Wall is rich in history and culture — far more than just a scenic attraction — you should have a travel guide to explain and relate stories about the Great Wall in context to get the most from your trip.
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Great Wall of China
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As China's most famous attraction, the Great Wall of China is an essential stop on all China tours . Commonly considered a wonder of the world, the Great Wall boasts a history of over 2,000 years and stretches more than 3,000 miles across several provinces of northern China, making it one of the most impressive ancient structures on the planet.
Virtual Tour of the Great Wall of China
Want to visit the great wall of china spontaneously with a professional live guide learn more about our guided virtual tour here, best sections to visit.
Beijing is usually considered the main gateway to the Great Wall, since there are several world-famous sections of the Wall in the suburbs of Beijing, including Badaling, Mutianyu, Jinshanling, Juyongguan, Gubeikou, and Jiankou. These sections were built during the Ming dynasty between the 14th and 17th centuries and have been well preserved.
Of all the sections of the Great Wall near Beijing, Badaling is the most famous one. As a result, Badaling is the destination of choice for many large tour groups and is often very crowded. The nearby Juyongguan Great Wall features one of the three great mountain passes of the Great Wall but is almost as crowded as Badaling.
Mutianyu Great Wall is just as close as Badaling and offers wonderful views of the Great Wall and the surrounding hills with far fewer tourists. This section of the Wall also features a thrilling toboggan run that you can ride from the top of the Wall down to the bottom of the hill.
Due to their proximity, Badaling, Juyongguan, and Mutianyu are all doable as a half-day trip from downtown Beijing. We usually recommend Mutianyu over Badaling or Juyongguan , since the massive crowds at the latter two sections can ruin one's experience of this impressive structure.
Further away from Beijing, Jinshanling Great Wall is about 150 km northeast of downtown and it usually takes about two and a half hours to drive there. Despite the longer drive, Jinshanling is among the most stunning sections of the Great Wall. If your itinerary allows for one full day seeing the Great Wall, then we highly recommend a tour to Jinshanling.
Gubeikou and Jiankou can also be visited within a day tour from Beijing . Both sections have not been restored since they were first built in the Ming Dynasty, making them ideal choices for those who want to hike and experience the wild Great Wall. Do be aware that the Jiankou section features very steep and dangerous climbs and is only suitable for experienced hikers.
There are also some other famous sections of the Great Wall within or outside Beijing, such as Huanghuacheng, Simatai, and Shanhaiguan, but we only recommend these if you are visiting the Great Wall for a second time or planning a multi-day, in-depth Great Wall tour.
Great Wall Hiking and Camping
Due to its original purpose as a military defense, almost all sections of Great Wall were built on mountain ranges and thus involve some challenging climbs and uneven stairs, including the well-restored sections. If you are visiting a restored section but hike to the end of the renovated part, you will be able to see the unrestored part of the Great Wall.
For most visitors, Mutianyu and Jinshanling offer good, medium difficulty hikes, while still being very safe. For those looking for a serious hike along wild, unrestored portions of the Wall, we suggest the Jinshanling to Jinshanling East , or Gubeikou to Jinshanling routes. All these routes boast both unrestored and picturesque renovated sections of the Wall. However, please be aware that hikes along wild, unrestored parts of the Great Wall involve many steep climbs and loose bricks, and can be very dangerous in some places. (People can no longer hike through from Jinshanling to Simatai since the route was closed years ago.)
Camping on the Great Wall is usually banned, especially on the renovated sections. If you want to spend a night sleeping on the Great Wall , we can take you to a watchtower on the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall to experience the life of an ancient soldier and catch amazing sunrise/sunset views over the Wall.
Best Time to Visit
For all sections of the Great Wall near Beijing, the spring months (April to June) offer temperate weather and are great for climbing. In late April to early May, many trees begin to blossom, making this a particularly beautiful period to visit the Wall. Fall is also a nice time to visit, as temperatures are usually comfortable. October to early November are particularly picturesque, as the tree leaves on the mountains begin to change color. The winter months, from December to February, are cold and can be windy, but there are usually far fewer tourists on the Wall during these months. July and August are hot and humid, and thus not the best for long hikes. In addition, it's best to avoid hiking on the Wall after rain or snowfall because some parts can get very slippery.
You should also avoid visiting the popular sections, such as Badaling, Juyongguan, and Mutianyu, around National Day (the first week in October) and Spring Festival. August is also a busy time for the Badaling and Juyongguan sections, since students are on summer vacation and many families travel to these famous sections with their kids before the new school year starts. Learn more about how to avoid the crowds when traveling in China .
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How to visit the Great Wall of China
The great wall's best and less crowded sections.
- In this guide
When to go to China
China can seem like an intimidating place, due to its huge size and the language barrier that most travellers face. However, first-time visitors needn’t worry: this is a country of incredibly friendly and curious people eager to help. The pace at which China has developed its transport system means that getting around today is much easier than even a decade ago, with sparkling subways in most big cities and high-speed trains reaching all ends of the country.
When planning a trip to the country to visit the Great Wall of China, it’s important to remember China’s size and to plan realistically. Most of the country’s major tourist sites are popular with domestic visitors, meaning that in high season and during China’s national holidays, there can be long queues and enormous crowds, as well as ticketing controls at some of the biggest sights.
China continues to develop at a rapid pace, and the old cliche that this is a ‘land of contrasts’ certainly holds true. Things change quickly here and it’s a good idea to approach your trip with a sense of expecting the unexpected. Venues often close without warning and transport timetables sometimes don’t match what is listed and for international visitors, many things are lost in translation.
Visitors who approach China with a sense of adventure and flexibility will find their trip not only fulfils their dreams of experiencing some of this great culture’s immensely important historical sights and tremendous culinary output, but they may also come away with a greater sense of mindfulness.
History of China's Great Wall
One of the world’s man-made wonders and the most popular visitor attraction in China, the Great Wall is rightfully on the must-see list of every first-time visitor. Like the country’s other main historic sight, the Terracotta Warrior Army , the Great Wall was conceived by China’s first emperor, Qinshihuang , to protect his reign (221-207 BC). Construction continued on the wall through four distinct eras, including the Jin dynasty (1115-1235), when work was sped up due to the threat of attack from the north by Mongol leader Chinggis Khan.
The most visibly famous sections of the wall are the stone brickwork ramparts, beacon towers and flying eaves snaking up and down the mountains north of Beijing. These remains date to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) when the Hongwu Emperor had just ousted the previous Mongol-run Yuan dynasty and wanted to ensure the security of his empire from northern invasion.
What many don’t understand about the wall is its sheer size. At officially more than 21,000km in length, the wall stretches from Shanhai Pass, where it meets the Bohai Sea in Hebei province, to its westernmost point at the stunning mudbrick Jiayuguan Fort in the Gobi Desert in Gansu province. Not one continuous wall, it is actually comprised of thousands of smaller sections of wall across this vast distance.
There are several sections of restored Ming dynasty walls near Beijing, which are the most accessible. These tend to be busy with tourists as they are easier to visit, with even footing, handrails, cable cars and facilities like bathrooms and refreshments.
Where to see the Great Wall of China near Beijing
Of the Beijing sections of the Great Wall of China, Badaling is the closest to the city and the busiest, while Mutianyu is slightly further away and sees relatively fewer numbers, particularly in the winter.
Busy Badaling is the only section of the Beijing Great Wall accessible by train . Other sections require private vehicle hire or a combination of buses and taxis. The best option is to choose which section of the wall you want to visit and book a private car with an English-speaking driver. Some companies pre-book add-ons like the Ming Tombs, so it is worth knowing and stating your preferences upfront.
Badaling, Mutianyu and Huanghua Cheng are the closest sections to Beijing and are easily visited in a day or even a morning. Sections further away, including Zhuangdaokou, Jinshanling, Jiankou and Gubeikou can be visited on a day trip, but it’s worth staying overnight at these to experience village life and to have more time to explore unrestored areas or see the wall at dawn or dusk.
If you visit Mutianyu on a January morning, you are likely to have the ramparts nearly to yourself (though you’ll want to cover up, as temperatures regularly hover well below freezing). At nearly 150km from Beijing, the restored sections of the wall at Jinshanling see very few visitors, but this requires either a very long travel day or an overnight stop due to the distance.
The end of the Great Wall in Jiayuguan
Hopping on a plane or high-speed train to the desert city of Jiayuguan offers a completely different way of visiting the Great Wall of China. Here, the rammed earth and mud brick construction give the wall an almost forlorn appearance befitting its history. The name ‘Jiayuguan’ means ‘first pass under heaven’ and this fortress gate marked the end of the Chinese empire and the beginning of everywhere else. Criminals and those banished from the empire were turfed out via this gate and left to make their way alone through the desert.
Where and how to see the Wild Wall
There are numerous sections of the Great Wall that have been left unrestored close enough to Beijing to be convenient for a wild hike or trek. Be aware that the wall is steep and covers deep valleys and vertiginous mountains, so trekking can be exhausting and treacherous – as well as being frowned upon by the authorities. However, the rewards are spectacular views of this architectural wonder far away from the maddening crowds.
Hikers need to wear appropriate clothing, including very sturdy hiking boots, and bring plenty of water and food. When hiking unrestored sections of the wall, it is a good idea to hire a guide who knows the way, as some sections become completely impassable or dangerous, while others pass through military zones and require a detour.
Visiting the Great Wall of China at Zhuangdaokou
Just 80km from Beijing, this is one of the most accessible yet least visited sections of unrestored wall. It’s possible to hike from here to the restored section at Huanghua Cheng in 1-2 hours, passing a river, reservoir and stunning views.
Visiting the Great Wall of China at Jiankou
This completely unrestored section 100km from Beijing is very steep and is best for experienced hikers. You can hike from here to the restored section at Mutianyu in 2-3 hours, passing extremely wild scenery, particularly at the 180-degree curve known as Ox Horn, one of the steepest and most difficult places to hike the wild wall.
Visiting the Great Wall of China at Gubeikou
Starting from Gubeikou town, 130km from Beijing, two sections – Wohushan and Panlongshan – of totally unrestored wall incorporate crumbling ramparts and watchtowers. The Wohushan section to the west of town features two ‘sister mountains’, while to the east is the Panlongshan section, with the General Tower and 24-Window Tower.
About the author
Megan Eaves first visited China in 2004 with her Mandarin-language class and got hooked on Nanjing’s spicy weather and food. She’s lived in China twice and visited countless more times, travelling the length of the country from Guangdong to Qinghai and Guizhou to Beijing. She has written on China for Lonely Planet, CNN, The Independent and Atlas by Etihad , and is the author of This Is China: A Guidebook for Teachers , Backpackers and Other Lunatics . If lost, she is likely to be found scarfing down beef noodles in remotest Gansu province, or guzzling craft beer in a Beijing hutong.
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The Great Wall of China Explore in China - Attractions
The magnificent and spectacular view of "the great wall of china".
Great Wall of China
- Location: north China, East Asia
- Total Length: 21,196.18 kilometers (13,170.70 miles), half of the length of the equator
- Length of Ming Great Wall: 8,851.8 kilometers (5,500.3 miles)
- West End: the First Fire Tower of the Great Wall, in Jiayuguan of Gansu
- East End: Hushan Great Wall, in Dandong of Liaoning
- Course & Coverage: 15 provinces and regions, roughly from east to west – Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong, Henan, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang.
- First-time visitors to Beijing: Badaling, or Mutianyu
- Return visitors: Juyongguan, or Simatai (with Gubei Water Town)
- Experienced hikers: Jiankou (wild and dangerous)
- Best sections out of Beijing: Shanhaiguan in Hebei, Jiayuguan in Gansu, Zhenbeitai in Shaanxi
• Best Time to Visit
• best sections – badaling & mutianyu in beijing, • clothing & backpack, • how to plan a day tour to the great wall, book with us:.
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Great wall tours.
The Great Wall
Coiling its way through 23 degrees of longitude, the Great Wall (长城, Chángchéng) stands as an awe-inspiring monument to the grandeur of China’s ancient history. With sections dating back 2000 years, the wall (or, more accurately, walls, because they belong to several different eras) wriggle haphazardly from their scattered Manchurian remains in Liaoning province to wind-scoured rubble in the Gobi desert and faint traces in the unforgiving sands of Xinjiang. Interspersed with natural defences (such as precipitous mountains), the Great Wall can be visited in 15 Chinese provinces, principalities and autonomous regions, but nowhere is better than Beijing for mounting your assault on this most iconic of bastions.
Must-see attractions for your itinerary.
Jiankou Great Wall
For stupefying hikes along perhaps Beijing’s most incomparable section of Wall, head to Jiankou, where white-knuckle sections like ‘Upward Flying Eagle’…
Jinshanling Great Wall, near the town of Gubeikou, has been thoroughly restored, but it's distant enough from Beijing that it sees far fewer tourists than…
Famed for its Ming-era guard towers and excellent views, the 3km-long section of wall at Mutianyu, northeast of Beijing in Huairou County, is largely a…
Simatai, built during the reign of Ming dynasty emperor Hongwu, is famed for the precarious steepness of its battlements as they soar up the 'heavenly…
Historically a strategic portal between the fertile lands of the capital and the more arid plains beyond, Badaling has been called the ‘Key to Northern…
China Great Wall Museum
This sizeable museum blusters through a history of the Wall, from its origins as an earthen embankment in the far-off Qin dynasty (221–207 BC) to the Ming…
Gubei Water Town
Cashing in on the magnificent Simatai Great Wall that overlooks it, this faux-historic village of waterways and old courtyards is a commercial venture…
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Sep 2, 2020 • 5 min read
Cloaked in legend and mystique, the Great Wall of China is often misunderstood. Here's everything you need to know about this remarkable structure.
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- Great Wall Of China: The Complete Travel Guide For First Time Visitors In 2023
23 Mar 2023
The Great Wall of China is on everybody’s bucket list. Over 10 million tourists visit one of the seven wonders of the world every year. The Chinese Name of the Great Wall of China is Wan Li Chang Cheng which literally means ‘the long wall of 10,000 miles’. It is amongst the costliest developments on the planet. Instead of being one long unbroken wall, it is built up of various diverse segments.
About The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China length is around 6300 km. If the length can be measured from all the distinct segments of the wall, the distance is approx. 22000 km. In December 1987, The Great Wall of China turned into a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Wall has been constructed by over 1 million people.
The Ming Dynasty was the most important rebuilder of the walls. They completed it with fortifications, watchtowers, and cannons to much better shield their subjects from their invaders. The legend goes that a mythical dragon hunted down the course of the Great Wall of China for the workforce. In spite of general belief, the Great Wall of China can’t be seen from the moon without help.
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Facts About The Wall
There are various myths and truths about the Wall and certain misleading facts have led many to believe in the wrong statements. Here are a few interesting facts about the Great Wall of China that will enlighten you further to keep you general knowledge in check.
- Even though it has been stated in the book, ‘Believe it or not!’ by Robert Ripley that it is possible to see the Great Wall of China from space or moon, sadly, it cannot be.
- The Chinese folk call this wall as the ‘city wall’ or ‘Long City’ and no such mention of ‘Great’ is mentioned by them.
- The Great Wall of China is only 2000 years old and not as much as many think.
- The Wall doesn’t contain any bones or corpses of any labourer and this stays a rumour as probably told by the Chief Historian Sima Qian of Han dynasty.
- The Wall is not a single wall and in fact, it is more than one and so, one cannot use ‘it’ to refer to the wall, ‘them’ has to be used as there are more than one walls present.
7 Places To Visit Near The Great Wall of China
There are several places to visit near the Great Wall of China. We have listed a few of them. Make sure to stop by these places which are no less than the Great Wall in terms of beauty:
1. Badaling Great Wall
Badaling is the highly visited spot on the Great Wall of China. It lies 80 km northwest of Yanqing District, urban Beijing city. The wall served as a dominant and vital territory for securing the Beijing city and the Juyongguan Pass on the south. Bilbao is the most elevated point on the Badaling Great Wall ascending to 1,015 m above sea level. The Badaling was the prime territory of the Great Wall of China to be opened the first time for sightseers in 1957.
Suggested Read: 10 Fun Things To Do In China That Will Let You Explore A Land Beyond The Great Wall!
Mutianyu segment is regularly suggested as an option other than to Badaling. At just a distance of 80 km from Beijing, you don’t need to go any further to be compensated with the sight here. This segment is praised for the rich encompassing greenery. More than 95% of the area flanking Mutianyu is forested with twenty of the pines are more than 300 years of age which are an attraction in itself. Mutianyu is very much developed with numerous merchants and a cable vehicle are available to transport people on the Wall. Marked by steep slopes, during your visit to Mutianyu you ought to be set up for a refreshing outing. Most of the visitors reach this segment on organized trips that often make stops at The Jade Factory and Dingling Tomb as well.
3. Nan Pass
For those trying to encounter the Great Wall much nearer to Beijing and with not at all visitor traffic, head to the southern segment of the Juyongguan – the Nan Pass – which is merely at 30 miles from the city. The Nan Pass area goes back to approximately 200 BC when the wall was initially approved amid the Qin Dynasty. The most striking element of the Nan Pass is the Cloud Platform, a watchtower established during the Yuan Dynasty. The great tower is built of white marble and incorporates the statues of divine beings, and Buddhist scriptures both engraved on either side of the entryways. The Nan Pass is easy to reach via bus and car and is like the Badaling segment of the Great Wall in terms of restoration and development.
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Juyongguan is at a distance of 50 km from Beijing, located in the Guangou valley of Changping District. The pass extends down the valley and has a lovely environment, constructed amid the Ming Dynasty. Juyongguan was at earlier times a military town that had an official residence, various temples, watchtowers, and army bases. Today, it is a conceivable site on your visit to the Great Wall of China, due to its astounding perspectives and extreme steepness.
5. Baishi Mountain
The Baishi Mountain is otherwise called Baishishan in Chinese. The white marble forms parts of the mountain, and that is the place it infers its name. Baishi Mountain’s top is created of dolomite covering 20 km square. It is set in Laiyuan County, in the territory of Hebei in China. The Great Wall Of China height 6877 ft and its principle edge stretch out to more than 22,966 ft. Baishi Mountain likewise rests 200 km southwest of Beijing, and it frames the northern end of Taihang Chain. Encompassing the Mountain’s lower region, prevail the remaining parts of the Great Wall of China. In September 2006, the zone was changed over to Baishi National Geological Park as it was being called a geological park by UNESCO. Moreover, in 2017, the China National Tourism Administration rated this site as an AAAAA-level tourist spot.
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You can enjoy relevant retrieve in this unrestored but peaceful area. And the adventuresome souls can also take delight in hiking here which takes around the 4 hrs to complete. It is of a distance of 9 km from Jiankou to Mutianyu and is truly a wild track. So, only experienced trekkers must opt for it.
Gubeikou is at a distance of 90 miles from Beijing and is most famous for being the pass which preserved the city of Beijing from Northern Mongol attacks. It is said that more than 130 battles happened right at this pass that today remains mostly in ruins. It is recognized as a famous trekking location for avid trekkers. Be cautious though as no amenities, like cable car rides or wheelchair access, are available here. The mountain is acknowledged for its perspective in the cloudy days. In these days, the mountain’s pinnacles give off an impression of being extending out from low-lying clouds and fog. The Baishi Mountain has also owned China’s longest, widest, and highest glass skywalk that stretches to 95 m at the height of 1,900 m.
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Dos and Don’ts At The Wall
One of the main Dos that you must follow is to select the specific section of the Great Wall that you wish to see beforehand and plan accordingly. Always choose either the spring or the fall season to visit the wall. Hiking along the wall is a unique experience in itself, so make sure you don’t miss out on that.
One of the major Don’ts of the Wall is to never wear open-toed shoes while visiting as it might hurt your foot on the changing terrain. It is not advisable to camp on the Great Wall due to extreme weather conditions at times and carrying a lot of weight while hiking can also ruin your experience. Never plan a solo trip to hike on the Wall, either be with a group or travel with your friends.
The Great Wall Of China Map
How to reach the great wall of china.
Various trains are accessible for going to Badaling every day from Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station. It takes around 1.5 hours to reach out Badaling via train. It’s also easy to pre-book a car and driver for yourself to take you to the Great Wall of China. Usually, it takes about 1.5 hrs to reach Badaling or Mutianyu from the city center by the vehicle as well.
Further Read: 10 Tourist Places To Visit In China For An Epic Oriental Adventure!
In an age when travel spots and monuments all appear to be enthusiastically proclaimed, not merely does the popularity of the Great Wall of China fits the buzz around it, but it goes much beyond of it. Climbing a tower and watching the Wall as far as the eye can detect is an image withered into the minds of many. The Great Wall of China really is a miracle to behold. Book your trip to China and see this miracle with your own eyes!
Frequently Asked Questions About The Great Wall of China
Why the watchtowers were built on the Great Wall?
The watchtowers were made to transmit signals as per the movements of the enemies.
How the Great Wall was built?
Constructed mainly out of rammed earth material and forced labour, the Great Wall of China was rebuilt with stone and brick around the time of Ming dynasty.
How tall is the Great Wall of China?
The average height of the Great Wall of China is around 20-23 feet.
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What to See During a Visit to the Great Wall of China?
The Great Wall of China is a true world wonder, spanning great swathes of the Chinese landscape. We look at some of its star attractions.
The Great Wall of China is one of the modern seven wonders of the world , and a protected UNESCO World Heritage site , making it one of the top must-see destinations for intrepid explorers. The wall is unfathomably long, running 21,196 km all along the northern border of China, travelling through mountains, deserts, beaches and grasslands. It would be impossible to take it all in on one visit – in fact, experts estimate it could take up to 17 months to walk the entire length.
All this means travelers tend to choose a particular area of the wall to visit, some offering half or full day treks, others for five days or more with pit stops or camping trips along the way. We take a brief look at some of the experiences you might encounter during a trip to the Great Wall of China , which will require careful planning and preparation before you set off.
The Great Wall of China Has Many Parts
The Great Wall of China is not one long continuous stretch, but it is divided into sections which are separated by areas of mountain and wilderness, each of which was built during different stages in Chinese history . This means it is still possible to walk entire lengths of certain sections of the wall, each of which has its own attractions and distinctive features. Certain parts of the Great Wall of China are better equipped for tourists and tour groups than others, with planned guides, and accessible walkways. Below are just a handful of the most visited and accessible sites.
The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall in the Huairou District of China is 2 km long and has undergone extensive restoration work, making it one of the more accessible areas to walk across. As well as featuring a series of 23 watchtowers, this expansive stretch of wall also showcases stunning views across the Chinese wilderness.
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Badaling is one of the most popular regions of the wall, partly because it is easily reached by car from the nearby city of Beijing, meaning it can get crowded during peak holiday seasons. It is also heavily restored, with 16 watchtowers and a whole series of breathtaking views across Chinese mountains and other stretches of the wall as you walk its length.
Simatai is more historic and ruined than some of the more populist areas of the wall, but this meant it is full of charm. Situated two hours from Beijing by car, this crumbling section of the wall is set near the ancient Gubei Water Town, which itself offers a fascinating glimpse into the architecture of China’s past .
The 10 km stretch of wall known as Jinshanling runs from Jinshanling to Simatai west. It boasts 67 watchtowers of varying appearance, which demonstrate the wall’s original purpose as a system of defense against China’s incoming rivals . Many bricks along the walls between the towers are engraved with a time, date and name of the troop who made them.
The Great Wall of China Has Many Steps
Whichever passage of the Great Wall of China that you choose to visit, you can expect to be climbing a lot of steps, because the wall covers rocky and uneven areas of terrain. Those areas that have undergone restoration are more easily accessible on foot, while some of the lesser-known, ruined parts can make for tricky navigation as the ground surface is uneven. All this means a pair of sturdy walking boots are an essential.
Camping, Paragliding and Cable Cars
Visitors to the Great Wall of China are allowed to camp between stretches which allows them to make a trek across several different stretches during a single visit. Other popular activities available in the more heavily developed and restored section include paragliding, and cable cars, which can take visitors up steep climbs saving them the hassle of climbing all those steps and offer stunning views across the Chinese landscape .
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By Rosie Lesso MA Contemporary Art Theory, BA Fine Art Rosie is a contributing writer and artist based in Scotland. She has produced writing for a wide range of arts organizations including Tate Modern, The National Galleries of Scotland, Art Monthly, and Scottish Art News, with a focus on modern and contemporary art. She holds an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in Fine Art from Edinburgh College of Art. Previously she has worked in both curatorial and educational roles, discovering how stories and history can really enrich our experience of art.
Read more by Rosie Lesso
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