Beijing, China’s capital is a bustling city teeming with people and sounds. It is a fascinating city that is quickly modernizing but keeping some aspects of its glorious past. It is a great city to explore on foot, tucking into Hutongs, enjoying delicacies at a night food market or visiting some of the top tourist attractions in Beijing. One such is the Great Wall of China.
Visiting the Great Wall of China
We were blown away with our visit. Our guide arranged that we have an early breakfast. He made clear that if we don’t get to the Great Wall early, to expect a hoard of tourists and chaos so to avoid all this we did set off early, being already all very excited about this tour.
The Great Wall of China
Mutianyu is quite far from Beijing, about 70 km. It took us 2 hours to reach the Badaling Great Wall which is the best-preserved and most complete part of the Great Wall. Visiting it is an experience of a lifetime.
The stairs were not that steep but there were also handrails so it was a relatively easier climb. The total length of this section is 12 km with 43 watchtowers, however, only 2.3 miles (3.74 kilometres) and 19 watchtowers have been restored and opened to visitors. These watchtowers were built to accommodate soldiers, observe the enemy and store supplies.
The Great Wall of China
It’s amazing that the Great Wall of China has been around for so many years. It really is one of the touristy places that you absolutely have to visit. We had our own guide along but he gave us only 3 hours to explore the Walls so, in reality, we could not do much which was disappointing. Of course, we walked up to a point and the more we walked higher the more we were rewarded with an unbeatable view of the valley below. When you come to the Great Wall of China, be sure to be careful, most of the stairs are of unequal height and length. You have to really pay attention or else you risk turning an ankle. I loved looking out of the various watchtower windows and imagining what it must have been like to serve on watch at the Great Wall.
With two other friends from the group, we climbed up the Great Wall of China, as higher as we could, considering the 3 hours given so we had to be back promptly and join the group. By the time we were back everyone was looking to buy souvenirs. Impressed with the art of snuff bottles, I bought myself three nice ones.