Exploring the Great Wall was the main draw to visiting Beijing, because we love a UNESCO site and a world wonder; okay!
Visiting the attraction doesn’t have to be arduous or unattainable; keep reading for our tips.
Why was the Great Wall built?
- The primary function of the wall was for protection from invasion by Mongolian and Manchu armies from the North.
How far is the Great Wall from Beijing:
- Badaling is approximately 1.5 hours by car or about 2.5 hours by tour bus.
- Mutianyu is about 2 hours by car.
When to visit: Autumn or Spring
- Autumn brings a different variety of colours to the leaves and greenery around the wall which makes for a pretty sight.
- Spring brings awesome weather and less people.
- Summer is still nice but it does get super hot.
- Winter brings frost-covered scenes but the cold air will feel even colder due to the wind.
- There is more than one entrance up to the Great Wall, so depending on what you’d like to see and how long you have – this could be a full day excursion.
- We visited the Mutianyu part of the wall – it’s the most restored section of the wall and offers the best picturesque views.
- You can hike to the top or you can get a cable car up and down.
- If you are feeling adventurous – get a toboggan down!
- Remember there is no shade for the majority of the walk; so sunscreen, water and flannel.
- Be prepared for the elements in whichever season you go.
- Book a tour guide with reviews online; they can offer you further insight into the history.
- Try some local cuisine in the Great Wall park.
Top Tip: Avoid the Great Wall during Chinese holidays, or you may get caught up in the crowds.
- Don’t wear open-toed shoes; there are loose pieces of rock and insects. There have been sightings of snakes in the bush around!
- Plan/try to camp on the wall.
- Take pictures in precarious positions – it’s an ancient structure.
- Be a litter bug!
- Forget tissue if you’d like to use the toilet.
- Run or walk too fast; seriously – there is loose rock everywhere.
- Don’t climb on the windows of watchtowers, especially unrestored ones that might collapse.
We hope this answers some starter questions you have about visiting the Great Wall.
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