Monday, 26 February 2018

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall, one of the top things to see in the world, of course we were going to make sure we had a chance to visit one last time before leaving Beijing and we picked the most beautiful day to do it!

A taxi took us from our hotel to the Wall, via the Visitor Centre where we could buy our tickets. It cost around 350RMB for both of us to enter the wall and take a cable car to and from the wall. Not bad to visit one of the top rated attractions I don't think! I completely forgot how big a walk it is to even get to the cable cars. The Wall may be a tourist attraction now but don't be fooled that it is accessible for all, you need to be pretty damn fit in order to access it. The walk up to the cable cars is a big hill and it's tough going! I genuinely thought I might die at numerous points of the walk!
The views from the cable car was pretty spectacular. It looked a little grey and dull, being winter and all. Although, if you've experienced Beijing, it usually looks a little grey and dull. We actually picked a great day to visit though! During Chinese New Year all of the factories close and it's one of the few times you can pretty much guarantee a clear day, and that's exactly what we got! 
We stopped by the platform before stepping onto the Wall to take some photos. It's the first place you really get a chance to take in the views and see the Wall up close. The views are great and I'm so pleased we had such a clear day to visit. The platform was all decorated for Chinese new Year with lanterns and a wishing tree. 
Once on the wall we took our time to explore and walk along it. Even once you're on the wall it's bloody hard work. There are some parts that are smoother and others that are huge steps and ruins. The wall isn't developed like many tourist attractions are, it has that old feel and you can really see how old it is when you're on there. It feels authentic! The wall goes up and down, up and down all the way along so we kept walking until we reached the point where it only went up, up, UP and decided we had seen enough/were nowhere near fit enough to make it up the vertical hill! 
We then walked back along the wall to the cable cars to head back to our hotel. It was refreshing being up there, having nothing else to do or think about and just chill in the fresh air. Fresh air is rare in Beijing and it was just the most perfect day!

If you're planning to visit the Great Wall, here are a few tips to make your trip a little easier.

☆  You can't always plan your trip. If you get a clear day and had different plans, changed them and get yourself to the wall. You have to take the opportunity while it's there and you can never guarantee when the pollution will hit. 

☆  Take limited things with you. The walk up to the wall and on the wall is tough, so the less you have the better. 

☆  Wear comfortable shoes. You will definitely need them! 

☆  Food places and toilets are not in abundance and you will pay for the one that is there, so if you're planning a long trip, come prepared and bring some snacks with you. 

☆  Visiting during Chinese New Year is probably always going to be the quietest time of year as everybody heads home for the holiday. If you're wanting some uninterrupted Insta shots then plan your trip during CNY. 

☆  Don't overestimate how long you need to spend there. Half a day, or even a couple of hours is more than enough, unless you're keen to tackle that huge hill of course. It's great and the views are amazing, but it's essentially a wall and the views are unchanging, so once you've walked on it, grabbed a few photos and explored a little, you're done. 

☆  If you're looking to spend longer there or would like a unique experience, check out a stay at The Brickyard, which is an amazing hotel that overlooks the wall. 

It's definitely one check for the bucket list! If you've visited I'd love to hear about your experience, let me know about it in the comments! 

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20 comments

  1. My sister lived in China for 4 years and I never visited... shame on me because this looks amazing! I definitely missed out, I wouldn't dare go to Beijing without visiting the great wall. You are definitely living it up.

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    1. Aw that's such a shame! You'll just have to plan your own trip sometime! x

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  2. Wow. Climbing the Great Wall of China is on my bucket list too. I hope when the time comes that I can fly there, my knees would still be strong enough. I wish they'd make some improvements to allow PWD to visit too.

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    1. It's definitely a tough climb. There are parts that are flat but mostly it's pretty tough going. The Badaling section of the wall is a little more touristy so may be better but I've not been.

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  3. This is so amazing. I always wanted to visit the great wall of china once in my life. You have here a great collection of pictures :)

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  4. oh wow! china is always a dream destination for me, I have always been in awe of the country. beautiful pictures you have here

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    1. There are many China frustrations, but there are some stunning places to see. x

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  5. This is something I'd always love to do as it's such a unique place, looks like you had a great trip x

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  6. Stunning pics, Nikki! And I love that there are no people ruining your shots! :P xxx

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  7. I've been to the Great Wall a few times now but I've never saw the same beauty in it that you managed to capture! Thank you! You make me want to revisit and pay a little more attention this time. :)

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    1. Thanks Kaitlyn, that's really nice of you! It definitely depends on the time of year you go! x

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  8. Beautiful pics! This place looks stunning, and I've always wanted to go and visit it :) Tania Michele xx

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    1. Thanks Tania, the views are great!

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  9. Wow, it seems even more spectacular in real life. I was about to say you were lucky with the weather and no tourists around and then I read your recommendations. I am planning to go this year to China and your post makes me more excited.

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    1. Oh wow, so cool that you're visiting this year! There are so many stunning places to see. Do you have a plan of what you will do/see? x

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  10. That is such a great experience. The wall looks endless. I would love to visit one day:-)

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    1. I hope you get to visit Irena! x

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