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Great Wall of China

4 bytes added, 22:02, 2 August 2016
Note: Bus 877 to Badaling is about 400m east of the station (exit A). You have to walk from Exit A around 5 minutes past all bus stops until you reach the Deshengmen arrow tower on your left. Bus 877 leaves exactly North (behind) of the tower. The station is right behind the stop for bus 919. Just follow the crowd.
Be very wary of men in blue jackets posing as transit workers. They will lie walk all the way up to the bus door (and in front of real transit workers) by saying and say there are no more buses, that it is the wrong bus, or that they are overpriced, etc. and try to get unknowing passengers to take their overpriced taxi and/or shuttle. The real transit workers around the area will be of no help (as they may be taking a cut), so you must ask the ticket giver directly on the bus if it is the correct bus. ¥12. Many tourists get stuck at the station where bus 919 leaves and are approached by the scammers there. You have to actually get past the bus 919 to get to the station for 877.
Alternatively, take the train from Beijing North Station which has the subway station. The train costs ¥6 with the IC card one-way for hard seat (the seat is nicer than most airplanes, with plenty of leg room). The train is a much better option than a bus since it takes less time, doesn't get stuck in traffic, leaves from a relatively central subway station and the seating is much more comfortable. The train departs from Beijing North Station, the entrance to the waiting area is on the surface with the "Entrance" sign, and the train schedule is posted nearby. The train you need starts with S following by a 2xx number, such as S205. If you use the IC cards there are no tickets, you just touch your card and get in (you'll have to touch the card on the exit again). The schedule posted on [] seems to be pretty safe. This allows you time to visit the wall at your own leisure, bypassing the need to go to the Ming Tombs and random stores. The train has very large viewing windows, allowing you breathtaking views of the scenery and the Great Wall even before you arrive at Badaling. If you don't have the IC card, tickets must be purchased the same day of travel only from the Beijing North Station. Tickets may be purchased as early as 6:30am. In peak seasons tickets may sell for the next train so you may need to wait. There is no specific time printed on the ticket so you may use the ticket for any train that day. If you can't find empty seats you can hang out in the nearly empty dining car, which has a couple of comfortable booths with tables. Upon arrival at Badaling station (the station will be announced in English with repeating "Great Wall" many times so you won't miss it) you'll need to make a left turn and walk 800 m to the great wall entrance. Badaling entrance fee is ¥40 or ¥45 with a postcard. Audio tour service ¥15/40 for Chinese/English + ¥200 deposit.
* '''Gubeikou''', '''Jinshanling''' and '''Simatai''' are a bit farther from Beijing than other sections, but the extra time it takes to get there is rewarded with a very significant reduction in crowding and tourist traps. Services are also limited, however; make sure you bring your own supply of water and extra film. The most authentic part of the Wall (at least portions closest to Beijing) is at '''Simatai'''; the Wall here is of original construction unlike Badaling. These three locations are 130 km (80 mi) northeast of central Beijing.
For people who wish to visit Jinshanling only for a day trip, it is worth mentioning that there is a 'One day Travel Package' available. It costs ¥120 in total for the round-trip bus ticket, admission fee, cable way, and the tourist car at the scenic spot. Tickets can be purchased at Dongzhimen bus terminus/东直门长途汽车站. Be wary of bus scams. There will be "harmless looking" middle-age woman/man who will approach you at the bus terminus pretending to be helpful and lie say that the direct bus service is cancelled due to bad weather and then advise you to take a public bus to Miyun bus terminus which you'll then be force to take a private transport to Jinshanling. Note: as of September there are no package like this available there.
You can also take a normal bus (line 980) from Dongzhimen, it will take you to Miyun for ¥30. At Miyun bus 51 takes you to Simatai (another ¥30), bus 25 goes to Gubeikou. Don't believe the friendly ladies in Dongzhimen who tell you to get of at the fifth stop of line 980. There's no transfer to other lines there, only expensive taxis. Instead ask people in the bus where you best get off. Finally, you can get to Jinshanling from Gubeikou with a taxi.
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