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Great Wall of China

107 bytes added, 10 July
Reverted edits by 2A03:E600:100:0:0:0:0:17 (Talk) to last version by IBJoel
{{pagebanner|Great Wall of China Banner.jpg}}
The '''Great Wall of China''' (长城 ''Chángchéng'') stretches westward across the provinces and municipalities of [[Liaoning]], [[Hebei]], [[Tianjin]], [[Beijing]], [[Inner Mongolia]] Autonomous Region, [[Shanxi]], [[Shaanxi]], and [[Ningxia]] Autonomous Region to [[Gansu]] in the west.
===Badaling and Juyongguan===
* '''Public bus''' : Take bus number 877 or 879 (¥12 one way, ¥4.80 one-way possible to pay with the Beijing Transportation Card, air conditioned coach bus) to Badaling (takes 1.5 hours.) The last bus from Beijing to Badaling leaves at around 12:30, the last bus from Badaling to Beijing at around 16:30. Arrive early for the return trip if you desire a seat.
Reach the bus departure point by exiting from Exit A of Jishuitan subway station, Line 2. Walk east for 450 meters, 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.
Ignore any scammers that may approach you as you walk to the bus. Be wary of men in blue jackets posing as transit workers. They will walk all the way up to the bus door (and in front of real transit workers) to direct you to an overpriced shuttle or tax so you must buy a ticket on the bus. ¥12.
* '''Suburban railway''' : Alternatively, take the Line S2 of the Beijing Suburban Railway from Beijing North Station for ¥6 one way. The train station is adjacent to the Xizhimen subway station of Line 2 and 13; use subway exits A1 or A2 to reach the entrance of the train station. The train is comfortable and takes about 1 hour, 20 minutes to arrive but departures are infrequent, leaving at 6:12 (S201), 7:58 (S203), 9:02 (S207), 10:57 (S209), 13:14 (S213), 15:24 (S213), 17:41 (S221). [ Train Beijing-Badaling schedule] You should arrive at the train station and board 30 minutes before departure to ensure a seat. You can pay on entrance to the train station by swiping your Beijing Transportation Card, which should be purchased . Buy this card while still in the subway station before you leave for the train station.
The train has very large viewing windows, allowing you breathtaking views of the scenery and the Great Wall even before you arrive at Badaling. Upon arrival at Badaling station (most passengers alight at this stop) make a left turn and walk 800 m to the Great Wall entrance.
'''Update July 2018:''' The North Railway Station is under construction and the S2 trains leave from Beijing Huangtudian instead. See [ Train Beijing-Badaling schedule]. There are a lot of persistent taxi drivers who will tell you that there is neither bus nor train to Badaling (or that if you take the next one you will have only very little time there). The Public Bus subsection above is still accurate.
Get to Mutianyu is a little bit more complicated, but if you follow these directions, you shouldn't have problems arriving there. To get there, you can take the 916快 bus from Dongzhimen bus station which you can get by followig the signs in the train station (there is two 916 buses, be sure to take the express bus). After around one hour on the bus you need to stop in 怀柔北大街 (there is a screen in the bus that shows the different stops, you can figure it out looking at the letters on the screen or asking the driver). Once you are in that stop, you have to cross the street and take the H23 or H24 bus to 慕田峪环岛 (4 RMB october 2016), you can also take a taxi (50RMB) or minivan (5 RMB to 50 RMB), but the prices will deppend depend on your bargain skills and the amount of people willig willing to take the taxi or minivan with you (october 2016).
You can also stay on 916 until the final stop, and then hire a minivan from there, but it will be more expensive.
The last buses to Beijing Dongzhimen from Huairou city are the 936 at 17:00 while the service of the 916 ends at 19:00. Without the Beijing transportation card (that you can purchase at any metro station) the price is ¥16 but with the electronic card expect to pay less than ¥5.
You can also get to Mutianyu via a hike from the Jiankou section of the wall. Some offer self-guided tour packages including transportation from Beijing to Jiankou and pickup from Mutianyu to get back to Beijing.
* '''Direct bus from Wangjing West Station''' (望京西站) located at 39°59'38.5"N 116°26'39.9"E, 湖光中街, Middle HuGuang Street, near Wangjing West Subway Station, up to date as August 2016 : Maybe the cheapest and easiest way to go to Jinshanling. Get to Wangjing West Station, accessible from subway lines 13 (exit B or D) and 15 (exit C). Go out of Exit C and then turn right, cross the street and turn right again. There is a big red sign that says something in English about Jianshanling Tourist Bus or something like that. From exit D, head out straight, cross the road, and take a left. The big red sign will be to the right, and probably above your head. The bus station is about 100m east-south-east from the crossroads. The direct bus starts at this bus station every day at 8:00 am and returns from Jinshanling Scenic spot at 3:00 pm. Costs ¥32 if you don't have the Beijing transportation card (which cost a ¥20 deposit that can be refunded by giving back your card at any Service center of any Subway station), ¥22.5 if you have one (13 in cash and 9.5 swiped from the subway card). The journey takes about 2,5 hours. Calculate about 40-60 min to get from Beijing centre Wang Jing West station. Total cost: ¥68 incl your subway fare excl. entrance fee from around ¥65. This can’t beat a organized tour and you will have plenty of time to explore the area. Note: when there are less than 20 passengers you have to take the long distance bus (see bellow) from the same bus station to Luan Ping (the other waiting line).
* '''Bus from Wangjing West Station to Jinshanling Resting Area''', bus destination is Luanping (滦平) : starts at the same bus station as the one above. Departure from 7:00 am to 4:30 pm every 40 minutes. Return from Luanping from 6:30am to 4:00pm with an interval of 40 minutes. This bus does only one stop before destination (Luanping), and it is at Jinshanling Resting Area (Service Center) next to the highway, so there is virtually no way you could eventually miss the stop if you pay attention. Once you arrive there, DO NOT look for a taxi, and DO NOT accept any ride offer beside the free shuttle. If people ask you for money to get you there, then refuse; it might cost you between ¥20-100! It is actually really easy to get to Jinshanling from the Resting Area. There is a free shuttle bus : it starts at 10:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:30 from the Service Center to the Scenic Area and 10:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:00 the other way. Please note that especially in the winter, the first bus may or may not show up. If you have to hurry, you can try to walk there (6km). Once you arrive at the resting area, follow the expressway from where you came by still staying inside the area, you will soon (50m further) notice the signage indicating you the road to reach the place. Walk down the road for 2-3kms after the toll gate, just underneath the expressway and you will arrive at the East Gate. Add 4-5 km to reach the West Gate. As July 2014of March 2017, the entrance ticket will cost you ¥65(peak season April to October) or ¥55 (low season November to March); so if we had to sum up all this you will spend : 22.5*2 + 65 (without cable-car) = ¥110, way under what any tour will propose to you. Make the right choice ! One last thing: to go back to Beijing, make yourself visible for the bus; It will make a very quick U-Turn right in from of the tiny visitor's center at the resting area. The bus will stop literally for few seconds and you will have to wait one more hour to get the next one. Keep in mind that, especially towards Beijing the timetable of the bus is rather "flexible" - the bus may well be late, so don't necessarily panic. Enquire at the shop in the resting area for a "reservation" for the next bus. The lady there can call the bus driver and confirm if seats towards Beijing are available on the next bus, however expect her to be rather half-hearted in terms of helpfulness. * ''' 'One day Travel Package' ''' : 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 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 forced to take a private transport to Jinshanling. Note: as of September 2016 there are no package like this available there.
You can also take a normal * '''Regular 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.
Alternatively, you could also rent * '''Rent a taxi in Miyun ''' for the rest of the day, which will cost you around ¥450 after negotiation. The entire trip will take about 3 hours, but it takes you through small villages and magnificent landscapes.
* '''Mutianyu''' (Chinese: 慕田峪; pinyin: Mùtiányù) is slightly further than Badaling, equally well restored, significantly less crowded, and has greener and more scenic surroundings. Historically, most tour groups did not go here, so this is a generally a better option than Badaling. Mutianyu has a cable car gondola to get onto and off the wall (though walking via stairs is also possible) and a toboggan ride down! Misplaced, but fun.
If, after exiting the cable car, one turns to the left and hikes up stairs for about an hour, one can reach the unrestored, "wild" wall. As of March 2017, a 60cm high wall at tower 20 has been built in order to discourage passage. Signs will tell you that visitors are not admitted to this area of the wall. You should not go beyond this point. A man may ask you for money to allow passage, however he is not an employee of the facility. You should not pay him to go beyond this point. The terrain gets rougher, there's bushes growing in the way and some parts are so destroyed, one has to actually climb to go on. Please note that mobile phone reception drops off sharply here and there's only very few to no people around, so in case of an emergency, you'll be on your own. Good hiking gear advisable. Frozen and slippery in winter. Loose Rocks. If you are further interested in this unrestored "wild wall", the ideal way to experience it is a hike from the Jiankou section to Mutianyu. Allowing a more in depth exploration of the untouched overgrown decrepit walls and towers, it alsoenables you to go down the stairs of the restored section instead of the long arduous climb up. Some offer self-guided tour packages including transportation from Beijing to Jiankou and pickup from Mutianyu to get back to Beijing.
Because several English-language guidebooks now recommend Mutianyu over Badaling as less crowded and less overdeveloped, a few tour companies (notably G Adventures and Intrepid Travel) have switched to Mutianyu as their preferred Great Wall segment for their China tours. If at all possible, try to book an escorted group tour with a Mutianyu visit as an integral component. That will provide the most convenient and seamless experience, since small tourist motorcoaches with the appropriate paperwork can take you directly from a Beijing hotel to a small parking lot very close to the cable car base station. The driver will wait with the motorcoach while your tour guide takes your group up to the Great Wall, then when you are all done, you get back on the motorcoach and go directly back to Beijing.
Entrance fee is ¥45(Sept 2017), ¥25 for students only with ID containing a photo. In addition, the cable car to the wall costs more than the wall entrance: ¥65 100 for adults (one way), or ¥80 120 for a round trip (¥45 ? for children).The total price is 158RMB 180RMB for admission, shuttle bus to the ski lift both ways, ski lift and toboggan ride, as of July 2015Sept 2017. This option is overall the best, you should save your walking energy for on top of the wall, which is very long.
Alternatively the 20-30 min. climb uphill through steps in the forest is free. However the climb is fairly steep, and does not offer views until you reach the great wall itself. If you're not afraid of walking through some shrubbery, and you've got some grip on your shoes, continue on past the restored section and head to the highest local watchtower. You will be greatly rewarded for your effort!
It's far less crowded than Badaling and Mutianyu.... mostly before more difficult to access and less renovated
To get there, go first to Hairou (see the Mutianyu description there above to go there) bus station (bus 916), then take the bus (number 936) to "Shuishangcheng" (litterally "Wall above water", other name of Huanghuacheng Great Wall). To get the second bus stop, turn left out of Hairou bus station up to next light crossing, turn left again (about 300 m) until you get to the bus station. The bus are not very frequent (every hour). Huanhuacheng-Shuishangcheng is the last stop. to go back to Hairou, the bus leaves every hour (10:30, 11:30....) up to 5:30pm. It says there is a direct bus from Dongzhimen to Shuangshangcheng on the WE, but it will leave only if enough people (more than 10). Difficult to count on it so.
Arrived at Shuishangcheng, you can access to the reservoir trough an entrance gate (¥45 each), where you can see the wall. However, to climb on the wall, you can also go to the parking in front of East entrance, then take a small trail at the left of the toilets (without passing the entrance gate so): you'll be able to access the wall without paying the entrance fee! Isn't it wonderful? You can Check more info about this part of the Wall online at [ '''Great Wall at Huanghuacheng''' ]
* '''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. Jinshanling is well restored and offers some round-trips : get on the wall at the Zhuanduo pass, you can get off at Shaling pass (~= 5 towers), at the cable car (~= 10 towers), at the Houchuan pass (~= 13 towers, less than 4h round trip from the gate) or at the "Tower with Five Arrow-holes in the East" (~= 20 towers, a few steep parts, you will get off at the East Gate where you can catch the 3pm direct bus to Wangjing West Station (see "Get In" > "Jinshanling" part). You can no longer go to Simatai from Jinshaling. Entrance to Jinshanling is ¥65.
* '''Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu''' If you are interested in a more authentic experience, this hike allows you to experience both the unrestored "wild wall", as it would stand had it not been entirely rebuilt, and the restored wall, as it would look in it's former glory. An extra bonus is it enables you to go down the stairs of the restored section instead of the long arduous climb up some attempt. The hike can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours. Stay overnight in a hostel at Xi Zha Zi village, or hire someone to drop you off at Jiankou and pick you up at Mutianyu. This hike starts in Xi Zha Zi village (village fee: ¥20 as of Feb 2014), at the foot of Jiankou Great Wall section. After buying the tickets take the first road left (Yi Dui - there should be staff around, who can confirm, that this is Yi Dui). Follow the road for a bit, until you see a blue sign to your left, saying "Please help us protect the Great Wall. This section of the Great Wall is not open to the public." Take the path on the right of it, and stay on the worn path. After an hour long walk in uphill medium-rough terrain, a local villager will ask 5¥ to use his ladder to climb onto Jiankou Tower. Head left (East) towards Mutianyu, a hike that will take you about 2-3 hours, the first half on the unrestored area of the wall and the rest on the restored area. Add 1 hour if you choose to climb up the Ox Horn section, a rougher but beautiful section. Be careful coming down, as it is quite slippery when dry. Do not try to do the hike when it's wet, because it has some very steep and slippery parts. While it would be totally possible to do the hike the other way around, transportation back would be much harder to find.
* '''Hike from Jinshanling to Simatai''' The majority of the Wall east of Jinshanling is also unrestored. The hike from Jinshangling to Simatai is roughly 10 km (6 mi). It is a significant hike in distance but more so in the elevation change, but you will be rewarded with spectacular views and a good day of exercise. Expect to spend anywhere from 2.5 hours to 6 hours on the wall, depending on your fitness level, ambition and frequency of photo ops. When you are half way between the two sections, there are hardly any tourists. In fact, more foreign tourists are seen doing this thorough hike than domestic Chinese tourists. Comfortable shoes and clothes are needed, as you will be hiking on moving bricks sometimes combined with steep climbs. Water and snacks should be in your backpack. But you will find some local vendors selling water and sometimes snacks on the wall. When you descend down from Simatai, there is a zip line available for ¥40. It's roughly 400m, and is over a river. It will take you down to the other side of the river, and includes a short boat ride back to catch your ground transport. During the middle of this hike, collectors will charge you again because you are entering another part of the Wall. If you are going between sections, there is little you can do about it other than turn back. As of '''July 2015''' it is no longer allowed to go east from Jinshanling to Simatai. A guard is posted two towers east of the Five Window Tower in Jinshanling to turn hikers back should they try.
* '''See the sunset and sunrise in Jinshanling''' Follow the same way than the section above to reach Jinshanling. When you arrive at the service station, you should get offers to find accommodation. Prices seem to go from 50 to 80 rmb per person, don't hesitate to bargain. If not follow the road on the south east side of the station (left of the tunnel), it turns right and passes under the highway. After 5-8mn walk you will find guesthouses. To climb the wall, after 5pm, you should be able to sneak at the East Gate (10mn walk along the road) and avoid the 65rmb fee. You can also ask your host to drive you to the main entrance if you are in a hurry for sunset, he may ask you 20-30rmb to drive and wait, and they still ask for a ticket after 5pm, even when it is supposed to be closed. Take the same way back and go on the East Gate in the morning for sunrise for best views. Ask your host to know how to sneak in. There might be a small path on East of the East gate. If you end up in Hua Lou Gou village, there might be a path on West of the West gate to.
* '''Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu''' This hikes start in Xi Zha Zi village (village fee: ¥20 as of Feb 2014), at the foot of Jiankou Great Wall section. After buying the tickets take the first road left (Yi Dui - there should be staff around, who can confirm, that this is Yi Dui). Follow the road for a bit, until you see a blue sign to your left, saying this part of the Great Wall is closed. Take the path on the right of it (follow the red arrow! Do not take the left path, even though it is "a narrow dirt path" as mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide-book.) There will be more red arrows and dots along the way, eventually leading you to the Great Wall (Feb. 2014). You walk about a hour in medium-rough terrain where you will encounter some local villagers' ladders which you will have to use in order to climb the wall (¥5, none of those in Feb. 2014). After arriving at the Great Wall, head left (east) towards Mutianyu, a hike that will take you about 2-3 hours. The first 1,5 hours is on the unrestored area of the wall, the rest on the restored area. Add 0,5-1 hour if you choose to walk the Ox Horn, which is a more rough part of the wall (you can also skip it by following the signs). The hike can be done in sneakers, but hiking shoes would be a much better choice. Don't try to do the hike when it's wet, because it has some very (!) steep and slippery parts. While it would be totally possible to do the hike the other way round (from Mutianyu to Jiankou), finding transportation (probably back to Huairou) would be much harder to find.
* '''Visit the Great Wall Museum''' Down the "Badaling Pedestrian Street" and up a hill behind the "Circle Vision Theater" is the under-appreciated Great Wall Museum. The walk-through exhibits provide a good overview of the wall's multi-dynasty history, along with many artifacts from those time periods and photo-worthy models of watchtowers, scaling ladders, etc. The bathrooms are also probably the cleanest you'll find at Badaling (there's even a Western-style toilet). Best of all, admission is free! (closed M, 09:00-16:00). Great wall circle-vision theater (¥40).
* '''Downhill on the toboggan run''' The Mutianyu section offers two chairlift lines which run to different parts of the Great Wall section, a more modern one with bubble cabins and a less modern one with two-seater chairs. If you feel up to it and the weather is clear, the return ticket for the less modern lift is also good for a ride down the toboggan run. Though if you prefer, tickets can easily be purchased separately for the toboggan ride of course - just walk up to the ticket office at the beginning of the ride, then off you go down the wall. Note that the tickets for the lifts cost the same but are not interchangeable. If you can't read Chinese check the picture on the ticket, and if you get wrong one with a picture of the bubble cabins, it's not a problem to immediately get your money back and take it to the other ticket counter.
*<do name="HereIsBeijing" alt="" address="[email protected]" directions="" phone="(+86) 15601234491; '''Aerial Tour By Private Plane''' If you are interested in a bird's eye view, CFA (+86) 13347123412" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">John at 'Here is Beijing' provided a very convenient pick-up service ) runs private flights for our hike from JianKou to Mutianyu. He was really helpful and even walked with us for a while in order to make sure we got on siteseeing/flightseeing over the right pathGreat Wall. We can really recommend his services!</do>*<do name="eo Leo Hostel Secret Great Wall Tour" alt="Ancient-Secret Great Wall Tours" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Leo Hostel Secret Great Wall Tour has been in existence even longer than Leo Hostel. After many years of running tours to the popular Simatai Great Wall, a lot of tourists asked to see a quieter part of the Wall, without so many tourists. Leo Hostel then invented its very own tour to a Secret Great Wall, which has been running happily for over 10 years now. Leo Hostel has years of experience and is able to obtain discount tickets. </do> 
==Stay safe==
'''Walking safely''' don't run around as you may trip which may result in an injury as the steps are uneven.
'''Phones''' use your phone only for taking images, stop tweeting or updating your Facebook status and actually admire the scene for once as you may never get an opportunity like this again (this will also save you battery which you can then use in case of an emergency)
==Get out==
[[pt:Muralha da China]]
[[WikiPedia: Great Wall of China]]

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