The Great Wall of China is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, and visiting it is a must for anyone traveling to China. This ancient fortification stretches over 13,000 miles across China and was originally built to protect China from invaders. Today, it is a popular tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In this guide, we will cover two outdoor activities, two must-see places, and one unusual tip for anyone planning a trip to the Great Wall of China.
Hiking the Great Wall
One of the best ways to experience the Great Wall is by hiking it. There are several sections of the wall that are open to visitors, but the most popular one is the Badaling section. This section is easily accessible from Beijing and is the most well-preserved part of the wall. The hike can be quite steep, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water. The views from the top are breathtaking, and you can see for miles in every direction.
Camping on the Great Wall
For a truly unique experience, consider camping on the Great Wall. Overnight camping trips on the wal is a great way to experience the wall in a more immersive way. You’ll have the opportunity to see the wall at sunset and sunrise, and the stars at night are absolutely incredible. Make sure to bring warm clothing, as it can get quite chilly at night. Just note that Simatai section is the only one that opens to tourists at night.
The Mutianyu section is a slightly less crowded section of the Great Wall, but still easily accessible from Beijing. It’s known for its stunning scenery, including dense forests and rolling hills. This section is also home to some unique features, such as the “Heavenly Ladder” and the “Sky Bridge.” You can take a cable car or hike up to the top of the wall, and there are several watchtowers along the way where you can take in the views.
The Jinshanling section is a more rugged and remote part of the Great Wall, but it’s also one of the most beautiful. This section is known for its steep inclines and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. There are several watchtowers along the way, and you can hike as far as you’d like before turning back. The Jinshanling section is a bit further from Beijing than some of the other sections, but it’s definitely worth the trip.
Visit the Great Wall in the Winter
While most people visit the Great Wall during the summer months, visiting in the winter can be a unique and memorable experience. The crowds are much smaller, and you can often have the wall almost entirely to yourself. The snow-covered landscape is also incredibly beautiful, and there are several sections of the wall that are open for skiing and snowboarding.
Zhangye Danxia Landform
The Zhangye Danxia Landform is a unique geological formation located in the Gansu Province of China. The area is known for its rainbow-colored mountains, which are the result of millions of years of erosion and mineral deposits. The colors of the mountains change throughout the day, depending on the angle of the sun, and the effect is truly breathtaking. Visitors can hike through the area and take in the stunning scenery, which has been compared to a painting come to life.
Reed Flute Cave
The Reed Flute Cave is a natural limestone cave located in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China. The cave gets its name from the reeds that grow outside the cave, which are used to make flutes. Inside the cave, visitors can see a stunning display of stalactites, stalagmites, and other rock formations, illuminated by colorful lights. The cave has been used for centuries as a shelter and hideout, and there are several inscriptions and rock carvings inside that date back to the Tang Dynasty. The Reed Flute Cave is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in natural wonders and ancient history.
The Brickyard Retreat at Mutianyu Great Wall – This luxury hotel is located just a short distance from the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. The hotel offers stunning views of the wall and the surrounding countryside, as well as a range of amenities, including a spa, outdoor pool, and on-site restaurant. Rooms are spacious and beautifully designed, with a rustic-chic aesthetic that blends seamlessly with the natural surroundings.
Beijing Great Wall Jinshanling Hotel – This mid-range hotel is located just a short distance from the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall. The hotel offers comfortable and spacious rooms, as well as a range of amenities, including an on-site restaurant and free Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy stunning views of the wall from the hotel’s rooftop terrace.
The Great Wall Box House – This budget-friendly guesthouse is located just a short distance from the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. The guesthouse offers simple but comfortable rooms, as well as a range of amenities, including a shared kitchen and free Wi-Fi. The guesthouse also offers bike rentals, making it easy to explore the surrounding area.
Leo Hostel – This popular hostel is located in the heart of Beijing, just a short distance from several sections of the Great Wall. The hostel offers a range of dormitory-style rooms, as well as private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. The hostel also offers a range of amenities, including a bar, free Wi-Fi, and a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city.
The Great Wall of China is a true marvel of human engineering and a must-see destination for anyone visiting China. Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities, exploring ancient historical sites, or just taking in the stunning scenery, there’s something for everyone on the Great Wall. With our travel guide, you’ll have all the information you need to plan the perfect trip, including two must-see places, two outdoor activities to try, four accommodation suggestions in various budgets, and an unusual tip for making the most of your visit. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable journey on the Great Wall of China.