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Great Wall Hiking Tour

"Badaling Great Wall Hiking"

  • Code: GW01
Badaling Great Wall Map
Badaling Great Wall Map

In ancient China, the Great Wall was a military project used for defending the intrusions of the nomadic tribes. Now in new China, it is a historical site for tourists and archaeologists to visit and study. Together with Tiananmen and the Terracotta Warriors, it is considered as the symbol of China. The most well preserved section of China Great Wall and the first one opening to public is Badaling Great Wall in Beijing.

Badaling Great Wall is located in northwest Yanqing County, 75 km away from the city. Air-conditioned express bus No. 919 runs to Badaling everyday from 06:30 to 18:30. The bus station is at the north side of Desheng Gate, just after going through the Gate Tower. But on your walking way to the bus station, there are many fake ones greeting you. Some of them even wear the coat which is almost the same with the bus driver's uniform, trying to talk you into taking their buses which are much more expensive and they are most likely to ditch you along the way if you do not pay more. When you find the No. 919 bus station, you may ask the ticket seller for sure and the ticket only costs CNY12 per person. Just remember, usually the official tourist bus staff does not solicit passengers to get on their buses and they do not print any phone number on the leaflets. The tourist bus departs every 5 minutes. The driving takes about 1 hour through the express way and the bus will stop at the ticket office of the cable car. It is also the place where you will take the bus back to Beijing. The No. 919 buses coming out from the parking lot are the ones to Badaling Wild Animal World, please make sure that you do not get on this one if you are back to Beijing.

If you take this Badaling Great Wall hiking tour during the holidays, especially from Oct 01 to 07, you may consider taking the train as there may be very heavy traffic jams on the express way. From Beijing North Railway Station, there are 13 trains a day to Badaling, 5 of them are in the morning and the first one is S201 departing at 06:12. The train journey takes about 1.5 hour. The hard seat ticket is CNY15 and the soft seat ticket is CNY22.

The Badaling Great Wall opens from 06:30 to 19:00 in summer and from 07:00 to 18:00 in winter. The Tourist Distribution Center is 2 minutes' walking ahead from the bus station and 10 minutes from the railway station. After purchasing the ticket, please follow the direction board and walk for 5 minutes to reach Badaling Great Wall. The admission fee for Badaling is CNY45.00. And if you want to take the cable car, it is CNY60.00 for single way and CNY80.00 for round way. The cable car stops between the 7th and 8th north watchtowers. The slideway is also available, but it is on the other side of the great wall and stops at the 4th north watchtower. The single way ticket is CNY30 and the round way ticket is CNY60.

Badaling Great Wall, Beijing
Badaling Great Wall

Bus 919 Station, Beijing
Bus No. 919 Station

The open area of Badaling is 3,741 meters. From the main entrance, it stretches northeast for 2,565 meters and southwest for 1,176 meters. There are altogether 19 watchtowers, 12 on the north side and 7 on the south side. The area beyond has not been fully repaired and is not recommended to unprofessional hikers.

The base of Badaling Great Wall was covered by huge, anti-erosion, hard and trapezoid granites, and filled with soil and rocks inside. The average height is 8 meters, the bottom width is 6.5 to 7.5 meters and the top width is 4.5 to 5.8 meters. The upper wall was built with special-made bricks. The crenel wall facing the enemy is 1.7 to 2 meters high and the wall on the other side is about 1 meter high.

Most people choose to visit the north part of Badaling as it is the essential and representative works of the whole Great Wall. Near the entrance stand 5 ancient cannons which were the most advanced weapon at that time. The biggest one which was made in 1638 of the Ming Dynasty has a powerful barrel with a length of 2.85 meters and a caliber of 105 millimeters. Hiking on the Great Wall for about 1500 meters, you will reach the 8th north watchtower. It is the highest point of Badaling, 888 meters above the sea level and 228 meters higher than the entrance. Known as the Hero Stone, it is where the common saying "One who fails to reach the Great Wall is not a hero" originated. And it is the best point to have an overlook of Badaling Great Wall.

Bus 919, Beijing
 The Express Bus No. 919

Badaling Great Wall, Beijing
Visitors on the Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall attracts millions of travelers every year, so it is always full of people on the north part. The south part is less crowded, but a little steepy and short. There is also cable car available to the 4th watchtower. Since 1995, every night on weekends from 18:30 to 21:30, there is a light show from the 4th south watchtower to the 4th north watchtower. Under twinkling stars, the great wall is like a colorful dragon flying in the dark sky. And if you stay overnight at the hotel at the foot of the great wall, you can see the sunrise or sunset here. The view will be amazing and gorgeous.

If you still have time after visiting Badaling Great Wall, there are several spots around that you can visit. The Great Wall Museum along with the Circle Vision Theater is near the cable car ticket office. The museum is free of charge and closed on Monday. The ticket of the 17 minutes movie at the theater is CNY40, but for free if you have the ticket of Badaling. Through the relics, pictures, sculptures, models in the four exhibition halls of the museum, and the movie integrating circular screens and dome, you will better know the Great Wall from the sides of history, politics, economy, military and culture.

The Bears' Paradise is near the ticket office of the slide way. About 380 black bears, brown bears and Malayan Sun Bears live in this 20,000 square meters park and you can find bear specimens of all kinds in the world. Since 1996, they train the bears to survive in the wild and release them to the nature every year. It helps increasing the quantity of the wild bears and balancing the nature. There is no entrance fee for the park, but the plates of food that are used for feeding the bears require CNY3 each.

Great Wall, Beijing
Cable car on the Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall, Beijing
Watchtower on the Great Wall

Badaling Wild Animal World is located at the exit of the express way. It occupancies a land of 237 hectares and is the largest mountain animal park in the country. The ticket is CNY90 and you are recommended to visit here in the warm days as the animals will be more active. You can take the tourist bus though the beast area to see the African lions, tigers and bears. You can also drive your own car, but the insurance is needed before your entry. And please remember that during the driving, you can not get off the car, open the window or feed the beasts. Your driving speed needs to be less than 20 km per hour. The opening hour of the park is 08:00-17:00 in summer time and 10:00-15:00 in winter time.

To have a good experience in Badaling Great Wall hiking tour, there are a few things that need your awareness. The first is to bring enough water and food. Those sold at the scenic area are expensive and unsanitary. Then you need to pay attention to the other things. At the entrance of Badaling, there is a clean and free washroom. On the 4th and 7th watchtowers of the Great Wall, there are two toilets. But they are not very clean, with no water to wash your hands and require a small amount of fee. Before going to the Great Wall, please check the weather report and bring the umbrella, coat, sunscreen cream or other supplies if necessary, of course the most important is to wear a pair of comfortable shoes.

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