The Great Wall was on our bucket list even before we met. We have heard about this beautiful landmark of China since we were a little kids. We’ve heard that it’s the only building that is visible from the space (which is not true! read more interesting facts about China). Before we started travelling, Great Wall Beijing seemed to us like a far dream that may never be reached. It was more like a fairy tale than a real thing. We’ve learnt about it in school but we’d never expected to actually see it when we were little kids.
Yesterday our dream came true. We’ve been trekking on the amazing Great Wall of China! It was even more beautiful than we expected. The views from the top are absolutely breathtaking. Everything looks even better than on pictures. It was one of the most amazing experience we have ever had. Being there was like going back in time, to the ages of emperors and kings. The view of the mountains, the smell of the forest, the sound of the wind, the touch of the sun are something we will never forget…
The Great Wall Beijing Trekking China
You can call us ignorants but there are some things we didn’t know before visiting The Great Wall. Here’s what we’ve learnt:
You can’t go through the entire wall.
First of all- it’s more than 6000 km long (3900 miles), so it’s impossible to overcome this distance in a short period of time. Skilled walker can walk 45 kilometres a day. It means he would need 134 days to go through the entire wall.
Secondly- some parts of the wall are closed (they are too dangerous are they are part of the military area).
The Wall is not one uniform construction, it is divided into sections.
2. The Wall is situated in the mountainous area.
The main purpose of the Wall was to protect the country from the invaders. Chinese people used the topography of an area (rivers, mountains etc.) as a natural defensive barriers. That’s why all the Watch Towers are situated on the hills- the guards were able to see foreign troops from afar.
3. The Wall is not visible from the space.
It was sad news for us- we really believed that The Great Wall of China can be seen from the Moon. Unfortunately it’s not. It’s just too small.
Neil Armstrong, famous astronaut, said:
I do not believe that, at least with my eyes, there would be any man-made object that I could see. I have not yet found somebody who has told me they’ve seen the Wall of China from Earth orbit… I’ve asked various people, particularly Shuttle guys, that have been many orbits around China in the daytime, and the ones I’ve talked to didn’t see it.
Trekking at The Great Wall Beijing
We were lucky enough to find the most amazing guide EVER! James from Trekclub helped us organise a trip and chose the best route.
The Great Wall is not situated in Beijing, so we had to drive north to see it. James had been visiting The Wall about 150 times a year for the last 10 years, so he is extremely experienced. He said that the most beautiful part of the The Great Wall in a Beijing area is Jinshanling. We trusted him and chose this route.
He picked us up at 8 am in the morning. The first surprise for us was that he wasn’t late- we’ve spend the last 3 months in Asia, so we get used to the notorious delays. We liked James right away, he is a smiling guy and speaks English very well.
We were driving for about 2 hours to The Great Wall Beijing. James guided us to the side entrance of the Wall, where no tourists go. After 30 minutes we get to the top.
Setting feet upon the Great Wall of China was a magical experience for us. Our dream came true! We were really there, visiting one of the most beautiful and meaningful places on the world!
James was right, the views from this part of the Wall were breathtaking. We couldn’t stop smiling and taking photos.
The trek at this section of the Wall takes 3,5-4,5 hours. It’s worth to know that you will be walking alternately up and down. It’s quite difficult but we believe this route is for everybody. If you are not fit enough, it will just take you more time to walk through the section.
But it’s really worth it! After visiting so many countries on the world, we think that The Great Wall is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It is one of the New7Wonders of the world.
Tips for The Great Wall Beijing
You will have to walk 11 kilometres (7 miles), so you can’t do it in flip-flops. The best are trekking or running shoes.
Be prepared for the sun and the rain- wear sunglasses, take suncream and the raincoat.
2. Take water and snacks.
You will be VERY thirsty at the Wall. The air is very dry there, so you need to take at least one big bottle of water for one person. Snacks are important as well, James said that Snickers are the best to get more energy :).
3. Take guide! Great Wall Beijing.
Don’t think about going to the Wall alone. It’s not impossible but it’s better to have an experience person with you who speaks Chinese and tell you amazing stories on the way.
James is definitely the best! He is caring and responsible. He took additional water and snacks just in case we wouldn’t have enough. He stopped every time we get tired and adjusted the hiking pace to us. His car was very comfortable, it was a pleasure to spend an entire day with James.
Disclosure: We want to thank James from the Trekclub for a complimentary tour. All opinions presented in this post are honest and our own.