After almost a year and a half we made it to the Great Wall. It is definitely great and we were lucky enough to have the most stunning clear skies to witness this wonder of the world.
The closest section of the wall to Beijing is Badaling. I would only go here if I had no other choice. If you aren’t on a pre-planned trip, book either the Mutianyu or Jinshinlin sections. They are a farther drive from Beijing, but so much more worth it to escape the crowds. We booked our day trip through our hotel which included breakfast, lunch, entrance fee, and the ride there. It took about 1.5hours from the north east center of Beijing to arrive to Mutianyu. When you arrive there’s a convenient chair lift and gondola (extra cost) to take you to two different areas of the wall.
We chose the right side as it is more rustic and has less rebuilt sections than the left side.
After you arrive on the wall, the photos speak for themselves.
You don’t have to go far to arrive at areas of the wall that have yet to be restored and come along with wonderful perspective vista views.
On our way back, we made friends with the local vendors and had a cheers and a salute on the wall!
There are a couple different ways to get off the wall, though the only way in my opinion is to take the luge! It’s quite safe, easy and ‘exports’ you back down. We wanted to pay our entrance fee again just to go down the luge one more time.
Here’s a map of the Mutianyu section, it’s an area not to be missed!