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Review of Travel Great Wall

Travel Great Wall
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Small Group Tour: Enjoy Your Day on Mutianyu Great Wall including Lunch
Ranked #40 of 379 Tours in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Mutianyu Great Wall small group tour, Great Wall car rental service, Beijing airport layover tour. Jinshanling Great Wall hiking towards to Simatai was amazing !"Not been on the Great Wall, not a great man."—Chinese proverb.The least spoiled part of the Great Wall.The hike from the west Jinshanling to the east Simatai is the most challenging Great Wall hike in Beijing.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 September 2013

I booked this trip through http://www.backpackingchina.com/ as they were VERY reasonably priced and I didn't want to get dragged around tourist shops.

We gathered at the hostel, then walked to the tour bus, which drove is way out into the mountains, which was great in itself.During the busride you get to talk to some people, a lot of whom were low budget backpackers. A great way to meet some of the most adventurous people and get some tips on where to go next :-)

It was a very hot day and we stocked up on water and I foolishly thought 2 bottles of water was enough, ha. You can buy water, food, hats, climbing poles and such at the foot of the wall.

On the wall it became very clear that this hike is not to be underestimated. There were some people in flipflops, even though the website clearly stated to bring proper boots. You really need them!! The wall is largely unrestored and the steps are sometimes crumbly and very uneven. It also goes right up and down, with the last part being the most steep, so don't rush into it!

I really enjoyed this part of the Wall too, it was a great way to see a number of towers and various great views. You will get hassled by locals trying to sell their goods, but they are pretty polite about it (and frankly, they'd probably make more money if they just offered to carry water, bags, etc). There are numberous people selling more frozen/cold water on top of the Wall, you just pay a little bit more, so don't worry about that.

Overall it was a great first glimpse at the wall, and I'd recommend the trip the Backpacker's Hostel offers, if only for sheer affordability: http://www.backpackingchina.com/ Oh and if the group size of 30 scares you, after hiking for half an hour, you hardly ever see half the people again.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank paranoid-android76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Witnessing Peace”
Reviewed 3 September 2013

My first day off, after working 19 straight days, was a Sunday. Well the day before, I went to the president in charge of startup operations at this brand-new factory in Beijing, and asked him what I should do. He asked me to return in an hour. He made an itinerary. A limo would pick me up at my hotel at 5:30 am. and would take me to the Forbidden City, Tiananmen square, and the Great Wall, with a private entrance.to avoid those on vacation. With these plans in play, I would have to wake, 2 hours earlier. My alarm woke me at 5:30 am. I went to the window to open the drapes, for light, and I WITNESSED PEACE. Being on the 4th. floor, I had a great view. EVERYONE IN THE CITY, ANYONE THAT COULD STAND, 4 YEAR OLDS, MEN AND WOMEN IN THEIR 80'S AND 90'S. THE ENTIRE CITY, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ALL IN THE STREETS DOING ....TAI CHI. I put my shorts on and joined them, for 1/2 hour, and I was welcomed . It took 2 hours to get to Beijing, as my hotel was in the city of Tianjin, and the people in Beijing, were still doing Tai Chi. I WITNESSED 2 ENTIRE CITIES AT PEACE. Later, I found out that the whole country does it every day. Witnessing this, has touched my life. There is a spiritual side to this, some of which I have experienced and the rest I still seek. Think about it.....The whole country was in unison. Go to any school, any class and try to get just 2 kids to get on the same page.....EVERYONE SHOULD GET THE CHANCE TO NOT ONLY WITNESS THIS.... BUT TO ALSO PARTICIPATE. This trip was taken in approx. 1995 making the question of when did you visit....NULL On a side note, I also experienced the Forbidden City. That too is a must see.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank h1landr194
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chippenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“The great Wall at Jinshanling”
Reviewed 2 September 2013

A wonderful, exciting tour of this section of wall which has not been re-constructed. Stunning views and atmospheric. Some tricky parts but James made sure that I was going at my own pace and I felt very safe and able to enjoy the walk (climb!) with no worries at all. I would highly recommend this visit and hope it remains unspoilt in the future. The meal with the local farmer was fab. Thank you

Visited August 2013
Thank Pauline B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antwerp, Belgium
Level Contributor
194 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Not crowded, beautiful scenery”
Reviewed 29 August 2013

This site was a 3 hour drive from Beijing but totally worth it because we were almost alone on the wall. Awesome views up here, we loved it.

Visited August 2013
Thank Antwerpgirl_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“A memorable experience”
Reviewed 16 August 2013

We traveled to China in May 2013 and one of the main reasons was to visit the Great Wall.
Reading all the information on Tripadvisor and the web and from comments from others that had done it, it seemed that one of the best sections, to avoid the crowds and see good examples of restored and original wall was the section from Jinshanling to Simatai. We were not disappointed!
Jinshanling is a good 2 hr drive from Beijing and we could have done a very cheap trip on one of the mini bus tours but given that it was one of the main reasons for the trip and we had spent a fair amount getting there we decided to spend a little more and do a private visit. We were looking for a true local and not through a large travel company and after trolling the web and Tripadvisor we were lucky to stumble across a couple of mentions of a young guy named "Snow" Cui who runs personalized custom tours out at Jinshanling. Snow has lived all his life in the family farm alongside the wall at Jinshanling. Due to the difficulty of making a living off the land the family initially started doing homestays in their home and then Snow began guiding. In recent times they have constructed a number of basic motel style units alongside their home and Snows mother and wife now also operate a home style restaurant for their guests and locals.
Our tour was as follows:-
Snow sent a private car to pick us up from our hostel in Beijing at around 3pm and we drove the 2hr journey to Jinshanling. While the driver had virtually no english he was a very friendly and courteous man with a very clean well appointed car. After settling in on arrival we proceeded up to the wall (a short drive up the road) and Snow took us on about a 2km walk toward Gubeikou and we stayed on the wall till sunset. Most of the time we felt we were the only ones on the wall for as far as we could see and in total we probably only saw 6 people in the whole time we were on the wall. Back to the farm for a beautiful dinner of many traditional Chinese dishes. We had originally planned to go back up for sunrise in the morning but decided it was not necessary to get up at 5 am and so after breakfast we were back up on the wall just after 7am. Once again we felt we had the wall to ourselves and during our 4 hr (8km) hike we probably only saw 2 dozen people. With a personal guide there was absolutely no pressure and we set our own pace. We didn't use the cable car and the walk up the road to the access point is an easy grade. If you use the cable car you miss a significant chunk of the wall. The wall around Jinshanling is fully restored which gives you an idea of how it used to look and then as you walk toward Simatai you get into original unrestored wall. The walking is demanding but quite doable if you have moderate fitness. At the time of our walk the last section to Simatai was still closed but don't be put off by this as you have plenty of wall to experience and there is a fully paved pathway back down from the current exit point. After our walk we had another wonderful lunch at Snows home before the drive back to Beijing. The cost was about $200 per person but it was money very well spent. Snows website is greatwallwalk.com

Visited May 2013
3 Thank MJxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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