First thing first, if you want to get the most from the Great Wall of China, you should remember these key points:
- Great wall has a lot of sections, so choose the section you want to visit first, depending on your fitness and interests
- To avoid crowds and for better scenery experience, visit the Great Wall in spring or fall
- Consider having a guided tour
Keep reading to know why ‘guided tour’ is necessary.
IML Travel provides you this advice to plan a perfect trip and Visit the Great Wall of China.
The Best Times to Visit the Great Wall of China
As mentioned in the intro, the best times to visit the Wall (around Beijing) are spring and autumn.
Why? Just to avoid heat and crowds, and in winter – freezing conditions.
Spring (April–May) in Beijing is cool/warm. Moreover, the greenery and flowers makes the Great Wall beautiful.
If you want to experience hiking on the Great Wall, then fall (September–November) is the best time. Clear weather allows you to view breathtaking sceneries. The mountains are covered by colors of red, yellow, golden and brown.
If you fail to visit in these times, you can always visit in summer and winter months, but remember:
- Summer is peak season and you might come across a lot of crowd. It is really hot with bright sun rays and rainstorms.
- On the other hand, winters are extremely cold and sometimes even icy. But the good thing is that there’s almost no crowd.
How to Get to the Great Wall
If you are thinking that taking a bus tour is great in China, then you might be wrong. Buses may not take you anywhere you want, and this “Chinese Tour” is just a flock of people wandering from place to place.
We suggest you or more so recommend you to take a private tour. Taking a trip to China just to see the Great Wall, why settle for an unsatisfied experience?
Tips for Wheelchair Users
The Great wall at sections of Badaling, Mutianyu and Juyongguan is wheelchair-friendly. You can easily see parts of the wall near Beijing at valley-bottom level there.
- At Badaling section – wheelchair users may use ramps to get to the first north watchtower. Also, they should book the elevator service in advance.
- At Mutianyu section – there is cable car service for people on wheelchairs and moreover, there are ramps below the 14th watchtower, from where you can view the beautiful scenery.
- Last but not least, at Juyongguan section, there is a Great Wall Fortress area at the bottom which can be navigated by wheelchair.
If the person on wheelchair is not comfortable with the above, he/she can always visit the Great Wall in flatter areas. For example, they can see Shanhaiguan on the east coast and Jiayuguan in the western desert.
Spending a Night at the Great Wall
The average time to reach Great Wall of China is 2 hours from downtown Beijing. But if you are staying at a hotel which is near the Great Wall, then you can expect less crowds, especially early in the morning.
TIP: Consider staying at Simatai as it offers best hotels and Great Wall night experience.
- Less traffic and you do not have to line up at the ticket gate.
- Breathtaking views of the Great Wall in the early morning when there is absolutely no crowd.
- Enjoy sunset and night views.
- You may consider the Beijing nightlife.
- You need to change hotel for a night.
- Choice of hotels is quite less.
Know more on GREAT WALL OF CHINA:
Camping on the Great Wall
If you are planning to camp near the popular sections of the Great Wall, then you may give it a second thought.
One of the famous sections like Mutianyu doesn’t allow camping. Camping can be enjoyed at wild sections like Jiankou, Gubeikou etc.
Unfortunately, shops or guesthouses near camping locations are rural and you will not find any camping equipments/supplies. You yourself have to carry all the goods required for the night like tents, sprays, water etc.
Availability of Food
We can’t survive without food! Our life revolves around it!
Restaurants and hotels near Great wall offer local food and don’t meet the standards of those in downtown Beijing. But you can always try local dishes there. As mentioned under the camping headline, wild sections don’t have any restaurants/hotels, so you require bringing your own food and water.
1 Day Great Wall Hiking Trip
You can explore the wild section of Gubeikou and you can have the wall by yourself.
The average time to reach Great Wall of China is 2 hours from downtown Beijing. So, you at least need a full day to see the more beautiful, less- crowded sections while on a hiking trip.
Now you know the pros and cons of everything about the Great Wall. Judge your choices and with the help of this guide plan a great trip to the wonderful Great Wall of China.