The Great Wall of China spans over 5,500 miles and is truly one of the great wonders of the world. The first composition of The Wall was erected in 771 BC and stretches from Hushan to Gansu and beyond. A stint in China is not complete without a trip to the Great Wall, and the majority of the sections are accessible from Beijing. Most of the “Wild” Wall’s rugged and arcane offbeat sections are only known and frequented by hiking enthusiasts and seasoned Great Wall-goers. Here are the Great Wall of China’s most epic sections.
Hands-down the most inspiring section of the Great Wall that is close to Beijing is Jiankou. Today it remains untouched by tourism authorities, preserving its vastly rugged character, exuding centuries of mystery. Regarded as a semi-dangerous hike, Jiankou still boasts watchtowers that are known to house overnight hikers. There’s one large watchtower hub where individual local vendors gather daily to sell refreshments to hikers, like iced water and Tsingtao beers. But be sure to definitely pack a sleeping bag if you’re partaking on an overnight camping trip. Sleeping on the Great Wall of China feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Well… I tried to ride my ebike home and 5 minutes after I left it started POURING down rain. I spent 30 minutes driving though a crazy downpour, flooded roads, and cars that drove like it was all nbd. Oh… and my bike started running out of batteries. By the time I got home it was if I had jumped in a lake. I had to pour water out of my shoes and my dress was dripping. A towel and a hot cup of tea (and a pizza) was definitely necessary. Why can't the weather be blue skies and fluffy clouds like it was last month??!
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This was one of the best adventures I had while in China! I wasn't prepared for that! Now I believe the best things in life could be surprises that you get, so unexpected! // Esta fue una de las mejores experiencias que tuve en China. Alucinante! Ahora sé que lo mejor de la vida puede venir de la nada. Mejor dejar sorprenderse. #greatwall #mutianyu #beijing #china #speed #goingup #adventure #toboggan #fun #asiatrip #backpacking #travel #traveling #travelgram #travelgirl #amazing #solotravel #lovetraveling #lovetravel #travelblogger #chinatrip #iphone #loves_china #beautifuldestinations #travelaroundtheworld #instatravel #travelblog #travelingram #igtravel #instachina @loves_china @thatsbeijing @timeoutbeijing @travel2china @chinatrips @igersbeijing @insta_china @insta.beijing @chinadestinations @storiesofbeijing @hypebeijing @beijingdaily @beijingbyheart @asian.wanderlust @viagemeturismo
Huangya Pass (Huangyaguan)
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Shanhaiguan (Shanhai Pass)
Keen to see North Korea but without actually crossing the border into it? The Hushan Great Wall runs adjacently along the China-North Korea border in the northeastern city of Dandong. At its highest peak, you can see acres of North Korean territory, including a small air force base. Constructed to keep out Korean invaders during the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Wall that drapes over Hu Shan (Tiger Mountain) today serves as a revamped outdoor attraction for tourists. It’s also the easternmost section and the beginning point of the entire Great Wall of China.
Great Wall tips
Although for the daring, it is still safer to go on the Wild Wall expeditions with someone who’s been there before. Most hostels or hotels either organize or can recommend a seasoned hiker to host a tour. It’s highly recommended that you don’t go to these hidden gems alone, given the risk of danger from steep cliffs, jagged edges, disheveled stones, and up-heaved pathways – you don’t want to end up lost on The Wall. Bring a few liters of water, a packed lunch, sunscreen, and some band-aids, and prepare for the trip to take an entire day. Start early, no later than 10am (the earlier the better). Expect that a hike on any of these walls can span from three to six miles or more.
Other epic sections
The last magnificent parts of The Great Wall that are worth mentioning: Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu Province; Juyongguan and Simatai in Beijing. The Great Wall at Badaling is generally regarded as the main hub of The Great Wall for tourists and is friendly to all levels, but depending on what time and season you go, it’s notoriously hailed as the most crowded, touristy part of the Wall.