Walking On The Great Wall Of China
The Great Wall Of China has a long history, as the first known portions of the Wall were built as early as 7th century BC. Generations of emperors, travellers and explorers have been fascinated by the Great Wall. Although what remains of the mighty Wall today, was mostly rebuilt much later during the Ming Dynasty, the Great Wall’s claim to fame radiated around the world when it was announced that the Wall was the only man-made structure that could be seen from space!
Walking on the the Great Wall Of China is always on top of every travel luster’s bucketlist 🙂 Here in this article, I have written about MY experience on walking The Great Wall Of China. As you may know, there are many parts of the Great Wall that are open for visitors but I chose to visit the Badaling section as it is closer to Beijing city and I found it to be a safer option in terms of accessibility and medical emergency.
When I planned my visit to China, the only thing I was dreaming about was a nice long trek along the length of the Great Wall (not that I was unaware about its length though). But when I actually visited the Badaling section of the Wall, I found that I was the only one who wanted to climb the Wall right from the base of the hill!! So if you are not among one of those extreme hikers, the wiser option is to take the Cable Car up to #8 North Tower.
The Cable Car ticket price is 100RMB return.
The Walk Begins
Once you alight at the Cable Car Station near #8 North Tower, you will find yourself in a railed passage. You are just a few metres away from the walking part of the Wall now. Just follow your way up the iron stairs until you get a glimpse of The Wall section that you must have seen in several picture books. This part of the Wall that you see now is not only the most photographed portion of the Wall but also the most visited by many foreign dignitaries including the President of your country (most likely).
As you climb the few steps and stand on the landing, you will be able to see the Wall, which is connected section by section to several towers on both the sides. To your right, what my tour guide told me, is the Asian side of the Wall, while to your left is the actual longer stretch of the Wall that will take you to the farthest Tower you would want to go. The former is easier to climb but the latter looks really exciting!
Naturally, I chose to climb the more challenging stretch. So now that the real excitement of Walking On The Great Wall Of China actually begins, you may try to outdo yourself by starting to walk the Wall with all the energy you have. But behold! Even the fittest of folks will start panting after reaching the first nearest tower. It might look ultra-scenic and super exciting to have set foot on the Wall but honestly, walking on the Great Wall proved to be quite a task for me.
Not Quite An Easy Climb
The steepness, combined with the chill of January winds, made my task even more challenging. Reaching the first Tower however, is just the beginning and no matter how low you are on your energy, be prepared, as your excitement is likely to take you much farther; until you are so breathless that you just want to go back and relax for the rest of the day.
The Great Wall is not just a plain walking stretch. There are several stairs, steep gradients and bends that will make your walk a bit more challenging, despite the hand rails.
Moreover, the prevailing weather condition might also pose a challenge. Although the Badaling section of the Great Wall can be visited during any time of the year and no matter what season it is, this section always remain crowded, yet if you are visiting during extreme summer or during extreme winter (like me), be mindful and take necessary precautions like carrying a hat/umbrella, bottles of glucose water, walking shoes or an extra jacket, etc.
No Matter What, You Will Love The Experience!!!
No matter how tiring and how challenging you might feel after a few metres of walk, if you are fit and fine, do spend as much time you want to spend on the Great Wall as this is why you have come this far. On an average, your entire Great Wall excursion will last for only a few hours so make most of it, unless you encounter any health issue and DON’T FORGET TO TAKE PICTURES…lots of them!! 😀