Archive for the ‘Great Wall Tours Review’ Category

How to Get to Badaling Great Wall by Bus

Friday, May 18th, 2018
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Dear Travelers,

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Badaling Great Wall by bus. If you have any questions or anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
________________________________________________________________________

 

Plan your Beijing tour? There are three bus lines running between the downtown Beijing and Badaling Great Wall. So you have three choices for using public transport when you are going to Badaling Great Wall by bus.

Choice One: Taking Bus 877  ( Starting from Deshengmen Bus Terminal )
Operating Hours:
Deshengmen to Badaling Great Wall
06:00-12:00(Apr.1-Oct.31)
06:00-12:30 (Nov.1-Mar.31)
Badaling Great Wall  to  Deshengmen
10:30-17:00 (Apr.1-Oct.31)
11:00-16:30(Nov.1-Mar.31)

Driving Time:  One and half hours ( Non-stop )
Driving Distance: 60km
Bus Fare: 12 yuan ( Transportation card is accepted )
Deshengmen Bus Terminal Location: The compound below Deshengmen Arrow Tower
Badaling Bus 877 Terminal Location: in the parking lot ( Bear Park), about 700 meters southeast of Tower No.01 of Badaling Great Wall.

Choice Two: Taking Bus 919 Express ( Starting from Deshengmen Bus Terminal )
Operating Hours:
Deshengmen to Badaling
06:00-17:00
Badaling to  Deshengmen
6:00-17:00

Driving Time:  two hours ( 13 stops )
Driving Distance: 62km
Bus Fare: 13 yuan ( Transportation card is accepted )
Deshengmen Bus Terminal Location: The compound below Deshengmen Arrow Tower
Badaling Bus 919 Terminal Location: in the parking lot about 3 km northwest of Tower No.01 of Badaling Great Wall. Basically you need to connect the free shuttle going to Guntiangou Parking Lot ( near the cable car station of Badaling Great Wall).

Choice Three: Taking Public Tourism Bus No.01 ( Starting southwest of Archery Tower of Zhengyangmen Gate)

Operating Hours:
Qianmen to Badaling Great Wall:
Starting from the end of Flag Raising Ceremony to 11:00 am

Badaling Great Wall to  Qianmen:
09:00-17:00 (Apr.1-Oct.31)
11:00-16:30(Nov.1-Mar.31)

Driving Time:  One hour and 40 minutes ( Non-stop )
Driving Distance: 74km
Bus Fare: 20 yuan ( Transportation card is not accepted )
Qianmen Bus Terminal Location: southwest of Archery Tower of Zhengyangmen Gate ( South of Tiananmen Square )
Badaling Public Tourism Bus Terminal Location: in Guntiangou Park Lot,  near the cable station of Badaling GreatWall.

It is worth getting up earlier to catch an early morning bus for Badaling Great Wall, avoiding a possible snake of people on the wall.

How to get to Deshengmen Bus Terminal ( For Bus 877 and 919 express )
Several buses can bring you to the Deshengmen Bus Station. But the bus system in Beijing could be daunting even for the local Beijingers. It is advisable to take the Subway Line 2 to reach Deshengmen Bus Station. The the closest subway station to Deshengmen Bus Station is Jishuitan (积水潭) of the loop-type Subway Line 2.

You get off at the station of Jishuitan (积水潭), exit from the Exit A. Then walk along the sideway in the east direction for about 450 meters, soon you will see a high tower – the Deshengmen Arrow Tower. Deshengmen Bus Terminal is just below the northern and southern sides of the tower. The compound of Deshengmen Arrow Tower is within a roundabout.

So you have to cross a road to reach the bus station. Be careful crossing the road since the road has no traffic light at the time of my writing. By the way, on your 450-meter walk from the subway station of Jishuitan to the Deshengmen Arrow Tower, you will pass alongside the Deshengmenxi Bus Station (different from Deshengmen Bus Station) and you just ignore it!

You will be also distracted by some privately owned buses or mini-buses operated in the name of official Badaling-bound buses. We strongly suggest you take the official buses within the Deshengmen Bus Station for safety and reasonable price. Don’t be surprised if you find the queue in front of the bus 877 or 919 express could be very long, especially on the weekends or national public holidays.

Next, follow me to have a familiarization virtual tour of how to take a bus to Badaling Great Wall.  First take subway line 2 and get off at the stop of Jishuitang (积水潭) and exit from Exit A (northeast).

You will pass alongside the Deshengmenxi Bus Station.

You will pass alongside the Deshengmenxi Bus Station

After walking for about 10 minutes, you will see the huge Deshengmen Arrow Tower.

After walking for about 10 minutes, you will see the huge Deshengmen Arrow Tower.

Then you turn left and walk towards the northern square below the Tower. The compound of Deshengmen Arrow Tower is within a roundabout.

So you have to cross a road to reach the bus station. You have to be careful crossing the road since the road has no traffic light.Before getting to the Deshengmen Bus Station, you have to cross a road without traffic light.

 

Then you turn left and walk towards the northern square of the Tower

Then you turn left and walk towards the northern square beow the Tower

After crossing the road, you will get to the Deshengmen 919 Bus Station below the tower.

After crossing the road, you will get to the Deshengmen 919 Bus Station below the tower.

Here is the Bus 877 below the north side of the tower ready to go to Badaling.

Here is the Bus 877 below the north side of the tower ready to go to Badaling.

Have a close look at the Station Board of 877.

Have a close look at the Station Board of 877

 

Kinder reminder: You ‘d better take Bus 919 express instead of Bus 919 ( slow ). So there are two “919”, one express and the other slow.

How to get to Qianmen Bus Station for  the Public Tourism Bus No.01 going to Badaling Great Wall?
The starting point for  the Public Tourism Bus No.01 is located in the departure terminal for Beijing Tourist Dispatch Hub,  southwest of Archery Tower of Zhengyangmen Gate ( South of Tiananmen Square ).

Qianmen Bus Terminal is in the southwest of Archery Tower of Zhengyangmen Gate ( South of Tiananmen Square )

You can take the subway line 2 and get off at the station of Qianmen and exit from Exit C, then walk south for about 30 meters, you will get to the bus station.

Badaling Great Wall Basic Information
Badaling Great wall is one of the most gorgeous and magnificent part of the Great Wall in Beijing. The Badaling Great Wall is the well-preserved Ming Dynasty Great Wall with original appearance. Now it is divided into two sections – north and south starting at the Badaling Pass and Gate.

Most passengers prefer to hike the northern slope of Badaling Great Wall simple because the north part is more scenic and convenient with cable car and slide services in between.

But still some people like to hike the southern slope to avoid the crowds for better photo opportunities. If you hike the southern slope, you have to backtrack.

Ticket Price: RMB40 (Nov. 1 to Mar. 31); RMB 45 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)
Cable Car: RMB80 (single trip); RMB100 (round trip)
Toboggan: RMB30 (single trip);
Opening Hours:06:30-19:00 (in summer); 07:00-18:00 (in winter)
Hiking Time: Two Hours
Bus Route: Take Bus No.877 or No. 919 Express at Deshengmen, RMB12 for ticket.
S Train: Take S train from Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station and get off at the station of Badaling.

Taking Bus from Dingling ( Ming Tombs to Badaling Great Wall) or Vice Versa

If you’d like to go from Ming Tombs ( Dingling ) and Badaling Great Wall or vice versa, you can take the Bus 879 listed below:

1) Dingling Tomb ( Ming Tombs) to Badaling Great Wall

Fist Bus:8:00 am
Last Bus: 4:00 pm
Bus Fare: 9 yuan
The Bus 879 leaves every half an hour
The Bus 879 has 25 bus stops from Dingling (Ming Tombs) to Badaling Great Wall ( the last but the third ) taking about one and half hours, about 40km.

1) Badaling to Dingling ( 定陵):
Fist Bus:9:30 am
Last Bus: 5:30 pm
Bus Fare: 9 yuan
The Bus 879 leaves every half an hour
The Bus 879 has 25 bus stops from Badaling to Dingling ( Ming Tombs ), taking about one and half hours from Badaling to Dingling (定陵), the last bus stop ( about 40 km ).

Frequently Asked Questions
The most important fact is that the northern section of Badaling Great Wall is a loop route ( No.01 to No.12 Towers ) and you don’t have to backtrack. You can walk from Tower No.1 ( the main entrance )  up to the highest Tower No.08,then walk down to Tower 12 ( near the Bear Garden).

1)The Bus 877 is close the Badaling Pass, the entrance to Badaling Great Wall, the only main entrance. A 20-minute walk from Bus 877 to the main entrance.

2) The northern slope of the Badaling Great Wall is about 3700m long starting from North Tower No.1 up to the Northern Tower No.8, then down to Northern Tower No.12. The whole hiking takes 2-3 hours. Not everyone has the strong legs to hike all the 12 towers, so many passengers would take cable car up to the Wall (below Tower No.8 and Tower 9 ) to save their energy.

If you are in good shape, I suggest you hike all the 12 towers to digest the magnificent Badaling Great Wall on its northern slope instead of eating Instant food” by taking the cable car.

3) The cable car brings you up to the slope below both North Tower No.8 and Tower No.9. So from the cable car station on the upper slope, you can either hike to the Tower 8 or Tower 9. It is easier to hike up to the Tower 9 while it is a bit hard to walk up to the Tower 8. To hike up to the Tower 8, you have to climb over  a steep slope known as “Haohanpo” ( a real hero”slope ), or 好汉坡 in Chinese. Or you may just skip over it.

4) If you want to visit the Northern section of Badaling Great Wall, you can take the cable car up, then walk down: walk from Tower 8 to down to Tower 1, or from Tower 8 down to Tower 12. Or you can take a cable down. Also you can walk up to Tower 8, then take cable car down. One way cable car: RMB60; round trip cable car: RMB80.

5)  For the northern part of Badaling Great Wall, you can walk to the east from Tower 8 to down to Tower 12, then pass by the Bear Garden, then walk about 10 minutes back to the main entrance to the Tower 1, a loop route and you don’t have to backtrack.

See the Badaling Great wall Map below to check the Bus 877 Stop and Badaling Train Station and more. ( Click Large)

badaling_map

Important Notice:
You can also take a train to visit Badaling Great Wall. For more information, please see Badaling Great Wall Train.

Hassle-free Badaling Great Wall Guided Tours
Don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route? No worries, We at Tour Beijing have some options for guided tours to Badaling Great wall.

Badaling Great Wall + Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall and Underground Palace Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Forbidden City + Tiananmen Square Day Tour

Hike from Jiankou Great Wall to Mutianyu Great Wall

Sunday, May 13th, 2018
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Plan your scenic hike from Jiankou Great Wall to Mutianyu Great Wall? There are tons of online trip reports on the incredible steepness of the Upward Flying Eagle Tower  to  Tianti (Sky Ladder) and Beijing Knot along Jiankou Great Wall.

We are not advising anyone to scramble that section if you don’t have any rock climbing experience armed with special equipment though maybe you are an experienced travelers.

Starting from Zhengbeilou Watchtower on Jiankou Great Wall ( east of the Upward Flying Eagle Tower  and  Sky Ladder),  walk eastwards along the rugged Wall and get to the restored Mutianyu Great Wall, a relatively easy walk with stunning views.

At the time of my writing, Jiankou Great Wall is still officially unopened to the public due to its risky hike as well as the government’s policy to protect the “wild wall”.

If you choose to walk from Zhengbeilou at Jiankou Great Wall to Mutianyu Great Wall, the risk involved would be less.  But still you should apply for travel insurance for your coverage of injury or accident.  See more travel tips for your great wall walk below:

Travel Tips

1. Things to take: good shoe wear, sticks, cap, sun-glasses, sunscreen, bottles of water, snacks, pocket knife, lip balm and first aid kit.
2. Use toilets at the entrance of the Wall. No toilets on the hiking route. Please always carry toilet paper.
3. Carry bottles of water in your travel bags.
4. Wear pants and long-sleeves even in summer to hike through jungles and bushes.
5. Be a green and responsible hiker, taking nothing but photos and leaving nothing but footprint.
6. Avoid bad or extreme weathers: rain, storm, lightening and foggy days.
7. Use a local tour guide and a local villager as your guide.
8. Mobile phoneOn Nov 26 (Tue), 2013 ( Beijing Time UTC+8),  we, a group of five from Tour Beijing, had a fam trip from Xizhazi Village, up to Zhengbeilou (Jiankou Great Wall), on to Mutianyu Great Wall.

Now please follow us to see and feel the walk from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall.

The weather on On Nov 26

Clear

Temperature: -5℃ – 7℃
PM-10: 15
Humidity: 19%
Wind:   North Breeze
Sunrise: 07:11am
Sunset: 04:52pm
Historical Data:  Historical Climate Data for November  in Beijing

A Brief Introduction to Xizhazi Village
Xizhazi Village  is often chosen as the starting point for scaling up Jiankou Great Wall.  38km northwest of Huairou and and 120km north of downtown Beijing.

Xizhazi Village  is nestled in a valley north of Jiankou Great Wall and south of Heitou Mountain ( 1534 m sea-level ), the highest mountain in the northern Beijing within the Heituo Scenic Area. So entering Xizhazi Village, you have to pay entrance fee RMB 20 for Heitio Scenic Area ( But the ticket doesn’t mention Jiankou Great Wall.).

“Xizhazi” literally means “west wooden palisades”. The village is such named because in the past it used “wooden palisades” as a village wall. Xizhazi Village was formed around Mid-Qing Dynasty (1368 – 1644) with a sea-level of 615m.

Xizhazi Village has 6 natural sub-villages:

Team 1 Xizhazi: Nangou Village
Team 2 Xizhazi: Nanjili Village ( up to Zhengbeilou Tower )
Team 3 Xizhazi: Qianzhazi Village
Team 4 Xizhazi: Houzhazi Village
Team 5 Xizhazi: Jiushuikeng Village ( up to the Upward Flying Eagle Tower ), not recommended.
Team 6 Xizhazi: Duishi Village

Scaling the moutain up to the Zhengbeilou Tower, you start from Nanjili Village ( Team 2 0f Xizhazi Village ); scaling the mountain up to the Upward Flying Eagle Tower and Tianti (Sky Ladder), you start from Jiushuikeng Village (Team 5 of Xizhazi Village).

Jiankou Great Wall Map

Jiankou Great Wall Map

2.5 Hours Drive from Downtown Beijing to Xizhazi Village

It is a 2.5-hour drive from downtown Beijing to Xizhazi Village.  First drive along Jingxcheng Expressway and get off at the Exit 14. Then drive along Fanqi Road (范崎路) for about 27km, passing by Mountain Bar (山吧), and several hills till turning left at the head of Badaohe Bridge (八道河桥).

Then continue to drive about 4km along the mountain road before getting to the entrance gate at Xizhazi Village for Heituo Scenic Area ( 黑坨山景区), entrance fee: RMB 20.

A tourist toilet by the entrance gate. We are going to start from Nanjili Village ( Team 2 of Xizhazi Village),  so we continue to drive till seeing a signboard at the fork road and turn left, soon we get to Nanjili Village.

Nanjili is a small village at the foot of Jiankou Great Wall with 6-7 families. Some of them offer homestays: 13436827632 Huzi Family. A trodden dirt road behind the village leads up to the mountain.

First drive along Jingxcheng Expressway and get off at the Exit 14. Then drive along Fanqi Road (范崎路) for about 27km.

Getting to the entrance gate at Xizhazi Village for Heituo Scenic Area ( no mentioning of Jiankou Great Wall).

Getting to the entrance gate at Xizhazi Village for Heituo Scenic Area
Nanjili is a small village at the foot of Jiankou Great Wall with 6-7 families.
Nanjili is a small village at the foot of Jiankou Great Wall with 6-7 families.

Nanjili is a small village at the foot of Jiankou Great Wall with 6-7 families.


One Hour Scrambling from Team 2 of Xizhazi Village (615m) up to Zhengbeilou Tower (975m)
I use the word “scramble” instead of climb” simply because the one hour ascent to Zhengbeilou Tower from Team 2 of Xizhazi Village is the most difficult part on your trip from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall. This one hour uphill walk is done along a narrow and steep bushy mountain path in a beautiful pine forest. Very often you have  to have your hands on rocks, roots, and bushes for balance.Zhengbeilou Tower is most visited by Jiankou hikers, a starting point for the hike eastwards Mutianyu. Zhengbeilou Tower is a massive 4-eye watch tower at the sea level of 915m with a panoramic view of  the Upward Flying Eagle Tower  to  Tianti (Sky Ladder) and Beijing Knot in the west and Ox Horn Edge Wall in the east.This massive tower is 90 degree up without any steps or ladders. To climb up, you have to use a makeshift wooden ladder made by local villager who collects RMB 5 for each tourist in tourist season. On the top of the tower, you are able to have a good view of the surrounding wall sections and mountains.

 Scramble along a narrow and steep bushy mountain path

Scramble along a narrow and steep bushy mountain path

 

Zhengbeilou Tower is insight.

Zhengbeilou Tower is insight.

 

Hike up Zhengbeilou through a wooden ladder

Hike up Zhengbeilou through a wooden ladder

Standing on the top of Zhengbeilou Tower, you able to have a panoramic view of the Upward Flying Eagle Tower, Sky Ladder and Beijing Knot in the west.

A panoramic view of the Upward Flying Eagle Tower, Sky Ladder and Beijing Snot in the west.

A panoramic view of the Upward Flying Eagle Tower, Sky Ladder and Beijing Snot in the west.

Have a close look at the Upward Flying Eagle Tower, Sky Ladder

Have a close look at the Upward Flying Eagle Tower, Sky Ladder

Have a close look at the Upward Flying Eagle Tower, Sky Ladder

 

On the northeast,  you will clearly see the Upturn “U” Wall –  the Ox Horn Edge Wall.  Taking a photo with the Ox Horn Edge as a backdrop.

Taking a photo with the Ox Horn Edge as a backdrop

Taking a photo with the Ox Horn Edge as a backdrop

2 Hours hike from Zhengbeilou Tower (Sharp North Tower) to the restored Mutianyu Great Wall.
It is a scenic hike from Zhengbeilou to the 23th tower of Mutianyu Great Wall.  Along the way, we suggest you avoid hiking the Ox Horn Edge Wall ( an upturn “U” form of the Great Wall) which is crumbling and treacherous.

The plants, grasses and large bushes grow here along  the “U” section of the Wall, leaving only small paths to walk through. If you insist in scrambling the Ox Horn Edge Wall, it will take another one hour hiking.

Steep slopes with loose bricks and stones also add the difficulty of your climbing the Ox Horn Edge Wall up and down. So just skip the Ox Horn Edge Wall by walking a short cut along a dirt path below the wall instead of hiking uphill along the crumbling steep brickwork.

The rest of the hike is relatively manageable though you still have to walk through the crumbling brickwork with  many soil-grown obstacles, the totally unrestored section of the Wall. Walking up and down, twists and turns. In 2 hours, you will reach the 23rd watch tower,  the final restored tower on Mutianyu Great Wall in the west starting from the first watch tower in the east.

The impressive scene viewed from the gate of Zhengbeilou Tower

The impressive scene viewed from the gate of Zhengbeilou Tower

The impressive scene viewed from the gate of Zhengbeilou Tower

Zhengbeilou seen from the east side

Zhengbeilou seen from the east side

Zhengbeilou seen from the east side

Walking along the rugged brickwork to the east direction

Walking along the rugged brickwork to the east direction

Walking along the rugged brickwork to the east direction

We decide to give up the hike along the Ox Horn Edge Wall for safety and time reasons.

We decide to give up the hike along the Ox Horn Edge Wall

We decide to give up the hike along the Ox Horn Edge Wall

We walk off the wall and take a short cut by walking a dirt path linking the other side of the Wall ( just 5 minutes walk).

We walk off the wall and take a short cut by walking a dirt path

We walk off the wall and take a short cut by walking along a dirt path

The wall was built of  massive stone and slabs

The wall was built of massive stone and slabs

The wall was built of massive stone and slabs

This tower is ruined with broken walls.

This tower is ruined with broken walls.

This tower is ruined with broken walls.

We are walking through the dense bushes and many soil-grown obstacles,which force us to follow a narrow crumbling path on the totally unrestored wall.

We are walking through the dense bushes

We are walking through the dense bushes

A drainage ditch used to drain rain from the wall

A drainage ditch used to drain rain from the wall

A drainage ditch used to drain rain from the wall

The masonry and mortar clearly seen on the unrestored wall.

The masonry and mortar clearly seen on the unrestored wall.

The masonry and mortar clearly seen on the unrestored wall.

The slabs paved steps and floor on the wall

The slabs paved steps and floor on the wall

The slabs paved steps and floor on the wall

We are walking towards Mutianyu Great Wall

We are walking towards Mutianyu Great Wall

We are walking towards Mutianyu Great Wall

 

1.5 Hours on Mutianyu Great Wall and downhill
In 1,5 – 2 hours, you will reach the restored section of the Great Wall at Mutianyu.  Mutianyu Great Wall is a restored wall with 23 watch towers snaking along the ridge from the first watch tower in the east up to the final tower (23rd tower) in the west,which is linked to Jiankou Great Wall.

If you feel tired after walking directly from Zhengbeilou Tower,  you may take a cable car down to the hill from the cable car station below the 14th Watch Tower.

If you have strong legs, you may walk downhill from the 10 or 8th watch tower, or you may walk to the 6th tower where you are able either to take a cable car or toboggan downhill.  Cable car: RMB60. At the time of my writing, no need to buy the entrance ticket for Mutianyu Great Wall if you walk from Jiankou Great Wall.

In 2 hours, we reach the 23rd watch tower, the western tip of Mutianyu Great Wall.

we reach the 23th watch tower, the western tip of Mutianyu Great Wall

we reach the 23rd watch tower, the western tip of Mutianyu Great Wall

Walking down the wall

Walking down the wall

Walking down the wall

Continue to walk down

Continue to walk down

Continue to walk down

Walk down from the 20th tower to the 19th tower

Walk down from the 20th tower to the 19th tower

Walk down from the 20th tower to the 19th tower

We are moving to the 14th tower and 10th tower.  You can take a cable car downhill at the cable station below the 14th tower. Or walk downhill from the 10th tower or 8th tower. Or you may walk to the 6th tower to take a chairlift or toboggan downhill.

We are moving to the 14th tower and 10th tower

We are moving to the 14th tower and 10th tower

Below the 14th tower is a large platform with a special accessible lane from the cable station.

The 13th Tower on Mutianyu Great Wall

The 13th Tower on Mutianyu Great Wall

The 13th Tower on Mutianyu Great Wall

We are getting off the 10th tower and walking down the hill, finishing our fam trip from Jiankou to Mutianyu.

We are getting off the 10th tower and walking down the hill

We are getting off the 10th tower and walking down the hill


Travel Tip:  Hassle-free Jiankou Great Wall Guided Tours and More

Don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route? No worries, We at Tour Beijing have some options for guided tours to Great wall Tours:

Mutianyu Great Wall Group Day Tour
Mutianyu Great Wall Half  Day Private Tour
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Tour
Hike from Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall Tour
Hike from Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall West Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall and Underground Palace Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Forbidden City + Tiananmen Square Day Tour
Hiking Cross the Wild Great Wall at Shixiaguan

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

 

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Visit Great Wall of China by Train – Badaling Great Wall

Friday, March 30th, 2018
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Dear Travelers,

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Badaling Great Wall by train. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!


Beijing North Railway Station has been closed for a three-year reconstruction program –  part of the overall construction of Beijing Zhangjiakou High Speed Railway in preparation for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Now all the S2 trains ( going to Badaling Great Wall ), originally handled by Beijing North Railway Station,  have been moved to the newly renovated Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站) for the three-year transition.

So if you want to go to Badaling Great Wall by train, you should head to Huangtudian Railway Station which is located in Changping District, about 20 km north of Beijing’s city center.

How to get to Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站) ?
You can take Subway Line 13 or Subway Line 8 and get off at Huoying Station ( 霍营站) and exit from Exit G4.  The Exit G4 is only 110 meters to the northwest of Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站).

Huoying Station ( 霍营站) is an interchange station on Line 8 and Line 13 of the Beijing Subway. You can easily take either subway line 13 or 8 from towntown Beijing ( or interchange from other subway lines ) to Huoying Station ( 霍营站) which is just next to Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站). The Exit G4 is only 110 meters to the northwest of Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站).

How to get from Beijing South Railway Station to Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站) ?
First you take the subway line 4 directly from within Beijing South Railway Station to the north direction and get off at the 9th station of Xizhimen (西直门) and then interchange for Subway Line 2 to the east direction, and get off at the second station of Guloudajie (鼓楼大街), then again interchange for subway line 8 to the north and get off at the 11th station of Huoying Station ( 霍营站) and exit from Exit G4. The Exit G4 is only 110 meters to the northwest of Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站).

How to get from Beijing Capital International Airport to Huangtudian Railway Station (黄土店站) ?
Come out of the exit hall at Beijing Capital Airport ( T 3 or T2 ), then take the airport express train (starting from the connected hall attached to the airport).  Buy your train ticket on the sport at the ticketing booth in the hall ( 25 yuan ).

You get off at the final station of Dongzhimen (东直门), then interchange for the subway line 13 going to the north ( buy your train ticket on the spot: 5 yuan ) and get off at the 7th station of Huoying ( 霍营). and exit from Exit G4.

See the Beijing Subway Map to hone your skill for facilitating your Beijing subway trip.

The trip report below sent by Nana who has successfully made it from the airport to the Badaling great wall on a 13 hr layover:

5:30 AM land at BCIA
5:40 enter 24 hr visa line
6:30 leave visa line, change money, walk to airport transfer express subway
6:55 subway arrives, 25 yuan
7:35 arrive at dongzhimen station, walk to line 13, buy ticket for 5 yuan
7:40 start new subway to huoying station
8:20 arrive, walk to exit g4, turn right and huangtudian railway is 150 ft away, just follow the signs for badaling
8:25-30 buy ticket for 7 yuan, board train, sit on the same side as the door you entered for best views
8:43 leave
9:55 arrived at the great wall badaling station
10:10 arrived at great wall, bought ticket for 35 yuan
11:50 made it to tower twelve
12:30 PM walked back by the street, arrived at train station
1:19 train leaves
2:50 arrived at huoying station
2:55 board subway to dongzhimen
3:20 stop in dongzhimen to eat dinner
4 board airport tram
4:35 arrive at airport
4:47 tram arrives at immigration
5:05 through security
6:55 flight leaves

Total cost 109 yuan for public transportation during low season


S2 Trains:
These are suburban trains running from Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station to Badaling (Great Wall )八达岭 and Yanqing ( 延庆), known as “S2 Trains”.Train Tickets: RMB 6 per ride; if using “Yikatong” Transportation Card, RMB 5 per ticket.All the S2 train tickets are free seating.Like public buses, no advance train tickets booking.Just line up and buy the train tickets on the spot.In tourist high season,  the trains fill up quite fast.Once it is full, you have to wait for the next train.One way ticket only, if you want to buy a return ticket, you have to buy it from other side.”Yikatong” Transportation Card is definitely a smart way to pay for the train ride. Just swipe and go, and no need for lining up for buying your ticket!

Kindly Reminder:
You are advised to purchase a “Yikatong” Transportation Card ( One Pass for All Card), similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus card, Singapore’s EZ-Link, or the Oyster Card used by TfL in London in United Kingdom.”Yikatong” Transportation Card can be also used to pay for Beijing taxi, Beijing public buses, Beijing subway as well as S2 trains to Badaling Great Wall.

More about “Yikatong” card: People cannot share a Yikatong card. For a short stay in Beijing,  you may put 50 yuan ( including 20 yuan deposit ) into your Yikatong card. You may keep Yikatong as a souvenir or reimburse it at a ticketing booth when you leave Beijing.

If you don’t have enough time for returning your Yikatong, you may keep it for future use which basically will be never outdated. It is a transportation card without your identification. If you lose it, then it’s hard for you to reclaim it. Keep it well!

In tourist season, there is a limit to the daily ticket selling, but there is more leniency to transportation card holders – Just swipe and go !! Beijing S2 Trains going between Huangtudian Railway Station and Badaling Railway Station.

Beijing S2 Trains

Inside the cars of the S 2 train.

Inside a car of the S train.

Inside a car of the S2 train.

Badaling Great Wall Train Schedule ( Subject to Change in winter season without Notice )
The S2 Train Timetable below is the one effective from July, 2017. If you find the newest one, please leave us a message for updating for the convenience of the new visitors.Note: The 8:40 train out of Beijing is quite crowded.One has to run to get a good seat ( free seating). The return trip at 11:06 is mostly empty. In tourist high season, the trains fill up quite fast and once it is full, you will have to wait for the next train.|_____________________________________

Newest Update from Kati Harasim Dated 31, Jan, 2018: 

Hello Tour Beijing Team,

As I really, REALLY! appreciate your work and how accessible you make Beijing for every visiting person.

During the weekend I visited Badaling Grat Wall and the S2 timetable changed.

Also the free shuttle bus are not running now (but its 10min walk 🙂

The north cable car – when the conditions are windy only the south side is open.  It worth to check before.

wishing you a very good day!

Kati Harasim

_______________________________________________

The train timetable listed below is designed for normal tourist season
 ( subject to change without notice in winter season)

Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station → Badaling Great Wall Train Schedule1)

Train Schedule Operated on Tue, Wed and Thu

Train S201: 06:30 – 07:37
Train S205: 08:40 – 09:47
Train S209: 11:06– 12:13
Train S211: 12:52 – 14:01
Train S217: 15:34 – 16:43
Train S219: 17:21 – 18:30
Train S227 21:09 – 22:29

2)Train Schedule Operated on Fri, Sat and Sun
Train S201: 06:30 – 07:37
Train S287: 8:11 –   9:20
Train S205: 08:40 – 09:47
Train S209: 11:06– 12:13
Train S211: 12:52– 14:01
Train S213: 13:20 – 14:25
Train S217: 15:34 – 16:43
Train S219: 17:21 – 18:30
Train S221: 17:50 – 18:57
Train S227 21:09 – 22:29

Badaling Great Wall → Beijing Huangtudian Ralway Station Train Timetable
1)  Train Schedule Operated on Tue, Wed and Thu

Train S208: 08:24 – 09:39
Train S210: 10:48 – 12:03
Train S216: 13:33 – 14:53
Train S218: 14:58 – 16:31
Train S224: 17:30 – 18:45
Train S226: 19:31 – 20:47
Train S232: 21:17– 22:46

2)Train Schedule Operated on Fri, Sat and Sun
Train S208: 08:24 – 09:39
Train S210: 10:48 – 12:03
Train S288: 11:16 – 12:32
Train S216: 13:33 – 14:53
Train S218: 14:58 – 16:31
Train S220: 15:43 – 17:04
Train S224: 17:17 – 18:54
Train S226: 19:31 – 20:47
Train S228: 20:16 – 21:43
Train S232: 21:17– 22:46

On the way, you can enjoy the total view of the Guan Valley Scenic Area, pass by Juyongguan Great Wall, and especially immersing yourself in the hundred-year-old Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway, first designed by Mr. Zhan Tianyou (1861 – 1919), the famous Chinese designer of the railway.

How to get from Badaling Train Station to the Ticketing Office at Badaling
After getting off the train at Badaling Station, just follow the throng and get out of the train station. Free shuttle buses just across the road are waiting for you, taking you to the ticketing offices at Badaling Great Wall.

Important Notice:
The free shuttle bus are not running now in winter season. But  it is just  a 10 min walk 🙂

Badaling Railway Station to Badaling Great Wall: First Shuttle at 6:00 am and last at 4:00 pm
Badaling Great Wall to Badaling Railway Station: First Shuttle at 6:15 am and last at 4:15 pm

Getting off at Badaling Train Station

Getting off at Badaling Train Station

Free shuttle buses are waiting outside the train station just across the road, taking you to the ticketing offices.

Free shuttle buses are waiting outside the train station

Free shuttle buses are waiting outside the train station

 The free shuttle buses have two stops:
Stop 01:  Get off at the first stop and walk up the Badaling Great Wall at its No.01 Tower. If you want to avoid the crowds and like to hike up the Wall, you may stop at the Stop 01.

Stop 02:  Get off at the second stop near the Cable Car Station to buy cable ticket ( entrance fee as well ) and get up to the Tower No.07. Then walk down to No.01 Tower or No.12 Tower. Basically no need for a return cable car.

One of the most gorgeous and magnificent parts of the Great Wall around Beijing, Badaling Great Wall (八达岭长城) is the well preserved Ming Dynasty Great Wall with original appearance.

Now it is divided into two sections – north and south, which start at the Badaling Pass and Gate. Most tourists prefer to climb the north section where the highest watch tower (Tower No.08) is located.

Also the cableway is available on the north section. Many people choose to climb up the north section of the Great Wall, then take the cable car down or vice versa.

The cable car goes up to somewhere below between Tower No.08 and No.09. So when you take cable car up, you will see large crowds of people. So we recommend you hike from Tower 01 and back instead of taking cable car.

Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall

To hike up the north section of the Badaling Great Wall, you have two starting points – either from the Badaling Pass or the Badaling Bear Park.

Why two starting points? Actually the north Badaling Great Wall ( totally 12 towers on the wall ) has two parallel sections meeting at the most northern tip – the 8th Watch Tower ( a curve ) of the Badaling Great Wall.

There are totally 12 towers on the northern Badaling Great Wall. So you ether start at Tower No.01 starting from Badaling Pass or Tower No.12 from Badaling Bear Park.

Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall

We often call the two north parallel sections “front mountain” and “back mountain” respectively. The “front mountain” ( from Tower No.01 to Tower No.08 ) is to the north of the “back mountain” ( from Tower No.08 to Tower No.12 ).

If you want to climb up the north “front mountain” Badaling Great Wall, you start from the Badaling Pass; if you climb up the north “back mountain” Badaling Great Wall, you start from the Badaling Bear Park.

Most passengers prefer to hike the northern slope of Badaling Great Wall simple because the north part is more scenic and convenient with cable car and slide services in between. But still some people like to hike the southern slope to avoid the crowds for better photo opportunities. If you hike the southern slope, you have to backtrack.

Ticket Price: RMB40 (Nov. 1 to Mar. 31); RMB 45 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)
Cable Car: RMB80 (single trip); RMB100 (round trip)
Toboggan: RMB30 (single trip);
Opening Hours:06:30-19:00 (in summer); 07:00-18:00 (in winter)
Hiking Time: Two Hours
Bus Route: Take Bus No.877 or No. 919 at Deshengmen, RMB12 for ticket.
S Train: Take S train from Beijing North Railway Station and get off at the station of Badaling.

Travel Tips:
1. No advance ticket booking service for this train route. You have to buy tickets on the spot. No need for ID for ticket purchasing.

2. For coming back, get to the station and get in the “queue” early. When the train arrives, there’s an almighty (but highly amusing) stampede through the double doors to get out onto the platform and onto the train (which instantly fills up).

3. You can use Beijing Transportation smart card for travelling S2 train from Beijing Huangtudian Railway station to Badaling great wall.  So If you have a transportation card, you don’t have to wait in line for buying a ticket. Just put your card on a reader and go. The S Train is unnumbered, free seating.

4. Alternatively, you can also take Badaling Bus 877  at Deshengmen to Badaling Great Wall, then take train back to Beijing. To get to the Badaling Bus 877, you are advised to take the subway and get off at Jishuitan Stop (积水潭). Then you walk all the way to Deshengmen (德胜门),  which is a whole block east of the  Jishuitan Subway Exit A (over 15-minute walk in the east direction).

5. And don’t forget to haggle if buying a souvenir at the shops near the wall’s entrance (those 180Yuan tshirts are happily sold for far less than their displayed price).

6. Kindly reminder: there may be allegedly “official tourist information volunteers” with red badges on, who will try to drive tourists to get on their minibuses with all sorts of excuses to lure you on. Just don’t go for it. Otherwise, you will be on a nightmare trip.

7. Hassle-free Badaling Great Wall Guided Tours
Don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route? No worries, We at Tour Beijing have some options for guided tours to Badaling Great wall.

Badaling Great Wall + Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall and Underground Palace Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Forbidden City + Tiananmen Square Day Tour

Further Readings


Badaling Great Wall Tourist Map
Tips for Visiting the Great Wall of China around Beijing
How to Visit Mutianyu Great Wall by Bus
Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street


Any questions, just drop line.