Archive for the ‘Great Wall Tours Review’ Category

How to dress for visiting Great Wall in winter

Sunday, July 25th, 2021
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Planning your Great Wall Tour  in winter? You may have been told that winter is not the right season for visiting Great Wall, but for whatever the reasons, you happen to hike the Great Wall of China during the cold season, so you are now a bit on the fence about visiting the Great Wall.

Well, everything has its two sides. The so-called best seasons often see the Great Wall mobbed by the numerous tourist groups and you may waste much of your valuable time on the way from your hotel to the Wall (traffic jam). On the Wall, you have to take group photos since there are a great number of people on the Wall.

Walking from Jiankou Great Wall to Mutianyu Great Wall  in winter.

Jiankou to Mutuanyu
Jiankou to Mutianyu Winter Hike

Great Wall winter hike has its advantages – the tourist crowds are gone so you can walk along the Great Wall hassle free. The prices are lower for Great Wall transportation and admission.

Of course, hiking the Great Wall is a bit daunting if you are unlucky to visit the Wall on a cold and blusterous day. If well dressed for the winter Wall hikes, visiting the Great Wall in winter is still not a bad idea.

We’re going to share with you some ideas on how to dress for Great Wall winter hikes. Dressing for the season and having the right clothing items for colder temperature on the Wall.

1. Check historical climate data and weather forecast

Before leaving for Beijing,  you’d better check Beijing’s historical climate data ( day by day temperature ) to get a general assessment of the weather condition on your real hiking date.

Beijing’s winter normally starts from mid-November through mid-March. Check out the following Beijing’s historical climate data on the winter months in Beijing:

How to Visit Beijing in November                       How to Visit Beijing in December
How to Visit Beijing in January                            How to Visit Beijing in February
How to Visit Beijing in March

In winter Beijing has short days, dark 4-5 pm. The ticket selling for major attractions is closed after 4.30pm. The sights stay open all year round.

When you arrive, don’t forget to check the current weather in Beijing and choose your better day for visiting Great Wall in the cold month.

You may also check out the following realtime weather photos to get a general idea of how the current weather looks like and how local people are dressed:

Beijing November Realtime Weather Photos   Beijing December Realtime Weather Photos
Beijing January Realtime Weather Photos        Beijing February Realtime Weather Photos
Beijing March Realtime Weather Photos

2. Dressing in Layers

A heavy coat gives you little opportunity to act or adjust in weather conditions. For the better hiking  and comfort, you need to dress in layers.

Base Layer
The purpose of wearing the first body layer is to make  your skin dry by removing moisture possibly produced by perspiring. Kindly remind you not to wear cotton base layer for it keeps the moisture,  leaving you disagreeably moist, sticky if you are sweating.  You’d better choose the shirts made from light merino wool or synthetic fibers.

Middle Layer
This middle layer is the insulation layer,  important for keeping your body warm.  For the same reason trying to avoid the cotton which dries slowly and select  sweaters, vests and jackets which are made of polyester fleece, warm and quick to dry.

Jacket Outer Layer
You need to have a waterproof or water-resistant outer layover to keep you from snow, rain, and wind. Try to have a warm jacket lightweight with good breathability. A warm jacket with zippers and vents is important for you to regulate your body temperature.

3. Feet Protection

Footwear
Basically it is unnecessary to wear a pair of heavy hiking boots since most of the time you will walk on the stone steps on the wall. Avoid leather shoes which can freeze.

Looking for the shoes made from a mix of plastic and rubber. Basically sport shoes are ok for Great Wall hiking in winter. If you are going to hike the unrestored wild sections of the Wall, a pair of gaiters can add a measure of protection against the shrubs and bushes on the way.

Socks
Your feet also need layering too. It is essential to put on a pair of thin and tight-fitting socks that keep your feet dry and warm. Your outer layer socks should be also made from merino wool or synthetic material. Your outer layer socks should not be too thick otherwise they will reduce the circulation in your shoes.

4. Hands Protection

To keep your hands from become cracked, rough, or sore, you definitely need to have a pair of gloves to reduce  the risk of frostbite and chapping to your hands. Basically people prefer gloves than mittens, not having to expose your hands.

5. Head and Face Protection

It is a common knowledge that we lose our body heat through our heads, so we need to have a warm hat. It is essential to wear a hat with ear flaps, a ushanka, a Russian fur cap with ear flaps that can be tied up to the crown of the cap, keeping your ears from the cold. In addition, ready for a scarf to protect your face.

5. Where to buy the winter clothes?

For those who live in a warm climate, winter clothes are a bit hard to get from their home country. No worry about that. Hats, gloves, winter jackets and the list could be much longer, can be easily bought in Beijing. Going to Silk Market is a good choice to arm yourself for the winter tour in Beijing ( Top 10 Beijing Markets including Silk Market).

Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Beijing Dinner & Night Boat Tour. from US$ 59P/P

Beijing by Night Illuminations Tour  from US$33 p/p

Beijing Hutong Highlight One Day Tour  from US$59 p/p

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Further Readings


How to visit Mutianyu Great Wall by bus.
Tips for Visiting Great Wall around Beijing
How to Visit Beijing in Winter
Visiting Great Wall by Train
Go to Badaling Great Wall by Bus
Great Wall Tour
Top 10 Markets in Beijing

Any questions, just drop a line.

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

Sunday, March 7th, 2021
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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 in Beijing coming to Badaling Great Wall by train. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!

Badaling Great Wall Train Schedule

( Subject to Change without Notice )

If you find a latest timetable, please leave us a message for updating for the convenience of the new visitors.

6 Daily High Speed trains ( One extra train added on weekend)
starting from Qinghe Railway Station to Badaling Great Wall Station and vice versa

High speed trains from Qinghe Railway Station to Badaling:
G2501 ( 07:00 – 07:19 ) Only available on Fri, Sat & Sun
G7873 ( 08:38 – 08:57 )
G2485 ( 12:48 – 13:07 )
G2429 ( 14:11 – 14:30 )
G8815 ( 14:43 – 15:02 )
G2431 ( 16:25 – 16:44 )
G2439 (18:18 – 18:37 )

High speed trains back from Badaling to Qinghe Railway Station
G2402 ( 09:21 – 09:41 )
G2416 ( 13:24 – 13:43 )
G7876 ( 14:04 – 14:23 )
G2430 ( 17:56 – 18:15 ) Only available on Fri, Sat & Sun
G2434 ( 19:08 – 19:27 )
G8818 ( 19:58 – 20:18 )

Ticket prices for the high speed trains between Qinghe Railway Station and Badaling
Business Class: RMB 70 ; First Class: RMB 37 ; Second Class: RMB 23

How to get to Qinghe Railway Station from other places in Beijing?
Just take Subway Line 13 , then get off at the station of Shangdi (上地站),then you will see the signs guiding you to Qinghe Station.

One high speed train starting from Beijing North Railway Station to Badaling Great Wall Station and two trains back

One High speed train from Beijing North Railway Station to Badaling:
G8813 ( 11:35 – 12:09 )

Two High speed trains back from to Badaling to Beijing North Railway Station:
G8812 ( 10:34 – 11:09 )
G2424 ( 16:22 – 16:58 )

Ticket prices for the high speed trains between Beijing North Railway Station and Badaling
Business Class: RMB 89 ; First Class: RMB 48 ; Second Class: RMB 29

How to get to Beijing North Railway Station from other places in Beijing?
Just take Subway Line 2, Subway Line 4 and Subway Line 13, then get off at the station of Xizhimen Station (西直门站),then you will see the signs guiding you to Beijing North Railway Station (北京北站).

On the train ride, 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 Great Wall

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.

Badaling Railway Station

Getting off at Badaling 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.

Note: For slow walkers or wheel-chair users, we suggest you get off at the first stop and start your visit from the Tower 1, easy to climb, also with accessible ramp for wheel-chair users.

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.

Note: Basically there will be a huge crowd of tourists using the cable station to ascend the area between Tower No.08 and No.09 of the Wall. Slides are available.

Travel Tips:

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 cable way 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

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.

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 ( where the first tower starts) ; if you climb up the north “back mountain” Badaling Great Wall, you start from the Badaling Bear Park ( (where the last tower – No. 12 tower is ).

Most passengers prefer to hike the northern slope of Badaling Great Wall simple because the north part is more scenic.

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.
Train: Take train from Beijing Qinghe Station or Beijing North Railway Station and get off at the station of Badaling.

More Travel Tips

1. For slow walkers or wheel-chair users
For slow walkers or wheel-chair users, we suggest you get off the free shuttle bus from Badaling Railway Sytation at the first stop and start your visit from the Tower 1, easy to climb, also with accessible ramp for wheel-chair users.

Click: The Most Wheelchair-Friendly Great Wall to Visit

Badaling is more wheelchair-friendly than Mutianyu Great Wall. On the Badaling Great Wall, there is a special flat lane is built for wheelchair users starting from Tower 1 to Tower 3 of the Wall. The accessible path is flat and not deep. So you can walk slowly along the accessible path to the Tower 3 and walk further for a better view if you can.

2. Alternatively, you can also take Badaling Bus 877  
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).

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

4. 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.

5. 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

Chinese version of the travel guide

从北京市区如何坐火车去八达岭长城?

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.

Simatai Great Wall Travel Tips

Saturday, August 29th, 2020

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather How to buy entrance tickets to Simatai Great Wall

1. If you are going to buy a through ticket both for Gubei Water Town and Simatai Great Wall, you don’t need to book your tickets in advance. You just go directly to the Gubei Water Town Tourist Center to buy your tickets.

2. If you are not interested in the artificial water town and prefer to buy the ticket for Simatai Great Wall separately, then you have to book your tickets one day in advance. You may book your tickets valid for next 10 days.  You also go to the Gubei Water Town Tourist Center to collect your Simatai tickets, then start for your hike escorted by a tour guide from Gubei Water Town tourist center on foot or take a golf cart to the starting point for Simatai Great Wall hike.

For Simaitai Great Wall only tourists, they are arranged to visit Simatai Great Wall in four departures per day – 09:00, 10:00, 13:00,14:00.

Booking hotline: 010 – 81009999 ( 09:00 – 17:00 ).

Simatai Great Wall Entrance Fee: RMB 40 from Jan 01 t0 Sept; Gubei Water Town Entrance fee: RMB 80 from Jan 01 to Sept 30. Opening Hours: 8:00- 17:00 (  ticket  selling till 16:30).

How to get to Simatai Great Wall

Self-driving: Driving along Jingcheng Expressway and get off at the 24th Exit of Simatai. Then drive according to the roadside direction signboard for 2-5 minute.

Public Transportation: Take public bus No.980 from Dongzhimen Transportation Hub and get off the stop of Gulou (Drum Tower) at Miyun County, then connect local bus  No.51 or 38 to Simatai Village.  Then walk to Gubei Water Town (1.5km).

How to Hike Simatai Great Wall

1. At the time of my writing, people are only allowed to hike the East Section from Tower 1 to 10. The West Section is still unopened.

2. The cross hike from Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall is still not allowed ( mainly due to the closure of Simatai West Section ).

3. If you have strong legs, you may first walk about 30 minutes from the tourist center to the first tower of the Wall, then hike all the way up to the 10th tower. You may hike down or take the cable car down the hill ( RMB 80 single way ).

4. If you don’t have strong legs, but still want to experience the length of Simatai Great Wall, you may first take the cable car up ( RMB 80 ) to the 8th tower, then walk down the wall. You still need to take great care when you hike down since some parts are very steep!

5. If you just want to have a look at the Wall and don’t want to climb the Wall, you may take the cable car up and down ( RMB 160). The cable station above is located on the hillside leading either to the 5th Tower and 8th Tower.

Where to dine and stay in Simatai area?

After your hike at Simatai, you may dine at Gubei Water Town ( suggest you go to the public area in Minguo Street – a not paid area inside the town).  Or you may go to the Simatai Village for home lunch or dinner, 1.5km west of the Gubei Water Town.

If you want to stay overnight in the Simatai area, you may stay inside the Gubei Water Town or Simatai Village. Gubei Water Town have 2 5-star hotels, 6 boutique hotels, and more guesthouses and B$B. For budget accommodation, you may choose to stay in a household in Simatai Village.

Travel Tips on what dress for seasonal hike

April, October, and earlier November: long shorts, overcoat; May, June, July and August: Summer dress – many T-shirts shorts; December, January and early February: winter hat with ear flap, ear warmers, gloves, scarf, warm jackets and the winter accessories.

Travel Tips for the attractions near Simatai Great Wall

Simatai Great Wall is located in Miyun County, 140km northeast of Beijing’s city center.  In Miyun County, you may also visit Changyu Chateau Beijing, Yumenshan Great Wall , Gubeikou Great Wall as well as Jinshanling Great Wall.

About the Hike from Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall

The scenic hike from Jinshanling to the west section of Simatai Great Wall  is favored by many Great Wall hikers. Unfortunately, now the stretch from Jinshanling to Simatai is still unopened mainly due to the closure of the west section of Simatai Great Wall.  You have three options to substitute the missing hike.

1. You may hike  the 18 towers of the east section Jinshanling Great Wall to the beginning tower of the west section of Simatai.  You can arrange your driver to wait for you by the roadside of the short-cut to the last tower of the east section of Jinshanling.

The east section of Jinshanling Great Wall

The east section of Jinshanling Great Wall

2. You may hike from Gubeikou Great Wall to Jinshanling Great Wall, the most challenging and photogenic hike attracting many Great Wall hiking lovers.

Gubeikou Great Wall, like a Coiled Dragon.

Gubeikou Great Wall, like a Coiled Dragon.

3. You can walk from Jiankou Great Wall to Mutianyu Great Wall, the most impressive and photogenic hike around Beijing.

The scenic and photogenic Jiankou Great Wall

The scenic and photogenic Jiankou Great Wall

Some Simatai Great Wall Photos

There are 16 towers on the east section and 12 towers on the west section.  The west sections is still unopened while for the east section, people are only allowed to climb up to the 10th tower.

The West Section of Simatai Great Wall viewed from a high point on the East Section of Simatai Great Wall

The West Section of Simatai Great Wall

The West Section of Simatai Great Wall

Trudge up to the 6th and 7th tower on the East Section of Simatai Great Wall

Trudge up to the 6th and 7th tower

Trudge up to the 6th and 7th tower

Walking up to the 8th, 9th and 10th tower on the east section.  The 8th Tower is also known as White Cloud Tower. You may find a big hole on the tower. It is said the hole was blasted by the Japanese invaders during the second world war when they bombed the Great Wall.

I was standing by the 12th Tower with the backdrop of the forbidden section of Simatai Great Wall.

I was standing by the 12th Tower with the backdrop of the forbbiden section of Simatai Great Wall

I was standing by the 12th Tower with the backdrop of the forbidden section of Simatai Great Wall

Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Simatai Great Wall & Gubei Water Town Day Tour from US7$85 p/p
Jinshanling & Simatai Great West Day Tour from US$5 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Beijing Dinner & Night Boat Tour. from US$ 59P/P

Beijing by Night Illuminations Tour  from US$33 p/p

Beijing Hutong Highlight One Day Tour  from US$59 p/p

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Further Readings


How to visit Mutianyu Great Wall by bus.
Tips for Visiting Great Wall around Beijing
How to Visit Beijing in Winter
Visiting Great Wall by Train
Go to Badaling Great Wall by Bus
Great Wall Tour
Top 10 Markets in Beijing

Any questions, just drop a line.