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Dear Ms. Liang, Our guided tour of Beijing finishes today and my husband and I wish to thank Barrin, our Beijing tour guide, our Beijing driver and your company for what has been the most memorable holiday that we have ever had. Barrin was at the airport to meet us and proved to be a most diligent, pleasant and informative host throughout the tour. Our driver took us through the heavy Beijing traffic every day and got us to our various places safely. Sincerely, Michele Monteil UK
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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
Reviews on Tour-Beijing.Com
Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall Key Words:
Features: firm and magnificent, well preserved and original
Hiking Area: north and south sections
Hiking Time: 2 - 3 hours for each section
Hiking Level: biginner - intermediate
Distance: 80km from downtown Beijing
Cable car: available at the north section of the Great Wall

» Badaling Great Wall + Forbidden City + Tiananmen Square Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Forbidden City + Tiananmen Square Day Tour Attractions: Badaling Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square
Tour Type: A private tour
Duration: Approx.8 hours ( 2 hours on the wall)
Pick-up point and time:Your Hotel around 8:00am
Finishing point and time: Your Hotel around 6:00pm
Hiking Time: 2 hours
Walking Level: Beginner
Service: Entrance fees + lunch + private tour guide & driver + private car / van
Tour Code: BXIT-F04
Price: Starting from US$ 58 p/p

Today is August 29, 2008, the first day on my 5-day trip to the Great Wall in Beijing covering the six sections of the Great Wall in Beijing - Badaling Great Wall, Juyongguan Pass Great Wall, Huanghuacheng Great Wall, Mutianyu Great Wall, Jinshanling Great Wall and Simatai Great Wall. Actually I follow a two-person small hiking group ( Mr. Julian and Mrs. Gaby ) from Britain organized by our own tour company. They are on a trip to China to celeberate their 20 years' wedding anniversary.

At 10:30am we start from their lodging hotel in downtown Beijig, it is raining and overcast. I'm a little worried about the visibility on the great wall. Our first Great Wall stop is Badaling Great Wall. Badaling Great Wall is about 80km north-south of Beijing. It is a 1.5-hour's smooth drive along the Badaling Highway. When we get to the Badaling Great Wall, there is no rain at all, but a little overcast. It is foggy and misty. So we expect to see the Great Wall in the mist. In summer, we do have a changeable weather.

Many first-time travelers choose the Great Wall at Badaling. It 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 people prefer to climb the north section where the highest watch tower is located. Also the cableway is available on the north section. So many people climb up the north section of the Great Wall, then take the cable car down.

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 has two parallel sections meeting at the most northern tip ( a curve ) of the Badaling Great Wall.

We often call the two north parallel sections "front mountain" and "back mountain". The "front mountain" is to the north of the "back mountain". 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.

Badaling Great Wall MapIf you decide to take a cable car up the Great Wall, you have to go to the cable station available at the foot of the north part of the north "front mountain". In a word, if you have strong legs, we suggest you hike up from the Badaling Pass toward the north "back mountain" Badaling Great Wall, then hike back or take a cable car down, or hike down the north "back mountain" Badaling Great Wall to the Bear Park.

Some tourists don't choose the Badaling Great Wall. They think Badaling Great Wall is too touristy! "Tourity" is now a bad word for any tour destination. But why is it too touristy? It is "too touristy" because Badaling Great Wall is too well-known and attractive. To avoid being too touristy means you would like to choose other sections of the Great Wall like Mutianyu, Juyongguan, Jinshanling or Simatai. But the fact is the other sections are "touisty" too, or will be "too touristy" too, sooner or later simply because many of "you" think they are not touristy! The Great Wall is a little bit tired due to the fast increase of the tourists coming to Beijing.

The Badaling Great Wall is worth being listed on your Great Wall hiking travel plan. Your Badaling Great Wall hike can be easily customized to include the Ming Tombs or Summer Palace on your one day trip.

Frequetly Asked Questions
1. What are the pros and cons of walking to the top of the wall versus taking the cable car?

Though both North and South have cable car service, the cable car in the southern section of Badaling Great Wall is often out of service. So when we talk about cable car, we often refer to the cable car at the Northern section of Badaling Great Wall. The northern slope of the Badaling Great Wall is about 3700m long starting from NorthTower 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 Tower9 ) 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.

2. Where does the cable car deposit you and what are your options from this point?

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 eithe 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.

3. Can you take the cable car up and then walk down?

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.

4. It appears from Google satelite pictures that the section from north tower 1 to north tower 8 is very crowded. Yet that portion of the wall that runs east from tower 8 appears almost empty. If one walks this section of the wall do you have to backtrack or is there a way down?

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.

5. If one walks the south portion of the wall, do you have to backtrack?

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

Having Lunch at Badaling Hotel
We arrive at the Badaling Great Wall at 12:00 and have lunch at Badaling Great Wall Hotel. We enter the main building. The first floor is a huge shop selling various kinds of tourist stuff. The restaurant is on the second floor. They offer very good buffet lunch.

Taking the cable car up the Great Wall
If you are not a professional hiker or sportsman, we suggest you have a one way great wall hiking by taking the cable way up or down to save your time and energy. Many tourists choose to take the cable up to the mountain, then walk down the Great Wall. The cableway in Badaling is a little outdated, but its safety is out of the question. It is under regular and strict check. One cable car holds four people.

south section of the Badaling Great Wall
The cable car lifts us to the middle part of the Badaling Great Wall. We decide to hike the north section. Maybe next time I would like to climb the south section. I take some pictures of the south section of the Badaling Great Wall from our starting point - "Haohanpo" ( a real hero' slope ).

<< Previous Next >>

Badaling Great Wall: 1, 2, 3
Juyongguan Great Wall Pass: 1, 2, 3, 4
Huanghuacheng Great Wall: 1, 2, 3
Mutianyu Great Wall: 1, 2
Jinshanling Great Wall: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Simatai Great Wall: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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