I’ve been travelling China for over a week now and I am in love. This country is amazing. I can’t wait to explore more of it. But for now I wanted to share one of my highlights with you – The Great Wall Of China. I honestly never thought I would actually walk on it but when I got off that bus I went wow. Maybe I it’s because you think this could never happen to you, standing alone, on the Great Wall of China, but I was so humbled. My chest hurt looking at the serpent of wall snaking over the hills as far as the eye could see.
When trying to find a tour to take to The Great Wall, I was almost overwhelmed with choices. All of them sounded good but after some research I found that the Jinshanling section was not only one of the prettiest parts of the wall, but it was also a lesser travelled area which meant less tourists and people in your personal space.
I booked THIS GREAT WALL HIKING TOUR because it sounded the best for the amount of money. The tour cost about $80 Canadian and we were picked up not too far from our hotel. We were staying in the Hutongs. I was slightly disappointed at the amount of people on the bus because I thought “Oh no, we’re all going to be walking the wall as a unit?”
But it was pretty much get to the wall and be free.
I personally always would scoff at tours because, you know, how touristy.. but when it came to The Great Wall it seemed like the only option. And you know what? It was actually fine. It was an easy two and a half hour drive to the wall and would have been no different if we had booked a private tour. Everyone was nice and quiet. We were given a ‘vitamin loaf’ for breakfast and a bottle of water as a part of the tour package. I recommend bringing snacks though! I was starving (as usual) and while the loaf bread thing they gave us was filling, it wasn’t enough after the hike. I am not a big carb person so I felt kind of crappy after eating it.
After some standing around near the bottom of the gondolas for a while we were finally on our way. We were the only tour on the Jinshanling area so it was quite, calm and pristine. It’s 40 Yuan (which is roughly $7) to get a gondola ride to the top of The Great Wall or you can hike. We went for the gondola just to save some time.
When I got to the top I was blown away. I didn’t know what to expect of The Great Wall of China but this.. This was amazing. It was gorgeous. So gorgeous. I couldn’t stop gaping at everything. The way the mountains held the wall and how the fog hung low; it was perfect. And we had it all to ourselves which was probably the best thing about this tour.
The hike on the Jinshanling area is challenging so keep that in mind while booking. There was a few times where I thought I was going to fall off the wall and my calves still burn from hiking up the steep parts but it was so much fun. We had a little guide/shadow who showed us around the wall. She was really nice and held my hand on steep climbs which was nice but got kind of annoying after a while. She was a merchant there so for showing us around we bought two touristy shirts from her. I wasn’t mad though, she was really well informed and was like a little private guide so it was nice.
There’s a few spots where you can get beers, water and snacks in the towers so if you forget snacks don’t worry too much! Just make sure you bring cash.
The hike took about 4 hours and it was so hard to leave. At the end of it you’re exhausted but invigorated. It was honestly a perfect day. After we took a short drive to a local restaurant where we were fed Chinese style. AKA a bunch of food on a spinning table and you have at it. A poor British guy beside me was grossed out but I think everyone else was so hungry that they didn’t care about germs.
I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone going. It was cheap, basically private, and you had some meals included!
Shop My Look
Hope you liked this post! There’s so much more to share with you in China I can’t wait! This wifi is testing my zen but hopefully I can start posting regularly 🙂
Would you ever hike The Great Wall of China?