Trip name: Hiking and Sleeping on the Great Wall plus City Tours in Beijing-Plan B
Trip code: CET-GWSC42
Trip length: 4 days
Hiking route: Xishuiyu to Zhuangdaokou, Zhuangdaokou to Huanghuacheng
Meeting point and time: Your hotel at 8:00 am on Day 1
Finishing point and time: Your hotel between 3-4 pm on Day 4
Highlights: Hiking and sleeping on the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Hutong Tour, Ming Tombs, Olympic venues
Departure: Daily from Beijing, early March to late November
Our guide will meet you at your hotel lobby. Firstly we will go to visit [Temple of Heaven], and then to [Tian’anmen Square] and [Forbidden City]. We will also climb up the [Jinshan Park] where we will have a panoramic view of the whole royal palace in a clear day. We will get back to hotel before 5 pm. A lunch in a local restaurant is included. Visit to Pearl Market (optional, it’s close to Temple of Heaven) can be organized by our guide upon your request.
Beijing is well-known for its historical and cultural heritages. Most of the sights are from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Temple of Heaven and Forbidden City are the representatives of these ancient architectures.
Temple of Heaven: Built from 1407 to 1421, it was served as a holy temple for annual ceremonies of worshipping the God of Heaven and prayer for good harvest in the Ming and Qing dynasties. It’s divided into 3 sections: the Circular Mound Altar, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. The complex covers an area of 272 hectares, the largest public park in Beijing. It’s a popular entertainment center for local people to dance, play paper cards, and practice Taichi and Beijing Opera etc.
Tian'anmen Square: One of the largest city squares in the world, it’s the very political center of China. Important buildings are arranged around the square, including Mao’s Mausoleum, People’s Great Hall (the Congress), China National Museum and Forbidden City.
Forbidden City: Built in the same period as Temple of Heaven, it served as royal palace for almost 500 years (1421-1911) in the Ming and Qing dynasties. It covers 72 hectares and is the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. The size might surprise you, but what makes it fascinating is that every square meter is interesting, ranging from intricately carved walkways to colorful, painted ceilings. A visit to the Clocks and Watches Exhibition is included.
Jingshan Park: Piled up by the earth from the moat of the Forbidden City, it’s once the highest point in the ancient capital. A 15-minute walking up to the hill will give you a chance to enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the whole imperial palace as well as the modern city.
Transport: metro, public bus and taxi
Pick up: 9 am at your hotel
Our guide will meet you at your hotel lobby. Firstly we will go to see the pandas in [Beijing Zoo]. These lovely pandas are from Sichuan Province, the hometown of pandas. Next we are going to visit [Summer Palace], the royal garden in the Qing Dynasty. A walking tour around the [Olympic venues] is followed. We will then come back to the old town of Beijing. Having a lunch in one of the local family’s house and learn story about local’s daily life. We will continue the tour by [taking a rickshaw and going through the small alleys and experience the authentic life of Beijingers]. We will relax at [Nanluguxiang], the best preserved Hutong area in downtown Beijing.
Pandas in the Zoo: Pandas in the zoo are from Southwest China’s Sichuan Province and there are over 1000 pandas at the moment, accounting for 70% of the whole pandas in the world. Panda is one of the most endangers animals in the world, and it’s also a symbol of China now.
Summer Palace: Built in 1750, it was the royal garden for emperors and his royal families in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Covering an area of 298 hectares, it was a summer resort for emperors to escape the hotness and humidity from Forbidden City. It is also a good demonstration of Chinese gardening and architecture skills.
Hutong Tour: Hutong are the small and narrow alleys in the old town of Beijing dating back the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). Several local families live here with a shared courtyard for hundreds of years. We will have a lunch in one of the local house and then take rickshaw going through the small alleys. A visit to a local market will let you get to know the vegetables, fruits and other utensils here in Beijing.
Nanluoguxiang: One of the best persevered Hutong areas in downtown Beijing, Nanluoguxiang is famous for its Hutongs and courtyards but it is also now famed for the cafes and bars and clothing and handcraft shops that line its Hutong laneways. Nanluoguxiang is a perfect blend of past and present. Nanluoguxiang has a 768-metre-long south-north central lane, with 16 Hutongs meandering east and west of off the central lane, giving each side eight Hutongs. You may have your dinner (optional) here at one of the courtyard restaurants after a full day’s walking.
Transport: metro, public bus and taxi
Pick up: 9 am at your hotel.
from Xishuiyu to Zhuangdaokou is completely wild and original, and the section from Zhuangdaokou to Huanghuacheng is partially restored. Both Xishuiyu and Huanghuacheng are well-known for lakeside Great Wall as there are two reservoirs cutting the Wall. The scenery is stunning once you reach the Wall on the mountain. We will also visit the underground palace of Ming Tombs en route. This is a perfect itinerary for family with kids and those who want to cover the Ming Tombs.
The Great Wall
Pick you up at your hotel in Beijing at 8 am and drive to Ming Tombs (1.5 hrs). We will then drive to Xishuiyu village and have a lunch in a local farmer’s house. We will walk the Wall from Xishuiyu to Zhuangdaokou in the afternoon for 3 hours. We will watch the sunset and then off the wall to have fresh Chinese dishes in a local farmer’s kitchen at Zhuangdaokou village.
Ming Tombs: There are 13 mausoleums for the emperors from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in the north of Beijing. The layout and arrangement of these tombs are very similar but vary in size as well as in the complexity of their structures. We will visit the underground palace of Dingling where we will find some treasures and other burial objects exhibits for the emperor.
Sacred Way: it is the passage to the heaven for all past emperors according to ancient Chinese mythology, as well as the leading way to all 13 tombs when the descendents paid visit. The way now is lined with stone statures of military generals and civil service.
We will go through the jungles and bushes (shorts not recommended today) after reaching the top of Xishuiyu section of the Wall. We can see the Wall snaking further westward near the reservoir and vanishing in the mountains. We will walk eastward for 3 hours. We will come across some orchards at the foot of the Wall along the path. Have a break on the top of one of the watchtowers and watch the sunset, and then we get off the Wall at Zhuangdaokou village and have a fresh dinner at the village.
After dinner our guide will take us back up to the watchtower on the Wall where we will spend the night. Take what you will need for the hiking in the next morning as we will not come back before the hiking. The rest of luggage will be locked in our vehicle and be driven straight to Huanghuacheng in the next day. You can take your own blanket sheet though we provide clean sleeping bags.
Transport: private car/ van
Pick up: 8 am at your hotel
Wake up and enjoy breakfast on the Great Wall as the sun rises around you. It’s the right time to produce amazing photographs. At this time there are usually no other people on the wall, you have the wall to yourself. After breakfast we will start the hiking, and it will take about 1.5 hours hiking on the wall. We will get off the wall at Huanghuacheng village.
This section of the Wall is steep compared with previous day hiking and the Wall was restored partially. Once you reach the highest point and you will have a panoramic view of all Huanghuacheng town. The Wall extends further to the east and goes up straight.
If you still feel energetic and want to do more hiking, then you can continue the hiking at Huanghuacheng East section. Please advise your hiking guide.
On the way back into Beijing we will have a lunch and drive by the Olympic venues afterward and you stop to take photos. You will arrive at hotel at 2-3 pm.
Transport: private car/ van
|Group Size Person(s)||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8|
|Tour Cost in USD||690||415||380||340||320||300||290||280|
* Group size over 9 please send us an email for a better rate request.
* Children under age 12 receive 20% discount. Children under 5 are free. Childern’s price is based on adult travellers. Please send us children’s details in email.
*The price is only for your reference and it is subject to seasons, high or low.Please send us your inquiry if you are insterested.
1. private air-con car/van with experienced driver when hiking on the Wall; return transport from Beijing
2. public transport when doing the city tours
3. personal English-speaking tour guide
4. all entrance fees to attractions listed in the itinerary
5. unlimited bottled water each day; all lunches with unlimited drinks
6. accommodation on Great Wall in a watchtower including bedding; optionally you can stay in the courtyard-style hotel, twin share without extra charge
7. western continental breakfast (German muesli, fruits, milk and other drinks) served on the Great Wall, no cooking is allowed on the wall, no hot breakfast
8. a certificate of completion for hiking on the Great Wall of China
1. travel insurance
2. personal expenses
3. tipping to tour guide/driver recommended on good service on a 2:1 ratio separately
What to take:
comfortable shoes or boots, snacks, sunscreen, sun-glasses, stick, pocket knife, first aid kit, lip balm, cap, bug repellant, and personal items such as medications, toiletries and a change of clothes. A warm jacket or sweatshirt is needed in the spring and fall as its cooler on the wall than in the city. You may bring snacks to eat while walking on the wall however we will give you some as well.
1. Travel insurance is compulsory for this trip. We reserve the right to cancel your participation in the trip, with no right of refund, if you are unable to provide proof of insurance policy on Day 1.
2. There is no toilet along the path on the Wall. There are toilets at the entrance of Xishuiyu, Zhuangdaokou and Huanghuacheng, otherwise be prepared to commune with nature. Please prepare before hiking and always carry toilet paper by yourself.
3. As a World Heritage Site there is no development allowed on the Great Wall. Accommodation is similar to camping.We provide sleeping mats, sleeping bags, flashlights, food and drinks. You may sleep inside the watchtower or under the stars on the wall. There is no electricity, running water or toilets.
4. We cannot guarantee good weather. If the weather looks bad you may call up and change the date of your tour the day before. On the day of the tour we cannot cancel. If the weather is bad we will shift you to a courtyard hotel at the base of the wall without extra charge. Because of safety concerns you cannot sleep on the wall if there is a lightning storm and the local authority will order us off the wall. In light rain you can still sleep inside the watchtower. However rain is rarely a problem as there is little of it on the wall.
5. It’s recommended to prepare some snacks before your departure from Beijing.
6. As responsible travelers, we “take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprint”.