This trip is designed for those who are energetic and want to walk more on the Great Wall. Five-day hiking on different sections will show you changing perspectives of restored and original walls. The intimate touch with local people and community introduces you an authentic condition of those descendants of the wall builder. This trip needs you prepare more before departure from home.
Early in the morning we depart to Huangyaguan, a 3-hour journey. We will hike for 2-3 hours on the wall from Taipingzhai to Huangyaguan, and have a late lunch afterward. You’re free to explore the village in the afternoon.
The wall is completed unreconstructed at Huangyaguan section, so requires good negotiation and careful attention. It is quite solid and rough going scrambling through various scrubs and berry plants and scramble on the wall’s rubble. Originally built in 557 AD, the Huangyanguan Great Wall was repaired for the first time in Ming Dynasty with bricks and then restored again in 1985. It is 41 kilometres in length with its walls and towers built on mountain ridge with an average altitude of 738 metres. The name Huangyaguan translates to “Yellow Cliff Pass” and is named after the yellowish hills and rocks nearby. It is unique in that it has various different-shaped watchtowers. There are not many tourists in this area, as it is a remote and seldom visited location. The most unique feature here is the Street of the Eight Diagrams, an architectural wonder of the Ming Dynasty lying just below the pass. A labyrinth set up to confuse and entrap invading armies, this fortification design is based on the ancient trigrams of the Book of Changes. UNESCO placed Huangyaguan Great Wall on the UN list of the World heritage. In May each year marathon runners from around the world come here to participate in one of the world’s most demanding courses, with exhausting ascents, steep descents and more than 3,700 steps. We only walk this section once, rather than completing the circuit twice as is required of the marathon runners.
Accommodation: local farmer’s guesthouse
We drive for two hours to our next section of the wall, Gubeikou, from where we trek to Jingshanling (5 hrs). We will drive back to Gubeikou and stay at a local farmer's guesthouse.
Gubeikou is located 146 kilometres north of Beijing. It has the Panlong (Coiling Dragon) and Wohu (Crouching Tiger) mountains in the background and is linked to the Qingfeng (Green Wind) and Dicui (Piled Verdure) peaks. The Chaohe River runs across the foot of the wall from north to south. In 1378 (the 11th year of Emperor Hongwu's reign in the Ming Dynasty), General Xu Da ordered this section of the Great Wall rebuilt. Gubeikou has seen probably more battles than any other part of the Great wall, including some of the most famous in Chinese history. On the southern slope of Gubeikou stands a temple dedicated to Yang Ye, a famous Great Wall garrison general of the Song Dynasty. There are quite a few temples in China dedicated to this general, but this one is perhaps the oldest. Our walk takes us eastward along the old city wall, passing numerous watchtowers and other parts of the wall that have not yet been restored.
We will stay at a traditional local farmer's courtyard guesthouse at Gubeikou village which played important role in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD) to defend the capital. The accommodation is twin-shared. There are 2 shared toilets and showers. We have chance to walk around the village and try home-made local farmer's food.
Meals:(picnic lunch, dinner)
We will drive to Jinshanling in 20 minutes after a typical farmer's breakfast, and start the hike at 8am. Walking eastward along the old city wall, passing numerous watchtowers and walls that have not yet been restored. Due to the recent closure of Simatai East section, we cannot walk through all the way to Simtai East. We will get off the Wall by Kylin Tower. We will then drive to Jiankou and stay overnight at Xizhaizi village.
Jinshanling is the name given to an 11-kilometre section of the wall situated on the Jinshan Mountains. The earliest bit of this structure was built in the 6th Century AD, but most of what you see now dates from the Ming Dynasty. This section of the wall has 67 watchtowers, each built in a different style of architecture. The walkway along the top is paved with square bricks providing a level surface wide enough to construct or erect batteries. Poems and tablet writings can be found on the Jinshanling Great Wall left from the time General Qi Jiguang directed building of this section of the Great Wall. Barrier walls were built leading to the enemy towers to protect the towers. Some of the towers were storerooms for food, hay and weapons.
After the trek we will drive to Xizhaizi village at Jiankou. Here, you can relax and get a first-hand taste of rural life. Basic hot shower is available. Our hosts and most of the other villagers are still farmers, so don't be surprised if you are awakened to the sound of roosters crowing!
Accommodation: local farmer’s guesthouse
Meals:(breakfast, lunch, dinner);
We will walk the Wall at Jiankou section today, and it will take about 4 hours hiking on the wall. We will start the hiking from Jiankou and then continue the hike westward to the foot of Ladders to the Heaven (or the Sky Stairs and we will skip this section).
The Great Wall at Jiankou is completely untouched, original and authentic. The Wall was built on the narrow mountain ridges with large pieces of dolomite as basement. The superstructures are mainly bricks which were baked in the kilns in nearby villages. These watchtowers were abandoned after the Manchu people took over the power in 1644. It has superb scenery, dense vegetation and many fine watchtowers. The most difficult section of the climb is a 15-20 meter descent. The stone steps are the width of your foot and there is only a single balustrade of wall here for balance. You will be rewarded by the breathtaking scenery for your great effort. As it’s not easy to access, there are just a few hikers at weekend and holidays.
After the trek, we will come back to the same family guesthouse.
Accommodation: local farmer’s guesthouse
Meals:(breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Start the hiking at 8 am, and it will take 5 hours hiking on the wall. You will hike on both restored and original walls. Shorts are not recommended since you will meander through jungles and bushes. On the way back into Beijing we drive by the Olympic venues and you stop to take photos.
Jiankou to Mutianyu section offers a wonderfully satisfying experience of the Wall. It has superb scenery, dense vegetation and many fine watch-towers in an excellent restored section which is about six metres broad. The brickwork is elaborate, with crenellations on both sides and finely curved eaves on some watch-tower roofs. There are decorative gables with animal statues, and tablets bearing calligraphy above some entrances. The first one hour is going straight up and reaches the wall, and then hikes unrestored towers. The wild Wall to the west is the original Ming Dynasty with fine stonework, and there are almost no other people. You will be rewarded when you approach Zhengbeilou Tower, where you will have a breathtaking view of Jiankou section. There will be a sharp contrast when you arrive at Mutianyu with the restored wall and towers.
We will organize a unique Hotpot lunch when back to the city. Hotpot is originally from Sichuan Province and now is popular all over China. You can choose Plain or Spicy one as you like. This is also a good opportunity to practice your chopstick skills. After lunch you will refresh your tired feet with a traditional reflexology foot massage. This is sure to leave you completely relaxed after this active adventure on the Great Wall of China. Our guide will escort you back to hotel by 5pm.
|Group Size Person(s)||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8|
|Price/ USD each||1490||925||875||800||775||750||725||700|
*Group size over 8 please send us an email for a better rate request.
*Children under age 12 receive 50% 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 interested.
*Remember when comparing price, you get what you pay for. We don't earn money by taking you to commission shopping stops, a common practice in China, wasting your time. Our guides are carefully selected, highly trained and well-paid to be friendly and patient travel companions. We are not the cheapest, but we are one of the best.
1. air-con vehicle with experienced driver
2. personal English-speaking hiking tour guide
3. entrance fee of Great Wall
4. four nights twin-shared accommodation in local guesthouses
5. unlimited bottled water; meals as listed in the itinerary
6. foot massage
7. a certificate of completing the hiking on Great Wall of China
1. travel insurance
2. cable car, chairlift, toboggan (slideway), flyingfox (zipline) or any other additional local facilities
4. personal expenses
5. tipping of tour guide/driver recommended on good service on a 2:1 ratio separately