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“A great adventure” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Great Wall Hike (James Private Tour)

The Great Wall Hike (James Private Tour)
Miami, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A great adventure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2013

My husband and I did the 1-day hike with James in the summer of 2011, and we are still talking about it. We are in our 40s and relatively fit, could be more fit. We wore sensible hiking shoes. It was a bit challenging. Ther ewere several others in the group, including one lady in flip-flops (!!). Our first clue at how tiring it would be came when we were just walking to reach the wall. James set a brisk pace as we walked uphill. When he stopped to answer his phone, we were all already out of breath and joked that we needed to get his number so we could call him whenever we wanted to take a short break. The scenery is breathtaking. Climbing up near-vertical, crumbling portions of the wall was thrilling. I kept wondering, what happens if someone twists their ankle - how do they get down? Thankfully, everyone in our group handled the hike just fine, even Miss Flip-Flops, and we all got along well. It was an experience I will never forget.

One thing - bathrooms are pretty non-existent, so keep that in mind.

Visited June 2012
2 Thank Elizabeth H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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180 reviews from our community

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English first
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Jiankou - 2 day trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013

Our group of 4 did the 2 day trip on the Jiankou portion of the Great Wall, and camped on the Wall in early April 2013. This was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime adventure! I will never forget this experience and will be telling everyone about it for many years to come. In fact, I'd say that this trip is vying for the first place spot on the "Most Amazing Adventures" in my life (but hopefully there are some more to come!).

James was an excellent, friendly guide, took good care of us, and was incredibly patient. He taught us some history of the Wall along the trip and pointed out details we would have missed. He provided us helpful advice on how to tackle some of the trickier, more challenging parts of the Wall, and always offered a helpful hand if we needed a boost or a lift. I would absolutely recommend this trip with James to my adventurous friends.

Some tips if you plan on taking this trip:
Both days of hiking were challenging and physical fitness and agility are a must! If you have gone hiking in U.S. National Parks and can handle the hikes categorized as "Difficult" then you're already off to a good start. But I would say that this Great Wall adventure should be labeled as a "Difficult times 5." There is some free climbing, no safety rails (but you should already know this since it's the "Wild Wall" and is unrestored), and no room for mistakes. But this is all a part of what makes it fun!!! And James did an excellent job taking care of us - he knows this Wall like the back of his hand and knows almost every rock and step along the way.
James said that "hiking shoes are best, running shoes are ok." We all wore running shoes (James wore proper hiking shoes). I hike a lot, and I'd say that I should have brought hiking shoes. The soft soles of running shoes weren't that comfortable on the (highly) uneven path and rocks.
Bring a lunch for both days of hiking, and plenty of water. James provides a hearty and tasty dinner for the first day and breakfast for the second day.
This is not for people who are afraid of heights!

All in all, one of my favorite things that I have done in China and in my life. I would highly recommend James' 2-day Great Wall trip if you are up for the adventure! Thanks, James!!!

Visited April 2013
4 Thank maviguetero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best Experience in Beijing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

I just hiked the great wall with James this week and it was certainly the highlight of my trip. The hike was excellent and James is knowledgable of hiking and of the wall itself. While some parts of the wall test your hiking ability due to loose rocks and steep sections I felt safe and encouraged. Could not ask for a better guide if you want to see an unrestored section of the wall, have a great picnic and do some learning along the way!

Visited March 2013
3 Thank Kaity K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2012

My wife and I used James's services in March 2012, we booked our tour to celebrate my 50th Birthday, and it was a day I will never forget.

James picked us up from our hetel in the morning and we spent thye next 2 hours or so driving out of Beijing and the surrounding countryside to the wall.
We walked up through a wooded area, catching sight if the wall, during the 30 minute climb.
You pull yourself up onto the wall which the locals have cleaned up, but only about a 200 - 300 meter section. You are then onto the ''REAL WALL'' the start is a little hair rasing, which is all I will say :-) The hike is hard, but well worth the effort, there are a couple of climbs/scrambling that are memorable. Though out the hike we both were asking James questions, which he fully answered, along with taking photo's of us, which he sent to us on our return home.

Through out the hike the views are stunning, and you could quite easily spend the 4 plus hours on the wall taking photo's.

Yes it was a little expensive, but minimul compared to the total cost of our trip to China, and the memories that will last me for ever.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank Goodandhard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brooklyn, ny
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“The best thing we did in China”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2012

We hiked the Great Wall with James in September, 2011. It was by far the highlight of our trip to China. James was patient and knowledgeable - my partner has a serious fear of heights and he was able to talk her through the toughest parts of the hike - and we both had an amazing experience. The views were absolutely spectacular. The section of wall we explored has untouched for hundreds of years. It was uncrowded and un-touristed. The hike itself was definitely rigorous, but well worth it. Highly recommended!

Visited September 2011
2 Thank JMLing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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