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“Tour with Beijing Downtown Backpackers”
Review of Travel Great Wall

Travel Great Wall
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Small Group Tour: Enjoy Your Day on Mutianyu Great Wall including Lunch
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All Inclusive Self-Guided Private Day Trip to Mutianyu Great Wall
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All Inclusive Self-Guided Private Tour to Summer Palace and Mutianyu Great Wall
Ranked #37 of 392 Tours in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Mutianyu Great Wall small group tour, Great Wall car rental service, Beijing airport layover tour. Jinshanling Great Wall hiking towards to Simatai was amazing !"Not been on the Great Wall, not a great man."—Chinese proverb.The least spoiled part of the Great Wall.The hike from the west Jinshanling to the east Simatai is the most challenging Great Wall hike in Beijing.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed April 20, 2013

Hiking Jin Shan Ling
Booked a tour with Beijing Downtown backpackers, easy to arrange on their web-site, no need to pay until we turn up at 08:30.

Had to phone to reconfirm our place before 18:00 the day before.

Turned up at 08:15 and paid the man in the hostel 280 RMB pp. This cost included the entrance cost to the Wall but not the cable car if you chose this option. No food is given so take some lunch yourself.

Small mini bus left on time-but then stopped after 10 minutes to pick up others. We were on the road again before 09:00.
We did stop for petrol and a "bathroom" stop after only 15 minutes but otherwise a relatively easy trip.

The guide gave us a brief intro to the history of the wall and details of how the day would go later into the trip.
Basically they would drop us off at the start but wait for an hour there in case anyone found the going too tough and decided to cut short their trip by using the path at Tower 5 or getting the cable car back from tower 10.
The bus would then go off to the pickup point and wait until about 4 hours after the start (15:00) before leaving. Everyone should be Ok to get back to the bus by then.
We were told to help ourselves to water in the bus. After a short 10 minute wait we were off. It was 11:00AM

The walk up to the start of the first tower is a tarmac road and is quite steep. There are some hawkers at the side of the road but they were not too bothersome.
There is a path at this point that leads up to\down from tower 5 if you feel you can't manage the first part of the walk. There is also a cable car option here as well which cost 60 RMB (IIRC) that goes up to\down from tower 10 if you feel you can't make the complete 22 tower hike (6Km).
There is also a short cut from tower 15 to tower 19 if you can't make this really tough section.

Once on the first Tower our guide had re-iterated turn LEFT!
The group broke up into various paces as we went along, the hike is very strenuous and precarious in places. It is not a hike for the unfit.
There were some hawkers at various points along the wall but again not too many nor too pushy and a firm but polite "No" kept them quiet.

The Wall, well, is amazing, the views are incredible and the silence when walking is great as there are few other tourists.

The bus was at the pickup point and we all were away by 3PM.
On the return journey the guide let me get off at a convenient metro stop instead of going back to the backpackers.
Overall a well organised trip to a section of the wall that is still genuine and worth the physical effort.

4  Thank ourunner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 16, 2013

We went by car arranged from hotel, good,new car with seat belts working. We left at 7 Monday AM and arrived at 9 AM, the wall was really magnificent and we walked on it for 2 hours and met one other family, so it was totally empty. The wall has many towers some steep walking and excellent mountain views.

1  Thank Ozzy1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

I was picked up at my friend's place (or your hotel) with a coach bus. The bus drive took almost 3 hours. We had a quick bathroom pitstop along each way, but no lengthy shopping stop as some tours like to do. The breakfast provided was a chinese MacDonald's breakfast sandwich and a lukewarm coffee. (Nothing special.) When we got there we had the option to take the cable car up or walk. The walk was nice - about 25 minutes. Not too strenuous and there was still plenty of time for walking on the wall. Just to warn those who think they are going to rely on the cable car to get up - it was quite a windy that day, so for the way back down we did not have the option of taking the cable car (shut down due to high winds), so check the forecast or avoid this location if you aren't able to walk up and down. The walk along the wall was awesome. For me this location had the right amount of "crumble". Let me explain. I've heard that Mutianyu and Badaling feel like you're walking the Disney version of the wall. Everything is safe and there are the same number of people and vendors as Disney too. Some other locations are crumbling substantially to the point where they are not safe. Also you have a gruelling hour long hike just to get up to the wall. So, I thought this location was perfect. I went in April and towards the end of the hike there were some places where we had the wall all to ourselves.
Please keep in mind that the Simatai section is closed for repairs. We hiked as far as we could. It took about an hour to get to the end of the Jinshangling section and an hour back. The hike was fairly strenous, but not ridiculous (I am a healthy woman in my mid 30's. The couple I met in their 50's did not go the whole way.) There are few flat sections. Lots of hills and stairs. The first section is not too bad. It seems to get worse as you go further. When I was their it was dry. I would think that if the stones were wet, it would be really tricky and even dangerous in some places. Keep in mind that if you break your ankle, I don't think they are coming to get you with a stretcher. I booked it 2 days before (once I saw the forecast was good) from Beijing. I don't know if this is smart since the bus was completely full. After the hike, we met at the bottom for lunch. It was buffet style and fairly good (Chinese food). No forks (only chopsticks) so bring your own if this is a problem! :)
Hiking the wall is a MUST SEE if you are in Beijing. I'm glad I picked this section to do, but wish I could have headed on to Simatai instead of coming back the same way.

1  Thank Susan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2013

A must see 3 hrs drive from Beijing but worth it as there are no crowds. Original wall absolutely breath taking.

Thank 616SimonY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

I liked this hike better than the Mutianya hike because it was longer and the scenery was even more spectacular. It reminded me of the scenery in the Yukon Territory, at the Tombstone Mountains, a personal favourite. I enjoyed meeting a local Mongolian corn farmer who "worked" on the Wall everyday, all year round, trying to sell tourist things from her backpack. While I wasn't interested in shopping on this historic and nature walk, I was interested in her stories about the Wall and her challenging life in a nearby village, as she tried to earn money to raise her daughter and grand daughter.

Thank Joanna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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