At the Youth Hostel in Beijing, there was the chance to do several organised tours, there are live theatre events and guided tours around Beijing, but of course, trips to the Great Wall. Actually, there are four different parts to the great wall you can visit.
The bus ride from central Beijing to Mutianyu is about a couple of hours. Once you get there, you walk upto the hills where the Great Wall, but many people pay for a cable car and so we did to save time.
The Great Wall has characterised by these towers every so often maybe 3 per kilometer of wall, but the connecting bit where we went to has these small balcony sections, which are good for organised groups to visit and gather.
The Mutianyu district is the modern section as this was rebuilt in the 1500s. My travel companion for this visit was a pilot for a well known US airline, young chap in his late 20s.
Things I learned about the Great Wall:-
- Its huge and spans much of China’s massive nation
- Its not visible from space, (old wives tale)
- The weather was quite nicely warm, actually really pleasant (was there April 2017)
- The atmosphere and nature here are wonderful, you can hear the buzzing of bees, lots of different types of trees and occasional honk of a pheasant.
- It’s physically demanding walking it, bits of it are very steep, its essential to be fit.
- In the event you get sick or an injury getting help could be difficult
- Some people live up here, well there are locals who sell stuff to tourists and some folks earn money from just photos.
- You will see a lot of other foreigners including people from your own country.
- The bricks are black on the Mutianyu section.
- Not everyone is respectful of this beautiful world-famous landmark, there is graffiti in some of the towers.
- Perhaps this wall is the first example of the Chinese being the most industrious nation on earth.