Long before Ke and I finalized our plans to visit China, I would often tell him that I’d never go to China and not see the Great Wall. No matter how many times he joked about it being just a wall, the Great Wall was a must for me.
Similarly to my need to climb Mount Fuji (a story for another time) I had to climb the Great Wall. As someone who obsesses over landmarks and countries from afar, climbing the Great Wall was definitely on my bucket list and I was not disappointed.
Besides being able to bask in the sheer beauty and grandness of the wall, it’s hard not to imagine all of the countless lives that built and defended the wall throughout the centuries.
How to Get There
There are many half day tours to Mutianyu. While Mutianyu section is known for being the most foreign friendly section, I highly recommend going to this section. It is way less crowded and still easy to get to from Beijing. Here is an example tour I recommend.
Ke scheduled a half day tour that picked us up at a designated hotel at 8am. We arrived around 11am after picking up everyone and had about 2-3 hours to explore the Great Wall which is ample time unless you want to hike up to the wall from the base
We took the gondola up so we could have as much time as possible to climb the wall itself. We spent a good 2 hours hiking round trip to the tallest part of Mutianyu and taking pictures before returning back to the bottom for lunch.
We returned to the city around 4-5pm and still had time to explore Bird’s Nest before meeting up with Ke’s relatives for dinner :D.