I finally made it to The Great Wall in China. For the rest of my life when people ask, “Oh, you lived in China. Did you go to The Great Wall?”, I can finally say YES! It only took me 3 years to get there, but I made it!
It was exactly as I imagined, an impressive masterpiece. Walking on history, we climbed the steps of one of the most famous structures ever built. I recalled the days when the existence of The Great Wall was the most I knew about China.
Friends advised that we hire a driver (700RMB, roundtrip), go to Mutianyu, and get there early. It would also be my recommendation to you. The drive was about 90 minutes, through small towns and fruit orchards, and at 8:30 it was quiet and calm. The air crisp, the crowds not yet arrived. In a word, perfect!
We took the cable car to the top, turned right and walked to the end of the wall, looked at the unrestored part overgrown with trees standing like proud soldiers, walked back, AND took an awesome toboggan down! I recommend waiting as long as you can after the person in front of you, the more space between you and the person in front of you, the faster you can go!
That’s the unrestored part of the wall.
Things to remember:
*I recommend hiring a driver to take you there. It’s about 700RMB, depending on who you get. The driver will wait for you so you can stay for as long or as little as you like. Your friends in Beijing or your hotel can help arrange this for you.
*Arrive early to avoid crowds.
*Wear comfy shoes, there are a lot of steps!
*At Mutianyu, you can go left or right after the cable car. Left is easier, right is more difficult. If you go right and walk to the end you can see the unrestored part of the wall.
*Even when buying water you must haggle or you will be charged 10RMB for 1 bottle (outrageous!!). Don’t pay more than 5RMB for a bottle.
*When taking the toboggan down, wait as long as you can before taking off. The more space between you and the person in front of you, the faster you can go, go, gooooooooo!!!!!