Travel to Beijing would not be complete without a tour of the Great Wall.
The wall has sometimes been described as ‘the greatest human feat’ ever. It was a project of ancient China for military defense, forming the longest fortification ever built anywhere in the world.
The Great Wall firmly as an icon of China, meandering like a dragon through changing topography, and illustrating the great genius and strong will of the Chinese people.
Best Sections of the Great Wall
1. The Mutianyu Great Wall, rebuilt with smooth and even steps, is very well restored, the most child-friendly section of the Wall. The cableway and slipway here will make your journey up and down more exciting and less laborious. Other well-restored and relaxing sections are Huangyaguan Pass, Huanghuacheng, and Juyongguan Pass.
2. Badaling Great Wall is the best-preserved and most-visited section. It is easily accessible from downtown Beijing and is the most popular part, always packed with tourists.
3. Jinshanling Great Wall is half-restored and half-wild. With its pristine and majestic appearance, this section is favored by hikers; mainly because of a popular route from Jingshanling to Simatai, requiring the crossing of 30 guard towers and dangerous cliffs.
4. Simatai Great Wall, the only section of the Wall open for night tours, is said to be the wonderful Wall in miniature, because it is the most precipitous part.
This 5-kilometer-long segment sometimes rises to the crests of mountains, and sometimes descends into deep valleys. Hikers and adventurers will never be disappointed by this place.
5. Two wild segments of the Great Wall, Jiankou and Gubeikou, are completely untouched by repairs, and retain their natural beauty. They are the most dangerous and challenging sections of the Wall for world hikers.
Best Time to Visit the Great Wall
The best seasons to visit the Great Wall of China should be spring (April to May) or autumn (September to October). But since the scenery varies with the season, you can also visit the Wall at any other time, if it suits your schedule better.
Spring: abundant flowers bloom, displaying a lively vista to visitors.
Summer: lush and green trees.
Autumn: various leaves turning red, gold, yellow and brown, decorating the Wall with color.
Winter: a truly majestic Great Wall, winding along the unending ranges of snow-clad mountains.