Hiking Across the Great Wall of China
Hiking Across the Great
Wall of China
Taking on one of the Wonders of the Ancient World on foot for an extraordinary experience
WHY THIS TOUR?
As one of the wonders of the world, the Great Wall is a must on any visit to Beijing. Stand atop one of the ancient watchtowers and cast your eye towards the horizon, taking in the vast scale and sheer beauty of the Wall as it snakes its way across the tops of impossibly steep mountain ridges. Originally a series of smaller walls built to repel northern invaders, it was not until the unification of the empire under Qin Shi Huang Di in 221 BC that the various sections of the Wall were linked up. It is said that more than 300,000 men worked for ten years to complete it.
This activity for those wanting a slight challenge in their Great Wall experience will conquer only part of the Great Wall during a 2-day trek along the Jiankou and Gubeikou part. Overnight is en route at a guesthouse, adding to this quite physically-demanding authentic side of travel in China.
Beijing – Jiankou Great Wall [D]
Your hike over the Great Wall of China starts with an 8 am departure from your hotel to the Jiankou side of the Great Wall. As part of the least-accessible parts of this UNESCO protected site, it has been favoured by many visitors because of its unique construction and its non-restored environment. This area is particularly interesting because of the precipitous mountains ranges that not only surround the Jiankou region but also form parts of the foundation of this site. Translated as ‘Arrow Rock’ – due to the shape of the mountain, its striking appearance will quickly rise from behind the horizon as your hiking guide and driver guide you closer to the starting point. Lunch is not included during this day.
As you make your way across the construction that once kept intruders from the north away from Beijing, your English-speaking guide explains the history of this section. Moments to rest and gaze away over the rugged landscape and into the horizon are of course part of the experience. The complete Jiankou Great Wall meanders like a snake for around 20 kilometres, connecting the famous Mutianyu and the lesser-known Huanghuacheng part. Illustrious names such as Ox Horn Edge, Nine-Eye Tower, and the Beijing Knot will be pointed out until you reach your guesthouse for the night over where you can ease your muscles and relax while sharing your experiences with your companion traveller. Dinner is included at a local restaurant.
Accommodation in a local guesthouse.
Jiankou Great Wall – Beijing [B, L]
Breakfast is included at your booked homestay.
After a good nights’ rest, it is time to pack up and say goodbye to the Jiankou part of the Great Wall of China and move to another exciting and demanding section. The Gubeikou Great Wall section is in and around Gubeikou District Town, about 130 kilometres northeast downtown Beijing. This part is also known as Wohu Mountain (“Wohu” means “Crouching Tiger”). The main reason that it gains this name is that the mountain looks like two tigers, one lying on its back while the other lies on its stomach. Located in the western section of the Gubeikou Great Wall, its highest peak measures about 665 meters (2,181 feet). A watchtower is erected every 150 meters (492 feet) of the wall, overlooking a deep valley or mounted on a strategically important hilltop.
Lunch en route is included at a local restaurant.
At the end of hiking Gubeikou, your transportation will be waiting for you in bringing you back to Beijing and your booked accommodation. Somewhat relieved of the physical activity but most of all, awestruck for seeing an unseen part of China’s Great Wall, you thank your guide and driver for an amazing two days out among this UNESCO protected site.