Great Wall of China Thread....


ed9119

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#1
Thought I'd start a resource thread on climbing/walking/hiking the Great Wall of China

Most people who have climbed the Great Wall once usually end up doing the Badaling section of the wall. I feel that this section is over-commercialized and over-restored and almost always too crowded.

There are many many different sections of the Great Wall both near and far away from Beijing ..... with varying levels of difficulties

I start ball rolling by adding a resource link dedicated to Great Wall walking and hiking

Great Wall Forum

and what the various sections that can be reached via Beijing on either a day or overnight trip
Near to Beijing sections of Great Wall

The various maps of different sections of the Wall
Various Great Wall Maps

Please continue adding on info ......... I'll contribute along the way too .......
 

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asterixsg

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#2
There's the Great Wall Marathon which I had hoped to do, but with a broken back and knees, I think I have to abandon such thoughts. But then "Impossible is nothing" :D

In Dec 2007, I had hiked the section of the Great Wall from Gubeikou to Jinshanling to Simatai over a 3 day period, in case someone is interested in checking out what views to expect...

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=338887
 

blurfoto

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#3
for adventurous just go Simatai .... the last few sections are treachous (though I didn't reach there before i had to turn back due to sudden huge gust of wind). besides I was a bit too late, best to stay for the nite & start right in the morning

asterixsg,
you hike 3days? really amazing courage ... you wrote can see starry nites in summer. do u mean we can overnight up at the great wall?
 

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muzikbug

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#4
I enjoyed the one from Jinshanling towards Simatai.
Can cover within one day - took abt 2.5 hours to travel out of beijing reach the Jinshanling start-point at 9-plus, walked the great wall for 3 - 4 hours, depending on your speed. due to my group moving slow, we took abt 5 hours and reached the simatai end at abt 3-plus. take another 2.5 hrs to travel back to beijing. Can tell the taxi to drop at Jinshanling and pick up from Simatai.

Simatai stretch is nice and steeper, but after going past 12 towers, there is no thru road as the further towers are closed to public, so got to walk the same route to return.

Mutianyu is nearer to BJ, so if you have less time this is a better choice than BDL or Juyongguan.

I know there is a Jiankou stretch of Great Wall which is less visited by tourists, but I have never tried before. Any bros has ventured there yet? I know some time back there was a lightning strike case there.
 

rickygck

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#5
for adventurous just go Simatai .... the last few sections are treachous (though I didn't reach there before i had to turn back due to sudden huge gust of wind). besides I was a bit too late, best to stay for the nite & start right in the morning

asterixsg,
you hike 3days? really amazing courage ... you wrote can see starry nites in summer. do u mean we can overnight up at the great wall?
I also encountered the gust of wind too! I quickly start documenting pictures of the sands that were blow around the path. The wind was so strong that i nearly dropped down from the top of the steps i was squatting at. Hope to explore other places on my next trip. :lovegrin:
 

blurfoto

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#7
I also encountered the gust of wind too! I quickly start documenting pictures of the sands that were blow around the path. The wind was so strong that i nearly dropped down from the top of the steps i was squatting at. Hope to explore other places on my next trip. :lovegrin:
with no wall on your left & right to protect you, it gets really scary :bigeyes::bsmilie:
luckily the souvenir peddler guide me thru another safer route, in the end i feel so obligated to buy something from them :p

nevertheless, sure hope to go again. this time will be more prepared!
 

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muzikbug

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#8
with no wall on your left & right to protect you, it gets really scary :bigeyes::bsmilie:
luckily the souvenir peddler guide me thru another safer route, in the end i feel so obligated to buy something from them :p

nevertheless, sure hope to go again. this time will be more prepared!
Same same, we also got help from the souvenir book peddler, so ended up apish bought something from him.
 

insanne

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#9
I was at the MuTianYu portion in August. Not so many people, section is rather restored, but think it's still ok. I do not have much impression of BaDaLing cos the last time I was there was 20yrs ago.

I took a bus from DongZhiMen in BJ, which costs about RMB10, to HuaiRou and got a private cab, about RMB35 one way, to get to the great wall. Took a cable car to the watch tower 14 and walk all the way to watch tower 21. There's a sign there that says you cannot proceed after 21, but I went over and climbed a little further more. I decided not to push on as it was getting late and had quite a bit of stuff with me. The steps were also getting rather steeper, but saw on the map that you can walk all the way to JianKou.

Had wanted to walk back down to the bottom where the transports were, but over-estimated the initial journey and took too much time taking photos. It was getting rather late, so had to take a cable car back down. Had to fork out a little more money cos did not get the return tix. So do plan ahead on how you want to climb the wall. Was told by the cabby that the JianKou part is much better for photography.
 

daredevil123

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#10
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ed9119

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#11
I know there is a Jiankou stretch of Great Wall which is less visited by tourists, but I have never tried before. Any bros has ventured there yet? I know some time back there was a lightning strike case there.
2 people were killed near that section of the Wall last year.......(also they wont report you or get you into trouble) they were climbing at a high section when one of them fell and got injured. There was a storm. The 2nd fella helped the injured one and in process used his cell-phone to call for help. mobile phone became a lightning conductor and both were struck by lightning and killed. This is from reports I've read in the major chinese Great Wall forums.

I have climbed this section Jiankou last year May. Entry point was at a village specializing in raising rainbow trout (cant recall the name but likely Wo Fo Shan Zhuang village - see below ) and was VERY near the road leading to Mutianyu Great Wall section . It shares the 'honor' with a few other sections of the Wall having the title of Yeh Chang Cheng or "Wild Great Wall"


with kind permission to share from Bryan from Greatwallforum

Its on top of a mountaintop (not as high up as Simatai) BUT the hike up this hill is very tough going through alot of rough bush and little trails with huge rocks and boulders all the way.... took me almost 2 hrs to just climb through all this uphill to get there.... some much more fit hikers told me it took them 40mins to get up and about 50mins to get down (respect respect)

But once up there..... woohoooo, its so beautiful.......... and wild....... you are literally standing on a unpreserved unrestored section of the Wall..... like some of u have said above, one false move left or right and you can kiss your China holiday goodbye

How the old aunties and uncles lug up the heavy drinks and lug them back down EVERYDAY just amaze me ...... these are villagers in their 50s and 60s and they will put any kiddo to shame with their level of fitness. An old auntie in her late 60s once even carried my heavy camera bag and tripod while I struggled empty-handed and decked out in the latest high-tech hiking shoes ....... I was totally put to shame

-------------------

Camping or sleeping overnight on the Wall is officially not permitted..... but in spring, especially summertime, it is done.

It helps to to do it with the villagers who ply their trade there.......... they will allow you to stay overnight at their homes at the foot of the hill/mountain for a very small fee OR if you want to overnight ON the wall itself, they will haul up beddings and blankets and food/drinks ....... very very FUN..... they will normally set up at one of the watch towers with an area for beddings and personal belongings.... and depending on wind direction, another area for cooking and after-dinner drinking and story telling parties ...... TOTALLY FUN and very affordable.

On a clear early morning, when you view the section called Eagle Fly Facing Upwards and the nearby Heavenly Ladder/Staircase it is absolutely breath-taking and surreal . It NEVER fail to awe inspire me to always think out loud "How on EARTH did they manage to build this mammoth structure on such an impossibly difficult (even to just climb) part of the mountain without modern construction or air-lifting equiptment ????" You just look at the scene before you with mouth wide open.

On a snowy morning with clear skies.... well, you can just imagine..... just prepare to freeze your butt off.

Staying in a villager's home overnight including dinner, loads of the chinese bai jiu liquor and breakfast the next morning cost me and Nokkieg about 300rmb in total last year..... I understand it costs a little more if you want to set up camp on the wall itself.
 

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daredevil123

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#12
I have climbed this section Jiankou last year May. Entry point was at a village specializing in raising rainbow trout (cant recall the name) and was VERY near the road leading to Mutianyu Great Wall section . It shares the 'honor' with a few other sections of the Wall having the title of Yeh Chang Cheng or "Wild Great Wall"
This is the hike up to Jiankou from WoFoShanZhuang


Maps on how to get there:



All from http://www.greatwallforum.com/forum/jiankou/88-jiankou-maps.html
 

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daredevil123

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#13
On a clear early morning, when you view the section called Eagle Fly Facing Upwards it is absolutely breath-taking and surreal . It NEVER fail to awe inspire me to always think out loud "How on EARTH did they manage to build this mammoth structure on such an impossibly difficult (even to just climb) part of the mountain without modern construction or air-lifting equiptment ????" You just look at the scene before you with mouth wide open.
Bro, I considered Jiankou before and did my research. Decided against doing it in the end. The part that stopped me was Heavenly Ladder TianTi (天梯). How did you manage to do it? I heard it is almost vertical and all broken...
 

ed9119

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#14
Bro, I considered Jiankou before and did my research. Decided against doing it in the end. The part that stopped me was Heavenly Ladder TianTi (天梯). How did you manage to do it? I heard it is almost vertical and all broken...
On all fours....... hands and feet ..... and I joke you not ...... BUT of course NOT all the way like that ....... just a few parts..... and you ALWAYS have to be on your guard against slipping and falling ............. when I was not moving......... i remember I just sat down, even when I was not tired...... want to enjoy the view in peace.

How I decided to go onto this Jiankou section is a story worth telling ...... I had received a few resumes from PRC nationals looking to fill a position we were hiring for . EVERYONE had great credentials and after a couple of months of phone and face to face interviews, we narrowed down to ONE guy. Everything looked great but dont know how much of his character references were kelong ......... thinking and thinking hard that night in the hotel how I would know I made the right hire choice for the company.

Bingo ! My friends in beijing KNOW that I will ALWAYS make it a point to get on the Wall everytime i have the time in beijing...... and I had heard horror stories about Jiankou. I called the candidate up at 10.30pm that night ... "Be at the hotel lobby tomorrow morning ....3.30am.... lets go for an excursion at the Great Wall "

He was very siong...... he came all decked out for a Badaling type picnic outing ha haha!!!

He took it very well when I told the driver to send us over to Jiankou instead of Badaling....... LOL !

Jiankou brings out the real you .........NO hiding of any personal character flaws on THAT WALL .......... he got the job in the end......
 

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daredevil123

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#16
On all fours....... hands and feet ..... and I joke you not ...... BUT of course NOT all the way like that ....... just a few parts..... and you ALWAYS have to be on your guard against slipping and falling ............. when I was not moving......... i remember I just sat down, even when I was not tired...... want to enjoy the view in peace.
Bro does it still look like this? How to climb sia... especially I have a big tummy that gets in the way. LOL


from http://www.kinabaloo.com/jiankou_great_wall.html

And bro, now I know where I should not go interview... wait the interview location will be conference room named "bukit timah trail"... LOL. Not that I qualify... I am not exactly in B****** line.
 

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muzikbug

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#17
Same same, we also got help from the souvenir book peddler, so ended up apish bought something from him.
I typed in 'paiseh' but spell-check prob dun recognise this word, so replaced with something else. Really paiseh...

After reading so many posts on Jiankou, I think I not fit enough to attempt Jiankou also (I also have a tummy) :)

I have also visited a few 'smaller' scale of great walls, one of it is at 响水湖风景区, there is some streams and small waterfalls nearby but quite artificial, though the great wall looks quite rugged.

Another 野长城 is at 青龙峡,also less known.
 

blurfoto

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daredevil123

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#20
箭扣长城天梯 - scary man ... i think i will only admire from afar :eek:

http://www.purplexsu.net/travel/article-002-01.html

nice wallpaper, can see but dare not touch :p
http://blog.chinaunix.net/u/22496/showphoto_65994.html

simatai sky bridge is equally extreme, only for those with suicidal thoughts :bsmilie:
Simatai sky bridge is a lot more extreme than Jiankou... I have heard reports of people falling to their deaths there often.. Here is a video of how some people climbed that section... No joke.

[vid]gKYDaqmzfcA[/vid]
 

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