The Great Wall of China is one of the must sees in China. Or so everybody tells you. For me there was no not seeing the Great Wall!
So the first thing you do is you must find the Deshengmen Bus station. So I took a subway to this bus station. The subways are generally packed and it takes forever to cross Beijing so beware. Now to find which bus station is a bit confusing since Deshengmen has 2 major bus stations at the same place! And you have to walk through partial highway traffic to get there!
So I walk over the overpass over the highway and I get to this first Deshengmen bus station. Clearly not the one I want to be at. So walk over to the right and still not the right one! Where could it be?
Well it turns on the bus station to Badaling (aka the Great Wall) is located right next door to the main Deshengmen Bus Station… it’s just right across the street. Bus #919! This is why it’s important to just second guess everything when you travel and to be curious.
Well I get to the bus but then I can’t figure out where to pay!? There was no desk, no counter, no nothing!! So I kind of wait around like good travelers do and just watch everybody else. Surprisingly everybody else was Chinese and of course they don’t speak English.
So I waited and then I realized that I should just board the bus and try to buy a ticket on the bus. And that’s what I did. Some lady did get mad, for a reason I really don’t know, but it didn’t matter to me. I was already on the bus and she was not pulling me off…
The bus ride is pretty pleasant. The bus heads towards the mountains off to the west of Beijing. It takes around and 1 hour and half to get to Badaling. Badaling is probably the most popular part of The Great Wall. That also means a lot of tourists. If you want to go to different sections of the wall there are hundreds you can go to. Badaling is just the easiest for your time and money.
Luckily they have a Gondola ride that takes you up to the top of Badaling. Of course you can walk up to the Great Wall but I would recommend taking the gondola ride. For me it was worth it because my stomach was hurting and I really just wanted to get to the top.
So take a 4 minute ride up to the top and you finally arrive at the Great Wall. For anybody who travels to China you must realize that places like Badaling will always be crowded. It’s just something you have to deal with. There are other places that are more secluded but they are also harder to get to. So it’s more of a personal choice however if you walk long enough on the Great Walk at Badaling you will walk away from crowds.
Personally I thought the Great Wall was much bigger in pictures. It didn’t have the height or the width I thought it would have. It was kind of cool to see the Great Wall extend in the horizons on both sides of you. That probably is the best part about the Great Wall.
Here are some pictures!
It truly is a very steep climb but well worth it.
Personally I think the Great Wall is a must see but you don’t need that much time there (perhaps an hour). If anything it is an opportunity to escape smoggy Beijing and get out to the “countryside” and see one of mans greatest creation!!
2012 Asia Tour
images by: shawnvoyage