Hiking at Mutianyu and Jiankou will be arduous.
But you will avoid the worst of the crowds. And the photo ops will make the difficult hike worth it. And you’re in China hiking the Great Wall. What a cultural icon!
If you’re feeling adventurous, these are the two sections to hike. Enjoy the post, See you on the trails!
China’s Great Wall, one of the world’s iconic historical monuments, spans over 13,000 miles and winds through varied landscapes, whether in Mutianyu, Jiankou, Badaling, Jingshanling — all the way to Dandong. Even a short walk on the Wall is something to cherish in travel memories and offers one of the iconic photo ops in the world.
But for fit travelers who seek adventure combined with culture, history and scenic beauty, a true hike on the Great Wall can be even more unforgettable. Hiking here can be arduous, but you’re rewarded with a glimpse into an ancient time in relative solitude.
One of the most well-preserved parts of the wall is at Mutianyu, northeast of central Beijing. It used to be the barrier at the north to defend the capital and the imperial tombs. Mutianyu is surrounded by streams and woodland, and snakes across mountains and valleys, with over 20 watchtowers.
If you prefer even wilder, more remote sites, the Jiankou section of the Great Wall offers an even greater challenge.
Jiankou means “arrow nock,” as the collapsed ridge opening resembles that shape. This section has not been restored, and is located along a mountain, surrounded by towering cliffs — a perfect area for photography as well as exercise.
James Tan who has hiked the wall extensively, offers these insider tips:Wear the most comfortable shoes. Bring sunglasses, hats and tons of sunscreen (in the summer) or gloves, caps and scarves in the winter to keep warm. Take water, fruits and any other munchies you can as there are no food stalls as you hike. Toilets are not available during a great part of the hike, so use the toilet before. For hiking in Mutianyu and Jiankou, the jungle environment is not suitable for shorts. Avoid littering or taking bricks from this precious cultural relic. Have fun and take lots of photos.
Thanks to Lea Lane and Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/lealane/2015/11/10/take-a-hike-and-avoid-crowds-on-the-great-wall-of-china/
images, in order of appearance, are from: jiankou-great-wall.com, wikipedia.org, michaels-houses.com, oldsectiongreatwall.com, chinatourguide.com, jianlou-great-wall.com