A bucket list just isn’t complete without a visit to the Great Wall of China. Stretching over 5000 miles, and dating back as early as the 7th century BC, this ancient wonder attracts explorers from across the globe, year after year.
Whether to marvel at the structure’s architectural merits, bask in the wall’s breathtaking views or undertake a physical challenge that will test even the fittest traveller, the reasons for visiting this iconic monument are as vast as its length.
Ready to scale the wall? First, check out the following hints to make sure your adventure is as enjoyable as it is memorable.
Best Time to Visit
Peak tourist season occurs in summer, as the crowds descend and the sun hits hard. In winter, temperatures can drop dramatically, and ice can make traversing the wall treacherous.
Spring and autumn offer perfect alternatives, regarding climate, visibility and scenic sights, as spring blooms and autumnal colours make the surroundings even more spectacular.
Consider a Private Tour
If you’ve made it all the way to China, why not go that extra mile and book a guided tour? Tourist buses tend to divert visitors to the wall’s most frequented, and busiest, spots in proximity to Beijing. Consider enlisting an experienced guide to take you to more secluded areas.
Not only will you benefit from the peace and quiet, but you will also uncover fascinating facts about the wall’s history and cultural significance.
Prepare Your Body
If you intend to make the most of this once in a lifetime experience, you’re going to want to spend a good few hours, if not days, seeing as much of the monument as you can. This will require plenty of physical effort, as some sections are exceptionally steep, even vertical in parts.
Where to Start
Badaling is renowned as the structure’s most visited section, which combines easy access with useful amenities. To escape the masses, head to Mutianyu, Jiankou or Jinshanling for an off the beaten track Great Wall adventure.