The Great Wall
The Great Wall Badaling, Badaboom! The most popular Wall destination for tourists, the Badaling section of the Wall is heaving year-round and even has its own Starbucks with ‘Starbucks at the Great Wall’-branded thermoses. Badaling has cable-cars for those of us who don’t feel like buying the ‘I Hiked the Great Wall’ t-shirts and even horse and camel rides. Further afield is the Mutianyu Great Wall, which is less overrun with tour groups and can actually provide moments of solitary serenity early in the morning or during winter months. Here you have several choices of how to ascend to the wall: gondola, chairlift or sweat and tears. There is also a fun bobsled slide option to take you down again. Insider tip: don’t pull back on the bar, it works as a break, or you’ll get stuck like we did! We suggest hiring a car and driver for the day (RMB 600 – RMB 900) but you can also get there by public transport. For Badaling, take bus No. 919 from Deshengman, tourism bus No.1 from Qianmen, or tourism bus No. 2 from Beijing Railway Station To Mutianyu, hop on tourism bus No. 6 from Xuanwumen, Qianmen and Dongsi Shitiao on weekends; or take Bus No. 916 from Dongzhimen (RMB 25-30) to Huairou, and then change to a local bus or hire a taxi (17 km).