One of the most visited sights in the world, and the icon of China. The Great Wall is absolutely unmissable if you’re in China. It’s the mother of all of China’s tourist attractions , and probably one of the coolest attractions in the world. We all heard about it at an early age and the myth and allure of it draws millions and millions of tourists worldwide to come and witness this World Wonder.
This so far has been the highlight of my stay in china so far – the single trip I’d been looking forward to the most since I learned I would be coming to China – climbing the Great Wall 长城 . I’d been in Beijing for roughly six months, and I think seeing, touching, and just generally experiencing the Great Wall was the most significant indication that I’ve really made it – that I’m living in China, that I’m really learning how to speak Chinese, that I’m traveling around a country on the complete opposite side of the world – that yet again, I’m living the dream. It was without question one of my best “aha” moments.
The section of the wall I visited was Huanghuacheng , an uncommon part of the wall with very few tourists and locals lurking about. It is also one of the more remote parts of the wall with incredible views. Finally , Huanghuacheng is the only lakeside Great Wall in Beijing.
It was just starting to hit summer time and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect on the day of my trip. It was a Sunday afternoon when I arrived at the base of our hike with a private tour guide and a close friend of mine who was visiting from Shanghai. The plan was to hike up this untouched/unrestored part of the wall , catch the sunset , have dinner and finally camp on the great wall with the intention of waking up early enough to catch the sunrise.
The hike itself was fairly challenging but well worth the effort upon reaching the top. We were given the option by our guide to take easier routes , but this route was stated to produce the best views upon reaching the top. As I stated earlier , you are greeted with spectacular views of the great lake below and mountainous regions in the distance.. After catching the beautiful sunset , we continued our journey along the great wall to visit more unrestored parts of the wall. We reached a very low and flat part of the wall where we were now going to set up our tents and have dinner. After a great dinner , we headed to bed with our alarms set for 3:30 am. I never managed a lot of sleep but was still buzzing to make another trek up the wall to get a great view of the sunrise which in the end did not disappoint. It was time to head home and say goodbye to the Great Wall after having such a fantastic time.
It was a surreal experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life and would recommend to any who finds themselves in the wonderful city of Beijing. “ Can confirm : It’s a pretty great wall!’.