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The Great Wall runs across several provinces. My steps led me to the section of the Great Wall called Badaling, which is located in the town of Yanqing, near Beijing.
This section of the Great Wall became a touristic venue earlier than elsewhere in the country. The length of the Badaling Great Wall is 3,741 meters.
In the Best of Conditions
There are several shops on the way to the top: they sell food, water, and little gifts -- quite expensive though. It costs RMB 3 for an ice cream which normally should be RMB 1. You can find these shops near every rest kiosk.
The stairs are high and not even, most of them very hard to climb for short people. It¡¯s good exercise for your body, but if you are not in good physical shape, you¡¯ll be very tired and have sore legs for the next few days.
While climbing up, I could see only one tower in front of me, so I thought it was the very top. However, I found there was another tower higher than where I was standing as soon as got into the former tower I saw.
This situation happened so many times, every time when I saw a higher tower, I hoped it was the very top, so I encouraged myself by saying ¡®only a few more steps to go¡¯. I didn¡¯t expect Badaling Great Wall so tall.
Because my made wrong judgment all the time, I even couldn¡¯t believe we were on the very top when I finally got there.
One top of every tower, I could see all the walls and towers behind me or lower than where I stood. I could see all the stairs I climbed. When I took an overlook and turned over on the top tower, I felt an urge to shout ¡®I¡¯m here, I¡¯m a great man now¡¯.
I can¡¯t imagine how people managed to build it without any vehicles in the old days. How could they lift the heavy stones to the top? I was so tired only by climbing.
So many people died of building Great Wall, while so many people try to ruin it as well. I could see the words, characters and paintings writing on the wall and carved into the wall. I don¡¯t regard it as a nice way to express our feelings. Please don¡¯t do that if you respect the workers who built the Great Wall.
Pay attention: there are lots of fake Buses, they don¡¯t go to Badaling Great Wall and charge you even more. Ask for the fare and destination before you hop on.
If you prefer to take a taxi, it shouldn¡¯t cost you more than RMB 200 from Deshengmen. The taxi driver will wait for you in the car park under the Badaling Great Wall while you are climbing. He will then drive you back to Deshengmen or any other place you both agree on. The driver might ask you to show your ID card or passport, just in case you run away by bus or take another taxi without paying him when he¡¯s waiting for you. You can read more about legit and illegal taxis in a piece I wrote here.
A lot of travel agencies can take you to the Badaling Great Wall. You can find them in any high-traffic street or near Tian¡¯anmen Square. Their shuttles normally depart early in the morning, and you have to book at least one day in advance. There are two travel agencies near Wangfujing Street:
'Beijing Hub of Dispatch¡¯ have two routes:
The other one is ¡®Beijing Golden Water Bridges Travel Service¡¯. They have 4 routes, but only one of them goes to the Great Wall. It would be a good idea to choose this route if you run out of time in Beijing.
This route takes only one day to travel from the BaDaLing Great Wall to JuYongGuan Pass, then to JinSiWei, to the 13 Tombs of the Ming Dynasty, to the Dingling Mausoleum, to the Reservoir of the 13 Tombs, and lastly to some local shops.
Departure Location: 277 WangFuJing Street, The Entrance of WangFuJing Snacks Street
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