This has been a long awaited post as I visited The Great Wall a couple of weeks ago now but I just haven’t got round to writing! In this post I will share my experience with you and also hopefully give you some tips for if you are ever planning to go to The Great Wall.
Of course there are many many places to visit along The Great Wall but we knew we wanted a place a little less touristy. I’ve heard that on the most touristy places it’s impossible to even take a picture because there are just crowds of people. What helped us also is that we went on a Friday, I assume Saturday and Sunday would be the busiest days. I highly recommend trying to visit an area of the Wall that’s slightly less busy as it just feels so special being there when all you can see is the wall and your friends.
We were torn between Mutianyu and a place called Little West Lake (English). We ended up going for The Little West Lake, from the centre of Beijing we took two buses and overall it probably took around two- three hours to get there. When we set off we really did think about turning back because the weather was horrendous. It was throwing it down, it was grey and it was not that warm. I am so glad we stuck it out because the wall had so little people on it, it was such an incredible experience just being there.
When you arrive at Little West Lake there is a small walk through village type place up to the wall, but it’s really easy to navigate and there are signs all around in English showing the way. It cost about £2 to get onto the wall if I remember correctly.
Standing on the wall for the first time is honestly amazing, just being on The Great Wall of China is a very surreal feeling. I highly recommend Little West Lake for the obvious reason of the Lake, it’s incredibly beautiful and the Lake and the mountain scenery is spectacular.
We bought snacks and beers at the bottom in the village and carried them up the wall, I am so glad the day was cooler because it would have been extremely difficult in the extreme heat I am used to here in Beijing. Of course, we cracked open a beer on The Great Wall of China, we couldn’t not.
We walked around the wall as the area is quite small, but definitely worth it anyway because of the views. Then to get back we wanted to ride in one of the traditional Chinese boats but there weren’t enough people, so we got a speedboat ride instead. It was a lot shorter than I expected but it was worth it all the same, it was a really cool experience and cost about £2.50 (pretty damn expensive seen as it cost £2 to get onto the wall itself).
In terms of food there is an area about half way round with a cafe, it’s right on the lake so it’s super pretty and they serve food such as dumplings and noodle dishes- super simple but easy and cheap, especially if you don’t want to stop for a long time.
Also I cannot recommend more, if you are a student to take your student card! Every touristy type place will have a student price and I’m gutted I didn’t take mine. Also the wall ‘closes’ at 5pm which I didn’t even research it’s just lucky we got down so bear in mind opening and closing times.
When you visit the Great Wall be prepared for an extremely long day- setting off early and getting back late. It’s super worth it though I honestly had the most incredible day and experience and it’s crazy to think this landscape is only a couple of hours out of Beijing.
Hope you enjoyed this post and it may have helped you on your future travels also! Katy x