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Badaling Great Wall

The Great Wall has the same effect on tourists as moths to a flame. Who has never dreamt of walking along it?

Badaling Great WallBadaling Great Wall is the busiest of the restored sections of the Great Wall located 70 kilometers from Beijing downtown. And for those who don't have a lot of time, it is the most practical destination. If you organize yourself well, half a day is enough to visit Badaling. Several kilometers of wall have been restored here, one in 1950's, then again in the 1980's. It has all been arranged for mass tourism, from coach parks to dressing up for souvenir photos. During the high season, you have to stand shoulder to shoulder to find your way up the steps and take care of yourself. The majority of tourists head north; the southern part is in fact relatively less crowded. Suffice to say Badaling offers one of the most beautiful views on the Great Wall whose watch towers and steps follow the contours of the surrounding hills. The site is absolutely wonderful in winter, when the crowd is less dense and the snow covers the walls.

A small cable car allows you to effortlessly reach the panoramic viewpoint. Crawling up is however less hard than the wild sections. The village which spreads out at the foot of the Wall consists essentially of souvenir shops. You will find absolutely any gadget, T-shirt, pin or baseball hat you can get hold of, further away there is also a zoo. The museum on the other hand, as long as you can still stand the crowds, offers a quarter hour documentary on the history of the Great Wall, as well as scale models allowing you to understand in detail the construction techniques used. Several photographs show different parts of the Great Wall in other Chinese provinces.

How to get to Badaling Great Wall
By Bus: Take Bus 919 from Deshengmen, Tourist Bus 1 from Qianmen, or Tourist Bus 2 from Beijing Railway Station and get off at Badaling Great Wall Station.
By Train: Beijing's new high speed suburban rail, the S2, it will take one hour. From Beijing North Railway Station, trains run every 30-90 minutes. The first train leaves Beijing at 6:08am, and the last train leaves Yanqing at 9:27pm. The Great Wall is a 10-20 minute walk from the Badaling station, you can take the black cabs with 20 CNY to get there.
By Car: Take Badaling Expressway to Badaling Exit.

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