Monday, September 12, 2016

Off-the-beaten Path Great Wall Long Trek

These epic seven-day journeys are composed for the ultimate Great Wall enthusiast. These seven day adventures are optimally designed to give you the ultimate Great Wall experience. These hikes require you to be in good physical condition, so please be aware of how much you can handle. While these hikes are tough physically, you will gain a greater understanding of the Great Wall and its original strategic purpose, as well as a wonderful tour of rural Chinese culture and nature. These seven day programs take you to the best of the Beijing-area Great Wall sections, and also to some of the lesser known ones, like Shixiaguan, Sandaoguan, and Badaling (unrestored), and some even take you out to the wall’s eastern-most point where the Great Wall meets the Yellow Sea. All these hikes contain the beautiful and majestic ruins of a Great Wall unrestored, along with glimpses of a restored Great Wall with grand watchtowers and spectacular brickwork. While daytime on the Great Wall is a great experience, you’ll have the rare opportunity to camp overnight on the Great Wall as well (in one of Jinshnaling’s watchtowers). This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is sure to be one of your most cherished moments during your China trip. Just imagine how great it will be to witness the sunset and sunrise over the Great Wall. For all you amateur photographers, this is a treat you won’t want to miss. Like all of your Great Wall programs, you will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide and your own driver, making sure that your Great Wall experience is safe as well as fun.

A bit out of the ordinary, we begin our hike at Old Dragon Head, the eastern-most point of the Great Wall where the wall touches the Yellow Sea. We’ll start hiking west through Shanhaiguan and Jiaoshan, stopping through some local villages on the way. For the next day we will hike to Sandaoguan, an exquisite piece of wall that features both unrestored “Wild Wall” and restored wall. Afterwards, we’ll really rough it by hiking from Dongjiakou to Xiaohekou, rugged unrestored sections that will be a challenge to climb, but the experience will be extraordinary. The following day we’ll take a brief respite from the Great Wall to visit the East Qing tombs, the resting place for much of China’s final ruling dynasty. We’ll then resume our hike by trekking Huangyaguan, which represents a miniature composition of the entire Great Wall. We’ll then end your adventure by going on the most popular Great Wall hike, starting from the western end of Simatai (the rest is closed for the time being), we’ll pass through Jinshanling before ending in Gubeikou, a strategically important part of wall that last saw action when the Japanese invaded in the 1930s. The wall here is highly photogenic, and its steepness and partly-dilapidated state is sure to give you a good work out.

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