Hi everyone, I'm a professional tour guide in Beijing. I saw many articles about the Great Wall but I find that most of them exaggerate things to attract or scare tourists. My clients would ask me questions according to those articles and I felt the need the clarify things about the Great Wall. Hope to be of some help to you.
1. How many Great Walls do we have?
- Most sections of the Great Wall in Beijing area are part of the Ming Great Wall, which is 600 km long. Among which the most famous Great Wall areas are: Badaling Great Wall, Mutianyu Great Wall, Simatai Great Wall, Jinshanling Great Wall and Juyongguan Great Wall. Badaling: You surely will see how many people we have from here. Simatai: The most ruined section I've ever seen. I must admit that I do not find its wildness a feast for the eyes. Someone would call it the original beauty but that's certainly not what the Great Wall used to look like. Jinshanling:The real Great Wall. Beautiful and historic. Juyongguan: Very beautiful shape. Prepare your camera.
2. When to go?
- Different season, different scenery. Just make sure there is no rain or snow. Hike when the wall is dry. By the way, the best travel season in BJ is autumn.
- The stairs of the Great Wall can be rather steep and rocky with loose stones at times. But if you are not wearing high heels and you're not planning to try any closed sections, you'll be just fine. I don't label people by their ages but you should know how long you can cover. Besides, there are cable cars available.
4. What to Wear?
- Dress for hiking and dress for the weather. Choose comfortable footwear with good grip and support for the feet. Wear/bring sun protection in the summer and dress for sub zero temperatures in the winter. Actually, common sportswear will do just fine.
5. What to Bring?
- Umbrellas shouldn’t be used here where the ascents and descents are difficult, and will be inconvenient in strong winds. There is a lot of wind. Bring snacks and water if you want to walk a long portion of the wall. There are also mineral water sold on the Great Wall except that the price is 5 times more.
So far, that'll all I have to add. But if you have any further questions, you can find my information in Synotrip or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org directly. I'll try to help you as much as possible. Wish you a happy journey!