Having arrived in Beijing the previous day and ran around the Pearl Market buying as much fake crap as I could carry today was left clear to do what I’d been trying to do for a while, that is visit the Great Wall.
So with an Uber taxi booked with a great price of just 140 Yuan (£14 approx) we set off on the hour or so long drive. The drive up to the wall was pretty uneventful with not a lot to see or talk about. We arrived at the Mutianyu section of the wall located in the Huairou district of Beijing. After buying tickets we walked up to the first part of our wall adventure, the chair lift station.
The chair lift, I have to be honest, terrified me, I don’t mind cable cars but open chair lifts like the type you get in ski resorts are not for me, however it was either that or walk up so I opted to take the chair lift. The ride was actually pretty smooth but it is quite high in parts and I was glad to get off it although I will tell you the views were quite spectacular.
We were finally at the Great Wall of China and it’s very impressive. This part of the Great Wall was built up by the General Xuda who served the Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang in the early Ming Dynasty. It’s a beautiful spot with the mountains creating a dramatic backdrop.
The Great Wall is really amazing to see and to be able to walk up and down part of it was just incredible, it’s very steep in parts and there are lots of stairs to climb but the views go on for miles along with the wall.
The wall as you can see is interspersed with watch towers along its route these were used by lookout guards and if they spotted attackers approaching they would light a signal fire on the roof to warn the other surrounding towers. When a guard saw a signal fire he would then light his own to pass the message along the wall and alert the troops to be ready for battle.
Once we’d had enough of the wall we then had to get back down and the best way to do it at this particular spot is on the 1580 meter toboggan ride. Small carts with a control lever between your knees take you down on the metal luge style track. I’ve got to say it was really good fun and if you want it to be (we did) you can go down quite fast. I didn’t take any pictures but if you search “Great Wall Toboggan Ride” on Youtube you can see what it’s like.
After an amazing day seeing the Great Wall it was time to leave and we just about managed to get a car to take us back to our hotel, it cost us three times what it had on the way here but it was worth it. To go to the Great Wall of China has been on my list for quite some time and it fulfilled all of my expectations.