Friday, 20 December 2019

The Great Wall: Jinshanling

A trip to China would be incomplete without a visit to the Great Wall. During the planning stages, I knew that we didn't want to go to Badaling or Mutianyu which can get quite crowded with the tour groups. However, due to time restrictions, we could only visit a section that was accessible as a day trip. Jinshanling met all our requirements, including being accessible with local transportation (aka without a driver or taxi).

Iced coffee

Jinshanling is located 125 km northeast of Beijing. This stretch of the wall contains both restored and unrestored sections.

There is a direct tourist bus from Dongzhimen to Jingshaling however it only runs for a portion of the year (information on when it stops running is not available online). An alternative method (with 2 buses) is also available, refer to this post. Thankfully the direct tourist bus was running on 21st October!

When we got off the bus, the air was considering colder and fresher than Beijing (~10C).

The views were breathtaking, especially with the autumn colours.

My attempt at an artsy photo ft the most disappointingly bland donut shaped cookie. The photo didn't turn out as well as what I thought it would. Maybe I need to crop the sides. 

We walked from Zhuanduokou Pass to East Gate, a distance of 7km. Seven kilometres isn't a great distance, however, it took us ~ 4 hours (with breaks). I had underestimated how strenuous the hike would be. Whilst I was aware that the wall followed the curves of the landscape, I had not expected that some of the inclines would be so bloody steep.

There was a section where my shoes were slipping whilst walking up the incline (honestly must have been at least 40 degrees). And there were other sections where each step was 30cm high. It also didn't help that I was sick and I was casually hacking up my lung.

The section where my shoes were slipping is at the top of the hill (I think that was the section...)

But I made it to the end! Truth be told, I was worried that I wouldn't make it to the end and I was stressed about it as that was where the bus would be.

Food always tastes better after a hike.

For an overview of my China trip refer to this post.

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