It seems so cliché to go to China and visit the Great Wall, but like the Taj Mahal, it’s one of those things that you just have to see if you have the chance.
With most of these kinds of sights, I always expect it to look just like the pictures, plus a million annoying tourists. But, I gotta say, seeing the Great Wall in person is so much better!
There are lots of places, especially around Beijing, to see the wall, but I opted to join a tour at the Beijing Downtown Backpackers Hostel that does a 6km hike on the wall between the cities of Jinshanling and Simatai.
It was perfect.
I have heard a lot of stories about overly touristy Great Wall destinations like Badaling or Mutianyu, where everywhere you look people are trying to sell you t-shirts and drinks. But on this hike, there were about 20 of us on our tour and only a handful of others that we encountered the entire afternoon.
We could not have asked for a better day. Above us, the sun was shining, with only a few clouds creating a perfect 70-something temperature for a hike. All around were absolutely stunning views of lush greenery and mountains. I had no idea the Great Wall of China would be this pretty!
My visit to the Great Wall was definitely one of my absolute favorite experiences of all of China and maybe of my entire trip. I hope you enjoy the photos!