Great wall for 2/3 days in December, Need all help!!
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Nov 17, 2012 7:52 AM Last Post By: TRRK
Nov 13, 2012 2:45 AM
Great wall for 2/3 days in December, Need all help!!Hey guys,
So.... have been scouring the net for GW 2/3 day trecks, found a great one only to discover its simtal which is closed.....
Have posted on GW forums but no one seems to be active, If you or anyone you know have been on a 2/3 day treck of the great wall possibly in december then please reply!! one of the last things left to finish my 3 week itinerary to china.
If you did do a 1 or 2 nighter, where did you stay? a village, watchtower (cold in december though) anything would help!
we are in fit shape and will have adequate clothing for the cold, just not adequate information on the GW trecks!!
I would really like to nail this one, ive dreamt of the GW for a long time, would love to get the most out of it!!! so 3 days if i could, but would settel for 2!
Thanks guys, will post itinerary when its complete!
Nov 13, 2012 5:21 AM
1Try the JianKou section of the Great Wall. It's still 'wild' which means no one is there to open or close it. But at the same time there is no management of the section so it's very serious climbing and scaling in winter. I stayed at a farm house/hostel called ZhaoShiShanJu at the foot of the mountain about 30 mins walk from the wall itself. It's a very very basic lodging though they have been supporting visitors for at least 6 years. You can check them up at www.jkwall.com. They provide heated brick bed and you can order local food from them as well.
The last time I went I took the public long distance from DongZhiMen bus station in Beijing to HuaiRou County. If you had called the farm ahead of time, they will send a van to pick you up from the bus station in HuaiRou County. The journey takes about 5 hours total.
The JianKou section is unrepaired and when I went in October a few years back I had to cut through the thickets at certain places to get through. The scenery is phenomenal and there is NOBODY (how good is that especially if you had been in China for some time:). It can be dangerous up there though as loose rocks and slippery slopes had claimed lives before. Some sections require climbers to go on all fours. From the JianKou section you can get all the way over to MuTianYu section by walking along the wall. The hosts at the farm can give you directions. It takes about a full day to do the trip in good conditions even though the distance is not too long.
I can't comment on camping midway up the wall but I am dubious of doing it especially in the cold Beijing winter. I have heard about people camping out in the watch tower midway between JianKou and MuTianYu so I guess it is doable. Alternatively, you can use the farm at JianKou as a base, go one way on the first day, get back, and do the other side of the wall on the next. It's way you get to see different sides and still get a place to stay.
Nov 13, 2012 6:21 AM
That sounds just about perfect, perhaps a little wild incase anything happened, the deciding factor is weither they operate in mid-late December and if anyone there speaks English! lol
Took a look at the site but its all in Chinese, and i couldn't find a language option =/
If you know of a english speaking email i can send a request to for the farm/hostel that would be awesome!, if its all chinese, do you know somewhere that might be a bit more popular thats prehaps a full day hike with accomodation at the end, then we will stay the night there, have a poke around the next day and bus it back to beijing in the afternoon.
Thanks for the help!!
Nov 13, 2012 6:56 AM
3Yes they definitely operate in winter but no they do not speak English:( though you might be lucky to find another backpacker from halfway around the world when and if you did decide to go there. I don't recall them even having emails...
Alternatively you can try MuTianYu to see if it's open in winter. I do believe they have a website. It's a day trip from Beijing without needing to find anywhere to stay up there. It's a lot more modernised and thus the pros and cons....you get more safety but less of the real stuff (the last of the Great Wall was built 400+ years ago...anything you see that's not got chipped edges and wobbly corners have been reinforced and beautified for tourism purposes). It's popular amongst overseas visitors.
The last resort would be the dear old BaDaLin and be prepared for a Great Wall of people (hopefully not as bad in winter, i went on a public holiday just to see how bad it can be and i couldn't even see the wall structure on some of the panoramic shots i took, just a winding line of people's heads snaking up and down the mountain). This section should be open 365 days a year. It's on the local tourist trail so expect a lot of shoulder rubbing and definitely no need to spend night there.
Nov 16, 2012 11:29 AM
Nov 17, 2012 7:52 AM
5Mutianyu was open in winter when we went 2 years ago and was not too crowded but still reasonably busy. We also walked the Simitai-Jinshanling section even though Simitai was closed at the time - I don't know what the current situation is. I saw someone sleeping in one of the towers at that time of year but I would have found it way too cold without some pretty good gear. Jinshanling section was very quiet in winter and you can walk most of the way to Simitai - some nice scenery there. Although there are places to stay near Jinshaling everything looked pretty closed in winter when we visited.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$155.60 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$22.12 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$212.66 per night