Badaling Great Wall is the site of the most visited section of the Great Wall of China, approximately 70 kilometers northwest of Beijing within the Beijing municipality.
Badaling Great Wall was
constructed during the Ming Dynasty around 1505, together
with a military outpost reflecting the location's
The Badaling Great Wall
averages 7.5 meters in height. It is 6.5m wide at the
base and 5.8m wide at the top - wide enough for five
horses or ten soldiers side by side.
Badaling Great Wall is
situated about 10km further north of JuYongGuan Great
Wall. They are both sited on the same natural pass
through the mountains to the north of Beijing and hence a
critical point of defence.
Although popular, Badaling
is a good introduction to the Great Wall. Authentically
reconstructed, Badaling shows the Great Wall as it would
have looked originally, and it does not look too new.
Badaling Great Wall stretches for 4.8 km along rolling
mountains and has 19 strategically located watchtowers.
Badaling Great Wall has
been carefully restored, and in 1957 it was the first
section of the Great Wall to open officially to tourists.
The immediate area has seen some useful development,
including hotels, restaurants and a cable car. A Great
Wall Museum has been established near to the wall.
Over 100 million visitors
have climbed Badaling Great Wall.
Badaling Great Wall offers
an interesting climb and great views, although it can
also be the most crowded (near the start). However,
everyone is in good spirits and there is a sense of
comraderie and fun involved in being with others. On a
hot day, it can be quite exhausting to reach the top -
but you will all be in the same boat! Nevertheless, if
possible, try to avoid going on a national holiday or at
The recently completed
Badaling Expressway provides a fast and direct route to
Badaling from Beijing. Badaling Great Wall is only 65
minutes from Beijing.
You can take coach (bus)
919 from Deshengmen (a little east of JiShuiTan subway
station). The price is only 12 yuan each way. The last
return journey is about 17:30pm. On arrival, turn right,
up the gift shop and cafe lined hill and under the Great
Wall itself; the ticket office and entrance is on the
right. For the return journey, take the bus from the same
bus stop as where you arrived.
The entrance to Badaling
Great Wall that you will see close to the bus stop is for
the cable car that can take you up about 2/3 of the way
to the peak - but that would spoil the fun! Take it down
if you're in a hurry for the last bus. If you do miss the
last bus, there will be private cars offering to take
you. Join with others and try to strike a hard bargain
(perhaps 150 yuan total for 2 or three in a car).
Alternatively, you can ask to be taken to ChangPing which
is halfway to Beijing and from where there are busses
into the evening to Beijing (route 345, last bus 22:00).
After buying your ticket
(about 50 yuan), make your way up on to the Great Wall.
You can go either left or right (or both, but not at the
Left : A bit
shorter than to the right. Quite steep at first, then
levels out. Return the same way.
Right : Takes you
to the highest point. From there, continue to the second
half which is both much quieter and even more
interesting. There is an exit in a valley near the end of
the second part - take the road (right, uphill) for 10-15
minutes back to the starting point ticket office. Or
trace your journey all the way back again - The light
will be different and the fact that you are going in the
opposite direction (up where you had gone down, and vice
versa) makes for a whole new experience.
Some parts of the Great
Wall are steep so be careful, especially of your footing
when taking photos or after a shower of rain. Wear
Wind chill can be
significant in winter. In summer, you will need plenty of
Films, drinks and snacks
are available up on the wall, but pricey - so it is best
to take sufficient with you. If you need more film or
batteries, bargain hard - but you probably will have to
accept paying more than normal.
Badaling Great Wall is
open daily, 6:30 - 18:30.
Admission is 50 yuan.