Read the previous visit here: Part 1
Badaling is the most popular section of Great Wall of China which is approximately 80km towards the northwest of Beijing. Badaling section was built in 1504 during Ming dynasty. The peak point of Badaling is Beibalou (北八樓), which is approximately 1,015 metres (3,330 ft) above sea level.
The great wall of Badaling has undergone restorations and it was the first section opened for tourists in 1957 and now millions of people visit annually including us :). This section has significant developments which includes hotels, restaurants and cable cars. Recently Badaling express way was developed which connects Badaling section to Beijing city.
Accommodation in Beijing
We stayed at Beijing Saga International Youth Hostel located 1.5 km from Beijing Railway Station and takes just 30minutes from Beijing Capital International Airport. The nearest Metro Access is at Dengshikou at a distance of 800mts walk from the hostel.
We stayed in the hostel for 2 nights and the price is affordable at 340 CNY per night. The room is very spacious, neat and clean and there is a restaurant in the ground floor – a Chinese and Western restaurant with a bar. The food is delicious – we ordered pizzas and coffee. The staff are good at speaking English which is really helpful for tourists, and it is in a good location where the touristic places are just few minutes away.
Beijing to the Great Wall
Previously, we tried the route using the S trains (Check here). If you are planning to use public transportation, then the best option to reach great wall of badaling is the bus route from Deshengmen bus station and the nearest metro stop is at Jishuitan (Line 2). Exit from exit A and walk in the east direction. After approx. 450 m, you will pass along Deshengmenxi bus station, just ignore it and walk straight and you will find a tower (Deshengmen Arrow Tower). The Deshengmen Bus Station is just below the northern side of the tower. Just cross the road to reach the bus station and take the bus 877. It is advisable to start in the early hours to avoid heavy rush on the wall and the bus queue. You can also prefer bus no 919 to yanqing (延庆) and bus no 872 to Ming Tombs (明十三陵). The cost of the bus to Great wall was 12 RMB and you can get the ticket in the bus.
This is a non-stop bus to badaling section and from the bus stop we need to walk 20min to reach the ticket counter from where the actual journey to the Great Wall begins. The entrance ticket is about 45 CNY. Cable cars are also available in the northern side of badaling section for people who cannot climb the wall and the ticket costs for single way is 40CNY per adult and for round trip 60 CNY per adult.
The walk along the wall
Our journey started at 10am from the northern 1st tower where the entrance to Great Wall begins and it is about 3700mts long from tower 1 to tower 8. As we go on climbing, the slope becomes very steep and it is difficult to walk on the slope from 7th to 8th tower which is the peak point in the northern section. It took around 3 hrs to reach the peak point in the 8th tower.
The view from the 8th tower is beautiful with a lot of greenery and mountains which is a wonderful experience. From there, we came back in the same route. But there is no need to come back in the same direction after reaching the 8th tower as cable cars are also available.
877 bustop is located in between the 1st tower and 12th tower you can see in the map. There are some restaurants and shops near the entrance. We had some coffee after coming down and started our journey back.
It is advisable to carry some food and water bottle with you while climbing because there are less options for food or water as you go up.
Some other pictures: