This morning we headed north to the Badaling national park and great location to hike and visit the Great Wall of China.
It is about a 1.5 – 2.0 drive from central Beijing to get there, but definitely worth it.
You are supposed to have your passport, as they may check your ID, but it is random and not guaranteed. They make you go through security gates and they act all serious indicate they are concerned about terrorists, etc., but..
You find that the police are napping once you actually get through the metal detectors.
I will say, you can hike some major distance up and down the wall. It is VERY steep and based on the direction you choose, the crowds can get pretty large.
We chose to take the steeper route, which has far less people, but the slope can be as much as 60 degrees in some places. Impossible to climb it is rainy. Despite the warm sun, definitely bring a light jacket as the breeze and air is quite cool.
The views and scenery are breathtaking and it is hard not taking more pictures as the wall that covers thousands of miles is amazing to see and experience.
Afterwards, we took a nice lunch break at the Commune of the Great Wall. It is a resort/hotel, but is a very peaceful and relaxing atmosphere to have a great lunch with local foods to recover from a strenuous hike.
The Commune is in a section of the Wall that is known as Watergate. Watergate is unique in that it has the battlements on both sides which is very rare on the wall. It is also extremely steep.