THE BEST PART OF MY TRIP!
(sorry for the caps, but I’m just really, really excited!)
Johnny and I originally wanted to go to the Jinshanling section of the wall as most reviews say it’s not crowded and relatively peaceful, but we waited too late, so we just decided to take the public bus 919 to the Badaling section.
We might have missed the whole thing, as we look the wrong exit out of the subway station and walked 15 minutes out of the way. If it weren’t for a really nice Chinese man who helped us out, we probably would’ve been lost forever. The bus cost about $6 per person and took about an hour.
I wore a tank top and shorts expecting the Great Wall to be on fire, as most people who go in the summer have said they’ve basically died trying to do the hike. It was COLD. I actually wished I had brought some sort of jacket or sweatshirt. Of course, once you got moving, it wasn’t bad at all, and I’m so thankful it wasn’t blazing hot.
Being on the Great Wall was incredible. Yes, the Badaling section is quite crowded. But once you pass the major areas, things die down significantly and you can just sit on the steps and marvel at the sights around you. It was really grounding. For the longest time, I wouldn’t really believe that *I* was on the Great Wall of China. I just felt so grateful, so blessed, so in awe of my life at that moment. Even with a panda hat on.
I took at least a million pictures, so it was super hard to narrow it down. I hope I’ve done the Great Wall justice.
SO MANY PEOPLE.
After we finished our awesome hike along the Great Wall, we made a huge mistake and walked back down to where the buses dropped us off. It was a ghost town, not a single bus in sight. I freaked out, as the last bus back to Beijing was leaving in about 40 minutes. To add to the hot mess, we found out the actual bus stop back to Beijing was about 5 miles away, completely on the opposite side of the Great Wall from where we were. After turning down a number of black (scam) taxis wanting to charge us way too much money for a 15 minute cab ride, a family of 5 offered to shove us in their small car for 10 Yuan each (roughly $3 total). We made it to the bus stop JUST in time. Apparently, you are supposed to take the cable cars down the Great Wall to the bus departure area. Keep this in mind if you visit the Badaling section!
The Great Wall was obviously the highlight, and the best part of my trip to Beijing. Words can’t express how awesome it was. Once I got past the crowds, it was some of the most beautiful and breathtaking views I’ve ever seen. I still can’t believe I went.