Some people I met in my hostel and I booked a tour through our hostel to go to the Great Wall which included breakfast in the hostel bar, transportation, and lunch in a traditional local restaurant. So we began the day with a full English (how cultured) and got on a coach to the wall. We were with about 30 other people on the coach but all went our separate ways once arriving at the wall before regrouping for lunch.
We went to the Mutiyanu section of the wall because it seemed a good in between of distance from Beijing and how touristy it was. The wall itself was magnificent! It’s crazy to think how they possibly built it all those years ago, it was incredibly high up and extremely steep in most parts. I left the lads I went with as they were determined to get as far as they could whilst I appreciate the views more and take a lot more photos.
The hike was hard with it pretty much all being steep and even having to use my hands to help climb up some parts. And it was hot, like really hot! I was exhausting and dripping of sweat but managed to make it to watchtower 23, the highest part of that section of the wall. The view from the top was completely breathtaking, it was a clear day and I could see for miles over the staggering mountains and snaking wall.
I met the group back at the hostel three hours later and had the best meal I’ve had so far. There were six or seven different dishes and a mountain of rice between our table of 8 and was a great opportunity to meet new people and hear all their stories about China so far. A couple of cold beers later and we caught the coach back to Beijing. It really was a great day and the Great Wall certainly lived up to, if not surpassed, all expectations.