I remember when I was an elementary student, I used to see a poster of seven wonders of the world in my class every day. I also got to see the picture of it on my textbooks. Years later, I visited one of the place in the list, Great Wall of China. I never really want to visit Great Wall of China. Frankly speaking I want to visit Colosseum first, then complete my seven wonders of the worlds list. But unexpectedly I went to Beijing, so I could not missed the Great Wall!
Before I came to Beijing, I did some research about the Great Wall of China. From what I read in the internet, most people suggest to come to Mutianyu section, because it less crowded compare to Badaling section, even tough Mutianyu is farther and quite difficult to reach. But my friend who live in Beijing said that it is better to go to Badaling section, because it is the most preserved section and the view was also better. She also agree to accompanied me, so as I don’t want to get lost, I chose to go to the Badaling section.
Badaling section is easy to reach by public transportation. I chose to go with the bus, because internet suggest it. All you have to do is go to the Jishuitan subway station (Exit B2) and walk straight towards the river to Deshengmen bus station. Take bus no. 877 to Badaling, where everyone is queue. Bus no. 877 is a non-stop bus to Badaling, so it is very convenient. Don’t worry if you are the only foreigner queuing. Just asked the bus driver if you have any doubt.
The journey will take about an hour and cost CNY 12/person/way. You could use your Yikatong card to pay for the fare. Please not that the last departure from Deshengmen is at 12.30 pm, so you don’t want to miss that. Also aware of the fake 877 buses that looks really similar to the official bus. The official bus are equipped with a card reader.
There is also another option to go to Badaling, which is by train from Huangtudian Railway Station and get off at Badaling Railway Station. But I don’t really recommend to take the train, because it took 1.5 hours to get to Badaling and you have to walk for about 15 to 20 mins to get to the Great Wall entrance.
I get off the bus at the bus stop which are just meters away from the ticket counter. I quickly bought the admission ticket that cost about CNY 40 per person and also a round trip ticket for the pulley car that cost CNY 100. I decided to take the pulley car to get to the wall, because I don’t want to waste my energy climbing to the wall in the middle of the super cold windy weather.
To get to the pulley car station, I need to go through the bear park. There are some bears in the park that you could take picture with. They were just playing around in their cage and most of them were sleeping, but they were uber cute!
The pulley car station was just right on the left side of the bear park. There were no queue at that time, so I had to get to the pulley car immediately. Please be careful when you get on the pulley car, because it didn’t stop. I was so rushed and accidentally ripped my skirt. But, I have to say that the pulley car ride was so thrilling and fun!
After the 10 mins pulley car ride, I finally arrived at the tower. It was quite crowded, but I was so mesmerized. As I walked the ancient structure, I still couldn’t believe that I was finally there. The view was very spectacular and I could imagine how beautiful the landscape in the spring or autumn. It was incredible to think that The Great Wall was man-made. I started to imagine when the wall still serve as protection for the Chinese empires.
The Great Wall was built in the Ming Dynasty to defend Beijing from Mongolians intrusion. As for the Badaling section, it is length about 12 kms with 43 watchtowers, but now only 3.74 km and 19 watchtowers were restored and open for tourist. The watchtowers itself were used to accommodate soldiers to send message and observe over their enemies. The wall also have some drilled holes to shoot arrows and to watch enemies.
I spent about an hour up in the wall to take a lot of pictures. The best spot for picture is I think in the tower windows, where you can get a silhouette photo of you overlooking the Great Wall. If it wasn’t cold out there, I will spent more hours in the Great Wall and climb more towers. But overall I was so happy and could not believe that I have conquer the Great Wall that used to see in my class’ poster!
“不去长城 非好汉 He who has not been to the Great Wall is not a true man.” -Mao Zedong
So, I guess I am a true (wo)man now. Let’s conquer another wonders of the world!