Winding its way across the north of China, from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert, the Great Wall of China is one of mankind’s most impressive accomplishments. Experience the Great Wall in all its glory as you trek between mist-covered mountains, into local villages, across rolling farmlands and through dense forest. Explore the many facets of the Great Wall, deciphering the ancient stories and poems etched into its watchtowers—every brick seeming to tell a story of war and adventure.
Swapping the majesty of the Great Wall for the hustle and bustle of Beijing, be immersed in China’s confounding and contrasting culture. Discover the ancient history of the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, experience the poignancy of Tiananmen Square and marvel at the modernity of the 798 Art District.
Day 1: Beijing – Jingshan Park and Tiananmen Square
As we descended into the bustling city of Beijing, the team was excited to witness the sights and sounds of our new surroundings – we had arrived! After we freshened up in our rooms, we had a traditional Chinese lunch together and it was the perfect welcome to Beijing. We then headed to Jingshan Park where we met a true Tai Chi Master who taught us the five basic moves of Tai Chi. With our balance and “chi” levels centred, we walked through Jingshan Park to the highest lookout where we saw the spectacular view of the Forbidden city juxtaposed against the new skyscrapers of Beijing. After such a jam-packed first day, the team had some free time in the evening to relax or explore.
Day 2: Temple of Heaven and Forbidden City tour
Today was a busy day full of sight seeing and enjoying the beautiful city of Beijing. After breakfast, we headed to Tiananmen Square, getting our first taste of the melting cultural pot that typifies Beijing. We then headed to The Forbidden City. Hero, our local tour guide, told us stories of emperors, empresses, and Chinese heroes making the city really come alive. Then it was time for the Temple of Heaven, which was just beautiful.
Day 3: Taipingzhai to Huangyaguan
After breakfast, we drove to the Eastern Qing Tombs. These ancient tombs are the final resting place for many emperors and empresses. This imperial mausoleum was fantastically preserved and echoed the lives of the imperial families. The team walked through the marbled tomb that was etched with Buddhist carvings and decorations. We even saw the coffins of the ancient imperial family.
We then headed to a local restaurant with typical dishes of the region and stocked up on some energy and sustenance to begin our walk! After having a quick power nap on the bus during our transfer, the team was excited to take their first steps on the wall and we enjoyed setting a pace for the coming days of the trek.
Day 4: Gubeikou to Jinshanling
Today’s trek started at Gubekou. We walked on some of the beautiful and unrestored sections feeling like we were the only people for miles…because we were! We stopped for lunch and a quick photo op – it was hard to pick which backdrop to choose as all were spectacular. After a quick rest and some ice cream at a convenience stall on the wall (we were surprised too!) we finished our last leg of the day before enjoying some drinks and dinner.
Day 5: Jinshanling to Simatai
Today we trekked up steep slopes and scaled down crumbling sections of the wall. It was tough, but everyone powered through and rose to the challenge. We enjoyed beers along with farm fresh produce for lunch at a local restaurant.
Day 6: Simatai to Mutianyu via Jiankou
This morning after breakfast, we had to hike up a steep mountain to reach the wall. The plunging drops and unrestored terrain meant that we had to focus and work as a team to finish the trek. At the end of our trek, it was time for some fun! Half the team enjoyed a scenic ride down the mountain on a cable cart while the other half enjoyed a toboggan ride. Once we reached the bottom, we transferred to our hotel for a delicious group dinner.
Day 7: Huairou to Huanghuacheng and Beijing
After an early wake-up, we transferred to the starting point of our final day of trekking. We stopped for lunch at a local guesthouse where we refuelled on local trout, fried wild vegetables and many more delicious local delicacies. After a quick transfer, we headed for our home stretch. We panted and persevered up many stairs until the final step off the wall! After a quick ice cream, we transferred back to Beijing and enjoyed a relaxing celebratory drink and meal.
Day 8: Hutong tour & 798 Art District
Swapping the wall for the city, after breakfast we headed to the 798 Art District. We strolled around the city and saw some weird but wonderful contemporary art. After a mighty lunch of incredibly tasty peking duck, we jumped aboard rickshaws and cruised through the tiny lanes of Beijing’s quaint and charming hutongs.
- Ready to tackle the Great Wall? See our departure dates here!
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