There is a popular saying, “You are not a good man if you never been to the Great Wall”! I’m pretty sure that the Great Wall is in your bucket list if you are going to visit China. There are a number of Great Wall sections to explore, I have chosen Jinshanling (金山岭) and Wohushan (卧虎山) during my trip to Beijing, lodging a night in a farmhouse. I prefer seeing Great Wall in its original state instead of restored section, here are the reasons why I strongly recommend you to visit Jinshanling!
1. Original features
You are here to see the ruined, wild and original state of the Great Wall, no?
2. Trek across 2 sections
It is popular trekking across Jinshanling and Simatai (司马台), passing over 32 towers within 4-5 hours is definitely the highlight of your trip. However, the section was closed during my trip.
3. No crowds
Unlike Badaling (八达岭) section, you can fully enjoy spectacular view of the Great Wall.
4. Shooting site
The Great Wall was chosen as a site for movie shooting and show.
If you are looking for convenience, take the cable car instead to reach the top entrance of Lesser Jinshanling Tower. But…you will be missing out some towers.
6. Character Bricks
Find the bricks carved with Chinese characters recording the time the bricks were made and the troop that built that section.
7. The beautiful sunset
No description, look at the photo!
How to get there:
1. If you are doing the hike in day tour, take the tourist special bus from the bus station opposite Wangjing West station (Subway no. 13, exit B/ Subway no. 15, exit C). (The one at Dongzhimen Bus Terminal (东直门汽车站) is no longer available). It departs daily at 8:00am while the return bus departs at 3:00pm.
2. Take bus 980 (fast) from Dongzhimen Bus Terminal and get off at Miyun Shaoniangong station. Walk straight until you can see the traffic light and take a right turn. You will then see a bus stop, in front of China Mobile Building, take bus 25 for Miyun county, then take a small bus or look for a private car to Jinshanling.
If you plan your trip in no rush, I would recommend you to spend a night in a hotel or farmhouse. I got to visit 2 sections of Great Wall during my trip, check out here.