The section of the great wall we covered was the Zhengbeilou-Mutianyu Hike, and I have to say, it was absolutely incredible. A friend who was also staying in our hostel actually organised the trip and the website he used was this one. The service provided through the website was a pick up from the hostel, and drop off at the starting point by our driver, John. John also provided us with his mobile phone number, a map & plenty of water. There was 8 people on our minibus and for the whole duration of the wild wall they were the only other 7 people I saw.
At the start of the trek we were advised it would take 6 hours to complete the 12km, and I thought that it would be far too much time, but this trek was actually pretty difficult and we completed the walk in the exact time John had allocated. The hike began with an hour walk up through the forest, which was a nice ease into the hike. And the views from the top of the first part were absolutely incredible.
At the top of the hill you reach a lovely little lady who charges you 5¥ to climb her ladder. Yes, you read that right. She has put up a very sturdy and useful ladder to assist you with getting onto the wall. We took a short break here, ate some bananas, and then set of walking down the wild section of the wall.
It took around 20 minutes of walking along the wild wall before we came to the ox horn. A huge, steep section of the wild wall. The ground was uneven and shockingly steep. The bricks were unstable and the backs of my legs were seizing before I’d even made it half way – however the hard work was worth it. We sat, as a team of 8, at the peak of the ox horn and tucked into our packed lunches whilst enjoying the view.
And then the hard work began. Because if you think hiking up a steep incline is difficult then the downhill isn’t worth thinking about. The terrain was so slippery and I’m not ashamed to say I fell over, twice. At some points it was easier to slide in the dirt on your bum than it was to attempt to walk down. However, a bonding session at least for you and your new pals.
Once you have completed the ox horn, there’s a relatively easy 2-hour hike to the end of the part of the wild wall which meets the new section; Mutianyu. Mutianyu was busier in comparison to the wild wall but still not overcrowded like I had imagined it to be. For the elderly or anyone with mobility problems obviously the wild section of the wall would not be appropriate, otherwise I would 100% recommend this trip for anyone who is visiting China.