Just back from Badaling Great Wall!

Written by Mr. MATT Jun 11, 2010 05:26
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I just came back from Badaling Great Wall, having taken the various info from this page to plan my journey. It's been a painful initial experience due to the incomplete info. Here's the accurate steps wef June 2010: Please note that for those of you taking the subway, you have to stop at Line 2 (Beijing's Circle Line) Jishuitan station and step out from Exit A. You will face a flyover on egress. Turn left and head west towards the Deshengmen Gate, a big historical fortification. Note that you have to walk about 600m from the subway Exit A. Walk past all the various bus-stops including the many varients of service 919. The Great Wall 919 is not here. After about 500 m, you will see this old fort on bigA walls. You will see loads of green-white buses to the left side of the gate/fort. Now risk your life playing Frogger by crossing the multi-lane road in your path to your goal. There is no traffic light at the "pedestrian crossing" nor any respect by the local drivers for the pedestrian's right of way. If you are still alive, walk pass the first couple of bus stands, staying left again. You will finally arrive at the express bus stand to Badaling which is on the left rank of buses about perpendicular to the Deshengmen gate-fort. The picture in the guide on this page is about accurate. Board the bus quickly and grab a seat if you can. Unlucky fellows get to stand all the way. You may want to wait for the next bus instead. Waiting 10-15 minutes is better than standing for 60-80minutes in a speeding bus. You pay 12 yuan to the conductor on the bus. Keep it handy when you arrive at the Great Wall as you will have to show proof of payment on exiting the bus.

Note that the entry fee for Badaling is actually 50 yuan. They charge another 5 yuan as liability insurance in case you turn up in high heels and tear a ligament on the Wall.

Do check the stamped date though.  They stamped my insurance slip with a date a day earlier, which may legally void what they had forced me to pay for.

Suggestions to make the journey more comfortable.  Bring earplug-type earphones with your MP3 player/iPod.  It mitigates having to enjoy 80minutes of loud conversation between the good people seated behind you.  Sunglasses make it easy to take a nap while looking cool instead of appearing to be Blind Batman with the terrible (at least to me) eye mask.

Make sure that you packed lightly.  Yes... bring some snacks and enough water, but bear in mind that you will effectively be hiking up and down steep slopes amid crowds of tourists trying to keep their balance like you.  Forget about tripods.  Monopod if you must.  Those with babies, be prepared to man-pack them.  No strollers/prams.

Return 919 is at the same bus stand area.  Note that you have to go to the designated return leg (Badaling-Beijing) stand in the middle of the bus area.  The many 919s stopping at the drop-off point are still on the Beijing-Badaling leg.  Same points on bus rules as earlier.  Snooze you way back but keep your valuables secure please.

Enjoy your Stairmaster workout.

 More Great Wall Travel Reviews
1. The Fading Great Wall - Datong Desheng Old Fort FOX from China Jun 5, 2010 22:44
2. Hiking from Jinshanling to Simatai LEMON_TREE from Italy May 29, 2010 23:01
3. Strategies for tourists of Badaling and the Ming Tombs JAMESWONG from China May 16, 2010 22:40
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