If you’re ever up to it, a trek of the Great Wall of China can be both challenging and satisfying.
Although a nine-day trip, the actual hiking will take up to five full days and while it would seem you were walking its entire length, don’t be disheartened to find you probably covered only about 60 km, or less than 1% of the wall’s length.
This particular trek was away from the most touristy and over-renovated part of the wall near Beijing, and on most days the trek involved walking on un-renovated sections with very few other people around apart from those in the group of 25 or so hikers.
Some sections of the wall were in bad shape with crumbling watchtowers and thousands of uneven steps.
If you live in a much warmer part of the world, you may find the hike quite difficult at first, as you may need to acclimatise to the late October cold of northern China.
Besides trekking on the wall, there were side trips to a waterfall and a visit to the humble house of a local farming family. There was also a very long flying fox that looked a bit scary and chopped half an hour off the walking time.
Accommodation was in simple, traditionally designed lodges. If you’re part of a group, be prepared to share – two or three to a room. Food is aplenty and very good.
The views are fabulous and the sight of the wall itself snaking its way over mountains for mile after mile is something special.
This article first appeared on thriftytraveller.wordpress.com