China Photography travel

The Great Wall of China

What trip to China would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall of China.

What trip to China would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall of China. It was an earlier start to the day as the portion of the Wall we were visiting is a two hour drive north from our hotel in Beijing. Apparently, of the 21,196km of the wall, there are 7 sections open for tourists. The closer you are to Beijing the busier they are. So we didn’t mind the drive. Our package included tickets on a lift to the top, and a slide down at the Mutianyu section. However when we arrived, even though we were further out from Beijing, it was still going to be around an hour wait for the chairlift up.

Rest Time
We therefore opted for the option of walking up to the wall. It was a steep climb (215 metres elevation gain), but the steps were easy to manage and with the shade and rests it was a pleasant 30 minute walk.
GPS of our Great Wall walk
The great thing about having a private guide is being able to do things at your own pace and going, within limits, where you want. Our guide took us on a circular walk on the Wall. We were able to see what we wanted and leave when we were ready.
Hoopoe Bird
The nice thing about going slow is you get to see unexpected sights. This Hoopoe bird was watching us as we rested.
Made It
Satisfied to reach the wall, and with a phone call we confirmed the people in front of us in line still hadn’t gotten on a chairlift. Mark a win for effort.
Great Wall
Without a doubt, one of the highlights of the trip for me. The sheer size and ruggedness left me shaking my head, and once you walked 20 metres from the lifts there was hardly anybody to contend with.
Great Wall
To top it off we even had blue skies and perfect temperatures. And no, I did not have to photoshop the crowds off the wall. This was how busy it was.

Great Wall

Great Wall
Well worth the trip.
Springtime at the Great Wall
And even up in the harsh mountains spring shone through for us.

As is in other ancient cultures around the world, it is amazing what can be built given absolute power, manpower, and will power. Incredible.


Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

3 comments on “The Great Wall of China

  1. Incredible, best great wall photos i’ve ever seen, thanks Peter

  2. Paul Reshetylo

    Very cool…

    Paul Reshetylo


    Four things you can’t recover: The stone…after the throw. The word…after it’s said. The occasion…after it’s missed. The time…after it’s gone.

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