27,000 visitors come every single day to the Great Wall. Let that sink in! 27,000 !!! That’s 10,000 tourists a year! Conversely, this means that at least one person stands on every kilometer of this gigantic structure. Most choose the sections of Badaling or Mutaniyu. There, the completely restored part of the Chinese Wall is also „upgraded“ with a toboggan run, restaurants and all kinds of souvenir shops. Well, for us that’s not the place to enjoy the longest structure in the world. We wanted a bit more adventure, authenticity and freedom. So the theory came to us: If so many visitors gather in one place, another one has to be empty. And with this we were right. On the Huanghuacheng section, we found the Great Wall to be all to ourselves, I would never have dreamed of that!
Search for the right section:
Like you (probably) right now, I worked through the internet to find the right section. After much back and forth, I decided for the great wall of Huanghuacheng. Also in Lonely Planet you will find directions. The location of this section makes it a very special experience. Because here runs the former fortification by a reservoir. Caution: The Lonely Planet denotes a part other than Huahuacheng as the website (Zhuangdoukoucun). Both are only one bus station apart. I describe here the „Lonely Planet Variant“.
Features of the Huanghuacheng Zhuangdoukoucun section:
- not one tourist to see
- unrestored and partially restored
- Moderate to exhausting with average condition
- low priced, no entrance fee
- reachable by public bus
- 80 km from Beijing
- about 4.5 km to hike, which should not be underestimated (including return)
- no railing protection
- no restaurants – bring your own lunch!
We followed the description from the Lonely Planet and got out at Zhuangdoukoucun. There a sign with the inscription greeted us. „This part of the Great Wall is not open to the public“. We have happily translated this with „It does not cost admission“. The ascent to the wall was moderate. Here I was completely overwhelmed by the surrounding nature. After 3 days in Beijing this is a welcome balance. 15 minutes later we are already in front of the wall, in front of the gate to inner Mongolia.
On the side of the building you came along a trail on the wall. Incredible. We are actually standing on the great wall. To the left of us the path leads to the unrestored part, which we also followed a bit. For this you should be free from giddiness. It is only a narrow path that is overgrown. To the right of us the path leads over steep stairs (step height 40cm / 45 ° slope) to a partially restored part. Not only the view over the mountains is breathtaking, but also the constant upstairs and downstairs. So it’s nice to catch your breath and enjoy the Chinese wall that snakes its way to the horizon.
The watchtowers are still very well preserved. You can climb the roofs and explore the passageways in the towers.
As the sun rises, we enjoy our picnic at one of the most spectacular places in the world – all by ourselves. In front of us is the view of a reservoir. After this, the Chinese wall continues its traits.
Caution: If you want to go to the reservoir, you should walk on the last tower on the right on a trail into the village. Because the wall was breakthrough here, for a road next to the river. Once at the bottom you have to go through a private property. But the friendly owner usually already waits there and lets you through for a small tip (5Yuan). Back, if you’re lucky, take a taxi. We did not have one and walked back. Maps.me helps a lot.
For us that was the best trip of our whole 3-week trip to China.
There and back: 38 yuan p.P.toll: 5 Yuan
A private Chinese wall: priceless.
Directions to the Huanghuacheng section:
We took the public transport from Beijing to Zhoudoukou. An impressive feeling when the wall suddenly appears in front of you.
- From Dongzhimen Junction (Line 2 – own stop), take bus 916 to Huairou (11 yuan, 1h; 06:30am to 7:30pm).
- Get off at Nanhuayuan Sanqu 南 花园 三 区, then walk 200 meters to the next bus stop Nanhuayuan Siqu 南 花园 四 区. The required bus H21 is not tendered at the bus stop, but the number is on the bus. At this point you have to ask someone. But that’s no problem with the chinese characters and the bus number. The bus will definitely come, you need no taxi.
- Take the H21 towards Shui Changcheng 水 长城 to Zhuangdaokoucun 撞 道口 村 (8 Yuan, 1 hour, every 30 minutes to 6:30pm) or one stop to get to an „official section of the wall“. The way back works the same way.
- The last bus 916 from Huairou back to Beijing leaves Huairou around 7pm.
Did we do so and are almost smooth (we unfortunately caught the rush hour on the way back) to the Great Wall and come back again. Simply compare characters and contact the bus attendants. I also entered the route in Maps.me. So I could always control how long we still have to drive. Really plan a whole day! The day trip has cost a total of 38 yuan (€ 4.86) per person – a tour to a very commercial part of the Wall (Badaling) is not necessary. Do not forget to have some snacks.
Have you visited another part and would like to share your experience? Go ahead, write it in the comments.
That was Huanghuacheng! Where the Great Wall becomes an experience!
You are interested where I was still everywhere? More about About us or click on the photos!
|hier gehts zur deutschen Variante|