Before we begin, here are-
20 Great Wall facts for you to understand and appreciate the architecture better:
Source: China Highlights
Why Juyongguan Wall
Source: Travel China Guide
During our one month business trip to China, we managed to fly off to Beijing for a fun weekend. Although time was a bit of a scarce, we still managed to tick off many things in our checklist, and made new friends along the way – which was quite a drama to be honest lol but that is a story for another time.
Our highlight of the trip, to me at least, was climbing the Great Wall of China – when it was relentlessly snowing!! Sure, many can say they’ve climbed the wall, it was such an amazing experience yada yada yada, but were they climbing in heavy snow??
I might look like I had makeup on, but no I did not. My cheeks get really red when I exercise or when it’s really cold .
We explored Beijing on our own but decided on getting a tour guide for our last day in Beijing. It was easier considering we were checking out from the hotel, our luggages, transportation, and that we needed to be at the airport by evening. So we liaised with the hotel and took a package from a company they recommended.
It was our first time having a tour guide, too, btw! We have went on many trips together but none with a guide.
Em and I have completely stopped going to the gym post-Iceland. As a matter of fact, we only went because Em thought we needed to gain stamina to explore Iceland, especially since we were climbing glaciers (he was right). Naturally, I was a bit worried about climbing the wall. I’m asthmatic so I have to train myself bit by bit before doing a really high climb; but Em assured me there will be cable cars that will take us straight to the top, so we don’t have to do the dirty work.
“Kalau kena panjat I pun tak nak, you pun tau kan I mana suka hiking hiking ni.“
Why did I trust this man in the first place .
The wall has many entrances, and unfortunately, the one our tour guide brought us to was the Juyongguan Great Wall – beautiful scenery, but very steep stairs from the very beginning, and no cable cars! Can you imagine how shocked we both were LOL, I don’t know why Em just assumed he would bring us to the entrance with cable cars. I asked the guide about it, and he said;
“Oh no no, no cable cars at this side of the wall. That one is at another place but I don’t like going there because there are too many people there.”
He was right. The place was empty when we arrived.
(Edit: Em read this post and wanted me to tell you guys he didn’t assume, the hotel receptionist told him so but they had a language barrier so things got lost in translation, lol).
So, nak tak nak, we had to climb the wall. Well it was still optional, of course. We could just jalan-jalan around the area, which had many interesting buildings and sculptures which were very underrated according to the guide, so he recommended us pusing-pusing dekat bawah as well instead of just focusing on climbing the wall.
But since we were already there, it would be ridiculous to not climb the wall. I mean, asthmatic or not, come on, when else are we going to get this opportunity??
If this whole engineer thing doesn’t work out for him, I honestly think he’d make a great model.
All layered up and ready to climb.
It was cloudy but no sign it was about to snow at all.
But the moment we started climbing, it started snowing!
Like it was meant to be .
The climb was challenging – the steps were uneven, some steps had two layers of brick, some had three, some just one, so it was really hard to maintain our pace; and the snow made it even more slippery to climb. We had to be really careful and calculate each step thoroughly as to not tergolek like nangka busuk, that would be embarrassing (not to mention dangerous!).
Taking a break in consideration of my lungs.
As we climbed further up, the snow was getting heavier and that was when the authority informed all climbers to start descending to avoid any complications later. Well descending my friend, I’d say that was tougher than the climb itself. It was really, really slippery; we had to use an alternative supposedly-less-slippery route, and only certain parts of the route had handrails. I already have trouble descending (hills) in general so this was like that times ten. I even slipped at one point but managed to grab onto Em, phew!
But overall, it was a really good experience, and I’m glad we did it. In fact, I’d do it again (provided we train before we climb). I’m also glad it snowed when it did, because it just made the whole experience so much more amazing, and the view to be ten times better .
Juyongguan Great Wall
April – October
8.00am – 5.00pm
RMB¥45/adult & children over 1.2 meters
November – March
8.30am – 4.00pm
RMB¥40/adult & children over 1.2 meters
Subway line 13 to Longze Station > Bus line Chang 19 / Chang 21 / Chang 58 / Zhuan 53 / 519 / 878 to Shahe Station > Bus line Chang 68 to get there.
Bus line 345 / 670 / 883 / 889 / 919 from Deshengmen West Station to Shahe Station > Transfer to bus line Chang 68 to the site.
Subway line 2 / line 4 / line 13 to Beijing North Railway Station to take train S2 to Badaling Railway Station > Free shuttle bus to Badaling Bus Station > Bus 879 to get there.