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Top 10 Travel Tips: The Great Wall of China

A Wonder of the World

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the 7 Wonders of the World, China’s Great Wall is one of humankind’s crowning achievements. Built to protect the citizenry from the marauding Huns to the north, the wall remains a stunning tribute to the ingenuity of the Qin dynasty and sits atop many a bucket list belonging to intrepid world travelers. To make the most of your visit to the wall, here are some travel tips for you to consider:


Image: Richard Thomas, Flickr

Where to Visit: The Great Wall is divided into sections so spread apart that visiting all of them is virtually impossible. Before deciding on which one you’ll see, consider the accessibility of your group in relation to the number of tourists at the site. Generally, the easier the access and the closer to Beijing, the more people you’ll encounter. However, while visiting the lesser known sites can certainly mean better photos, it also means steeper steps to climb. 

The Best Time to Visit: The scenery along the wall changes with each new season, making every visit a unique experience. Since summer can mean many tourists and often times hot conditions, and winter can be bitterly cold, we recommend the spring and fall seasons. Both are adequately sunny with moderate temperatures.

The Best Time of Day to Go: Morning visits allow you to avoid the large crowds that come at mid-day while also ensuring you have plenty of time to return to the city by evening.

What to Wear: If you are traveling during the warm summer months, consider wearing shorts and lightweight clothing. In winter, you’ll want very warm clothes and gear that protects against the whipping wind. At all other times you can count on needing layers, especially a lightweight jacket for day’s end. And since you will more than likely be climbing some steps, opt for loose clothing, like slacks, instead of denim.

Comfortable Shoes: It goes without saying, climbing over cobbled paths and up stairs means you’ll need good, sturdy walking shoes.

Pack a Snack: Most hikes take between two and three hours so bring along snacks and water

Restroom Reminder: There are no restrooms midway between sections so make sure you take care of things near ticket offices and entrances.

Handrails are Handy: The stones on the wall can sometimes make navigating the steps a bit precarious. Use the handrails available, especially on the steep sections.

Prepare for Weather: It’s not uncommon to encounter rain or blistering sun on the wall. A small, compact umbrella will protect against both.

Midweek is Best: To avoid congestion, refrain from visiting on weekends and holidays.

The Great Wall of China is just one of the wonders you can experience with Travcoa. For information on Travcoa's luxury tours, call your Travel Agent or a Travcoa Journey Consultant at 1-800-992-2003, email and be sure to check out our private itineraries and luxury small group tours to China.

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Topics: China