Beijing Hikers in the Washington Post, 2017/08/24

We're included as a way to see the non-touristy parts of the Great Wall in a ‘Beijing in 72 hours’ article.

With a 72-hour transit visa available for stopovers in Beijing, you have a chance to squeeze in quite a bit of sightseeing.

Take a look at Debra Bruno’s Washington Post article for some ideas ... including a visit to the Great Wall courtesy of your hiking buddies at Beijing Hikers. Thanks for the mention, Debra!

Read the full article at How to see Beijing in three days (because you don’t need a visa for 72-hour visits)

Here's the Great Wall section of the article:

“The Great Wall is one of the sights — like the Taj Mahal and the Grand Canyon — that must be seen in person. The problem is that the closest part of the wall is about an hour’s drive from Beijing, and most tour groups take visitors to Badaling, the most touristy and crowded part. Those are the people who come back and say they were underwhelmed. Don’t be that tourist.

If you are relatively fit, consider planning ahead with a hiking group like Beijing Hikers, which has a separate division for Great Wall hikes and which also rates hikes by levels of difficulty from one to five. (Wall hikes go from three to five.) The nice thing about Beijing Hikers is that you jump in a minivan, get dropped near the wall with a guide and often have an authentic Chinese meal in the countryside after a day of hiking. The drive out takes a couple of hours, and the hiking part usually lasts anywhere from three to six hours, with a fair amount of scrambling up ancient pathways. Once you are hiking, you will often be able to catch the outline of the wall for miles as it follows the peaks of the mountains and then fades off into the distance. People have likened it to a religious experience.

Beijing Hikers’ groups tend to be of less than 20 people, English is spoken and the camaraderie of hiking one of the world’s iconic and most beautiful places means you’ll make friends fast. Of course, if you plan to hike, do bring the right footwear, especially as many segments of the unrestored Great Wall are crumbling and a little unstable. You’ll also need to bring your own lunch and snacks, but water is provided. Usually there’s a stop for an evening meal at the end of the day.

Read the full article at How to see Beijing in three days (because you don’t need a visa for 72-hour visits)