Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Beijing, China: The Great Wall of China at Badaling (Video)
If you're visiting China, you must visit the Great Wall! There are many sections of the wall and we chose to go to Badaling. This is the most visited section because it's close to Beijing. We chose to travel independently for two reasons. First, it saves money. Second, we heard complaints that tours spend too little time on the wall and we wanted to spend an entire day there.
If you watch my video, you'll hear we had trouble getting to the wall from Beijing. The directions we had weren't great and we got lost on our way to find the bus. So, hopefully you can avoid the same problems by following these directions.
Directions to Badaling from Beijing:
Take bus 919 to Badaling. There is more than one 919 bus -- although all go to the Great Wall, you want the Express Bus, because it makes few stops. The cost is 12 yuan per person and you pay for your ticket on the bus. The ride is about 90 minutes. The bus runs every 30 minutes starting as early as 7:30am. You pick up the 919 Express bus from the old gate of Deshengman.
Now, I'll tell you how to get to Deshengman! Take the Beijing Metro to the Jishuitan Stop. Go out through Exit A. Walk East toward Deshengman for about 10-15 minutes. Here's a helpful hint as you start your walk: If you're walking along side a river, you are going the WRONG way! Instead, after exiting the subway station you will soon see a bus station on your left. This is not your bus station, just a landmark to let you know you're heading the right direction. Although you can't see Deshengman Gate when you begin your walk, it's easy to recognize. It's a large stone tower belonging to an old city wall with buses parked all around it. Cross the street and find the 919 Express bus ( green and white color) and then get in line to get on the bus.
You can return to Beijing on the same bus. Again, you'll pay 12 yuan on the bus and the ride is about 90 minutes. Okay, now hopefully you won't get lost!