As a well-known place of Chinese culture and history, The Great Wall is a must-see if you are traveling to China.
Things to Know About The Great Wall of China:
1.Since The Great Wall is well known and such a popular tourist attraction, you should expect big crowds. I was definitely expecting long lines and lots of people from all over the globe to be visiting, and I was surprised when there were barely any people at The Great Wall. My biggest suggestion would be to visit The Great Wall as early as you can for it will pay off. I visited early in the morning and was able to walk through without any crowds and I even visited on a Saturday. Once I finished my visit and was leaving The Great Wall I could see much longer lines and buses of people pulling up. I would assume The Great Wall is busier around lunch and in the afternoon than it is earlier in the morning.
2. The number one reason that The Great Wall is so well-known and a popular place to visit, is due to its magnificent size and length. I was of course expecting to walk a lot while I was visiting The Great Wall, however I was not expecting the massive hike that would make me incredibly sore the next day. I have to give major respect to the elderly couple that was walking up The Great Wall like pros(it must be part of their daily regime). Of course you can choose how far you are walking(just remember that you will probably have to walk back) but I was not expecting the depth and amount of stairs that we had to walk up and then down. The wall is also inconsistent so it might seem pretty flat at first but then you might have to walk up some very steep steps. I would highly suggest that you wear comfortable and supportive shoes(Not Flip Flops!) and even flexible or athletic wear. It might seem chilly in the morning, but I was glad that I wore a t-shirt and running shorts as I warmed up quickly due to the walk. Also, due to the altitude and air quality, I would warn those would have difficulty breathing or exercising to be cautious before their visit. I made sure to have my inhaler before I visited The Great Wall.
3.Besides the view and climbing the wall itself, you can also make your visit more exciting through a fun way to first get up on the wall and a fun way to get back down the wall. I believe that everyone that visits The Great Wall will probably have to take the Gondola lift to get up on the wall. If you are not familiar with a Gondola lift, it is an aerial lift that transports you up. It requires you to sit back on the moving lift and jump off of it quickly at the end. The lift has a bar that is put down on your waist and your feet hang off the end. If you are afraid of heights than I would be prepared. If you are a thrill seeker, than you can take the exciting Toboggan ride down the wall. For this you sit individually(so probably not best for young kids) on a seat with wheels and a lever that allows you to follow a track. You can end up going pretty fast down the track but if you enjoy fast rides than you will definitely enjoy this.
4.The Great Wall of China is about an hour and a half to two hour drive from Beijing, China.
Views from the Great Wall of China
The Gondola lift on the ride up the wall
The Toboggan ride that you can choose to take down The Great Wall.
Here is what the tiny toboggan seat looks like, which includes the two spots for your legs and the handle bar that you use for a break.