After a couple of well needed rest days and time to get settled into navigating Beijing, we decided to hike the remote Great Wall. So after much research we decided to hire a guide and headed off to meet our Great Wall of China guide, Ken and driver, Ben (we suspect not their real names).
With excitement, we hopped into the car and started our drive to the Great Wall of China. Not before too long we were ducking and weaving in and out of traffic. It was like we were in a Bruce Willis movie, whilst our guide calmly explained the day ahead of us. Me, turning a little white, while my partner, Nik, just enjoyed the ride!
Huanghuacheng Remote Great Wall Section
Phew, we made it safely to the Huanghuacheng section of the Great Wall and very soon forgot about our driving experience. What a magnificent structure we couldn’t believe we were actually here and soon to be standing on the Great Wall.
There are many sections of the Great Wall and after much research we chose to hike the Huanghuacheng section. The main reason for choosing this section is the wonderful lake views. The only section on the wall with water views and it’s not overcrowded with tourists.
We said goodbye to our driver (for now) and started our hike with Ken, our guide. So, with walking poles in hand we commenced the steep climb up the thousands of stairs in hope to catch the reflection of the sunrise light on the wall.
We hiked along the wall for 3 hours, learning about the history of the Huanghuacheng section from our very knowledgeable guide, taking in the magnificent structure and the scenery around us. We spent time snapping photos of the different light throughout the day and even managed to drone, thanks to our guide.
Huanghuacheng Great Wall Section Facts
Huanghuacheng’s section of the remote Great Wall of China a perfect blend of lake scenery and ancient walls. Some facts about the Huanghuacheng section of the Great Wall of China:
- Huanghuacheng translates to ‘Yellow Flower City’
- The construction lasted 188 years, from 1404 to 1592
- 75 kilometres or 47 miles from Beijing which is 1 ½ hour’s drive
- 13 Kilometres or 8 miles in length
- A few wild original sections, a restored section mainly made of big stone slabs and three sections immersed in water – it is a little rugged in sections
- There is a 500-year-old Ming Dynasty chestnut orchard at the foot of the wall
A China Experience We’ll Never Forget
We stopped for another break just before we left The Great Wall to make our way back down the valley. It was a great moment to take in what we had just done. To look back at the jagged landscape with the Great Wall snaking through the landscape, and think ‘wow, we’re on The Great Wall!
It was here that our guide asks us if we’d like to take the short cut route, 40 minutes he says. After 4 hours hiking along the wall, which was no easy feat, we decided that this short cut sounded like a good idea, so we agreed.
Oh no! What we didn’t realise it was straight down the side of the wall through dense, thick and rugged bushland. How were we ever going to find our way back to our driver?
Trekking through the dense bushland we notice the chestnut tree’s all around us. There were many chestnuts on the ground that had dropped from the trees. So, we collect a few chestnuts along the way thinking we would roast them as a celebration of our adventure.
Almost 2 hours later we miraculously emerged from the bush, exhausted and there was our driver!
Pleased to see our driver we jumped into the car and headed off to our lunch destination. Bear in mind this was day 3 in China. As we sat down in front of a spinning table full of food we couldn’t identify, armed only with a pair of chopsticks, it was daunting to say the least.
Our food surprisingly tasted delicious. Completed with a nice cold Tsingtao Beer, what a great way to end our adventure! Well, not quite, the drive back to our hotel was yet to come!
Important to Note on the Remote Great Wall
It’s important to note that areas of the Huanghuacheng section of the remote Great Wall of China are not restored. They’re a little challenging with many steep areas. So, you will need to be reasonably fit and have your wits about you!