Our visit to the Great Wall of China was during winter time, when temperatures were in the minuses (-7′) and on our tour high winds forced the cable cars to terminate. Not the best of times to visit but it didn’t deter us. Weather like this isn’t unusual for this time of year and in honesty we hadn’t really planned on doing much. Our plan was no more than to turn up, see the Great Wall of China, tick it from the tick list then return to the comforts of Beijing, merely to say “We’ve been to the Great Wall of China”. A tad pathetic I know but travelling so near an iconic landmark then ignoring it is not much better. At least we have no regrets. However, when we find the tour includes walking the Great Wall, for a number of kilometers, that’s when we get a little deterred. The sheltered 5 minute walk to the entrance alone numbs our everythings. At this point visiting the Great Wall of China in Winter was not such a great idea and more so having arrived from the +30’c of Bangkok to the -7’c of China the contrast was almost unbearable. We make the most of it anyway, splitting from the group (as we intended anyway) and staying on the first tiers near the entrance. We make it to close to the third, maybe forth tier, running one battlement tower to the next, sheltering at each from the bite of winds.
Benefits of Great Wall of China in Winter
There are benefits and in truth I’d say we got the better deal. When I see photos of the Great Wall at Badaling they are always hiving with tourists yet on our visit there were few; a trickle if anything compared to the typical endless stream. By staying in the first tiers and not rushing through the course we can also relax, pick and chose our photos and enjoy the views. ‘Where on the Great Wall were you? That’s not Badaling? Where’s all the tourists?” are the usual comments on our photos. While we didn’t quite make the most of the Great Wall of China we have no regrets and can walk away with some decent photos and memories. In all the Great Wall of China in winter is worth the visit just to escape the crowds and out of other tours it was by far the better compared to our somewhat cynical tick list trips to the Forbidden City and Terracotta Warriors.