Great Wall and lunch?

Feb 12th, 2004, 09:10 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Great Wall and lunch?

Are recommendations for a place to eat lunch in the area? Will be there in two weeks.
mdv is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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Which part of the wall are you accessing? There are at least 6 that I know of, all within varying driving distances of Beijing, and the scenery varies depending on which section you visit.

I would say bring a picnic lunch and have it ON the Wall, but as you will be there in February, it will be quite cold and probably close to the freezing point, so this may not be quite the attractive option. However, if it is sunny and not too cold, a picnic on the Wall is a lot of fun, and you will be sheltered a bit from any wind as the walls are just above waiste-height (at least my waiste, and I am 5.4.

Badaling is one of the closest access points from Beijing (just under an hour by taxi), but it gets very, very crowded. I don't personally think it is as enjoyable an experience with the large crowds. However, in February this should be less of a problem. My recollection is that there are several average-looking restaurants around the entrance area.

Another choice is the Mitianyu access area, about 1? hours by car from Beijing. There is a cable car here so you can save yourself a long walk up and down. If you are going to the Mitianyu access point, there are several non-descript restaurants at the bottom near the cable car entrance. I have not eaten there, only had drinks, but they seemed OK.

Not all access points have cable cars, and it is a LONG walk up, remember that most portions of the Wall are built on the summits of ridges.

Cicerone is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 06:25 PM
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I visited the Great Wall on New Year's Day. The Badaling section. If I remember correctly there was a hotel/tea room place (with decent bathrooms) right there. Also, some good shopping. Knock-offs and authentic. Just remember that all the t-shirts are cut small so purchase 1-2 sizes larger than normal.

Great prices on The North Face jackets. Bargain, bargain more and then walk away. The vendors will come after you...everyone like to play 'let's make a deal.'

An awesome experience climbing the Wall...very steep in spots. More trouble walking down than up. Enjoy!

luv2fly is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 06:28 PM
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By the way, it was very cold and very windy. Best to wear rubber soled shoes as the bricks can be a bit slippery, especially when walking down.
luv2fly is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 05:11 AM
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Which would be the best access option for people with limited climbing ability? My daughter can walk and climb, but not far, she will pay later for over exertion. Any ideas on the wall access point with the least walking and climbing required?
wbowles is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 05:52 AM
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There is a cable car at the Mitianyu access point which is very handy for avoiding the up or the down climb. (Mitianyu is about 1.5 hours by car from Beijing).

I believe there may be a cable car at Badaling as well, but I was only there once about 10 years ago and we walked up so I don't recall (I do recall a longish and steep walk). Others may have more specific advice about whether there is a cable car at Badaling and whether it is always operational (seem to recall rumours of frequent breakdowns there).

Cicerone is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 03:47 PM
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There are cable cars or chair lifts at almost all the best-known Wall access points. The one at Mutianyu (note correct spelling) requires a short climb to reach, and there are stair up to the Wall after you alight. The one at Badaling involves little climbing at the bottom end. But your best choice might be Juyong Guan, slightly closer to Beijing than Badaling, and on the same road, since the Wall entrance there is at ground level, you can be driven right up to the entrance, and then you just have to manage the stairs up on to the Wall itself.

It's worth noting, though, that no Wall site offers you horizontal strolling, and in most parts movement along it in any direction for more than a few metres offers only climbs, often steep enough to require the use of hands as well as feet.

All sites have some sort of food operations, but none of any quality, and all over-priced. Juyong Guan can easily be visited as a half-day trip, with a return to Beijing for lunch or dinner.

Peter N-H
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