Great Wall in an afternoon?

Old Apr 17th, 2008, 07:47 PM
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Great Wall in an afternoon?

We arrive in Beijing at 12:30 and are staying near the Forbidden City. We have the rest of this day, one full day, and the next day until 7pm to tour Beijing. I was thinking the best way to squeeze the Great Wall in was to try the day we get in. Will getting there in late afternoon be a waste of time? Anybody have a reasonable idea of when sunset is? We were planning on grabbing a taxi for the trip there/back.
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 07:58 PM
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if that is the only time you can go, then yes go, but otherwise i would go on day 2
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 08:58 PM
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If you'd like to use an afternoon to visit the Great Wall, you have enough time to go there. But your visit time will be vey short. As far as I know, we can't buy the tickte until 16:30 in the aferternoon. So if you decide to go there, make sure that you can arrive befour 16:30.In addition,there are three part of Great Wall that you can visit near Beijing. But if you would visit the Great Wall in an afternon, i think Badaling Great Wall is your choice(the nearest but the more visited, about one hours from the city).
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 09:01 PM
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Arrive in Beijing at 12.30 or at Beijing Airport at 12.30? If the latter, there's little chance you'll be setting out from any city centre hotel before about 2pm even if you do no more than drop your bags and leave immediately.

However, you could easily visit Juyong Guan in that time, by taking the right variant of the 919 bus from Desheng Men. This is the nearest open section, and one overlooked by most tours. You're not likely to see many people there mid-afternoon onwards.

Forgive me for pointing out that when sunset is rather depends upon the date... And there must surely be somewhere on the Web that will answer that question.

Peter N-H
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 07:35 AM
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I saw your other post and my advice is to spend more time days in Beijing and fewer in Shangahi, that way you won’t have to worry about trying to rush off to the Great Wall in the afternoon. Website for sunset is a sunrisesunset.com
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 01:13 PM
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What are the prospects of the OP hiring a car and driver and going directly to the GW from PEK?
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 08:22 PM
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In answer to the above, anything can be done with money. The problem is arranging this without excessive expense.

What might be a good idea would be to talk to taxi drivers at the rank at the airport (and NOT under any circumstance, the people who approach you as you exit the terminal) and either do the run on the meter, or bargain a price for a trip to Juyong Guan (or Ba Da Ling if you insist on vast crowds), a wait of so many hours, and then into town to your hotel.

On the meter the problem is that the rate jumps by 50% after 15km, and then ticks over gently for waiting time. It will still likely work out to not very much. You should be prepared to pay any expressway fees, just as you would if going straight into town. But taxi drivers (at least before Terminal 3 came along, which may have changed things) could be waiting three hours to get to the front of the rank, and the thing they fear most is getting a fare who wants to go no further than the Third Ring Road at San Yuan Qiao, or nearer. Pay no more than ¥300 at the maximum if negotiating. That's more than enough to make an honest driver happy.

You'll need the characters for Juyong Guan (which you can find on the Wikipedia page--actually, just print out the page so the characters and pictures make the point). And you'll also need to print out the home page of the hotel. The rest can be done with mime and pen and paper, but the English-speaking marshall may be able to help you make your intentions clear (mainly how long you want him to wait and what time you want to get back into Beijing. Some need to hand over their cabs to the night driver around 5pm, but they often call the next guy and then split part of the proceeds with him if the handover's going to be late).

Peter N-H
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