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Walking the Great Wall

From £979 for 9 days
Trip Overview
Stepping out across the peaceful semi-ruin of a section of the Great Wall is like walking in the footsteps of the past. Far from the tourist crowds we are able to get a great sense of the scale and majesty of this remarkable piece of engineering without rushing through in a big group. We trek along various contrasting sections of the wall, both dilapidated and rebuilt stretches. The old portions have a romantic feel, but the new ones may look odd to people who are used to seeing their ancient monuments in a poor state, though since the wall was constructed over a 2000 year period, the new sections are just a continuation of that process. We will get closer to day-to-day life in rural China before returning to Beijing, a city steeped in history yet plunging headlong into modernity.
Essential Info
Starts: Arrive Beijing; free afternoon and Beijing duck dinner
Ends: Our trips ends today in Beijing after breakfast.
Ages: Min 16
Theme: Walking
Trip Code: ETCW
Activity Level:     
Countries visited: China
What's Included


All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners are included


5 nights basic hotels and 3 nights standard hotel 6 days point-to-point walking with full porterage


Trip Highlights

•   Walk one of the New Seven Wonders of the World

•   Spend two days exploring Beijing, visiting the Forbidden City and perhaps seeing an opera or a kung fu show

•   See the Niangniang Daoist temple which remains unspoiled

•   Enjoy the hospitality of local guesthouses

•   Walk the length of the Jinshanling section, renowned for being the best-preserved part of the Great Wall

Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Departing: 28th Jul 2019
Returning: 5th Aug 2019
Limited Availability
1 space
Departing: 1st Sep 2019
Returning: 9th Sep 2019
Availability: Good
Departing: 8th Sep 2019
Returning: 16th Sep 2019
Limited Availability
1 space
Departing: 15th Sep 2019
Returning: 23rd Sep 2019
Fully Booked
Departing: 22nd Sep 2019
Returning: 30th Sep 2019
Availability: Good
Departing: 6th Oct 2019
Returning: 14th Oct 2019
Limited Availability
2 spaces
Departing: 13th Oct 2019
Returning: 21st Oct 2019
Availability: Good
Departing: 15th Oct 2019
Returning: 23rd Oct 2019
Availability: Good
Departing: 20th Oct 2019
Returning: 28th Oct 2019
Availability: Good
Show more dates
Itinerary & Notes
After arriving into Beijing, the afternoon is free to relax after the overnight flight. There is a welcome dinner organised for the group allowing us to sample one of the cities most famous dishes: Beijing duck. *Dong Fang Hotel or similar*
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Related Blog Posts
Walking the great Wall of China is invariably on lots of Intrepid travellers wish lists or objectives - simply just do it. You will not regret making the decision. If you have not been to China before it is both an introduction to the country (especially Beijing) and walking one of the most documented locations in the world. The majority of the meals are inclusive but this is a bonus as it includes both restaurants in Beijing and and more authentic Chinese cuisine in the Home stays. I do not think I will not bother with a Chinese restaurant again in the UK.
I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the trip. The scenery - the wall and the surrounding mountains - was stunning and constantly changing. The weather was perfect with mostly warm sunny days with cool evenings. Everywhere we stayed from good quality hotels to basic rural homestays provided great food and hospitality. Our group leader, Jerry, was excellent and I felt very lucky to be away with such a lovely group of fellow travellers. Finally and perhaps most importantly the Chinese people I met were warm, welcoming, interesting as well as curious about us and almost without exception delightful.
Space, and the (temporary) frontier abound provided that you go boldly, up, more up, and even more up; cast aside fears of teeming hordes, and remember, the people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history. At times, you become the 'attraction' - videoconferencing a chap's wife on her drive home so she could practice her English (at the top of the Wall, naturally). That was a first. High fiving hundreds of school kids, while teachers convulsed with laughter (on the wall too), in a society where physical contact is not a thing, also a first. Underpinning it all, a long past with, to quote a fellow traveller, "zero history of democracy". And the kittens really do want their fluffy tummies tickled, oh yes they do.
What a great trip ! 6 hiking days and 2 days seeing the sights in Beijing with Pemma our Tibetan guide and our mixed bunch of 16, comprised of couples and solos making for a great trip to China. ( I didn’t book the Xian extension ) the hikes are tough as they are up and down the many ridges that the wall sought to protect and most are on the “Wild Wall” where we had the fantastic views all to ourselves, so expect some tender knees and sore calves as the days progress. Accommodation in the country is in friendly and comfortable homestays and Don Fang in Beijing is about 30 minutes walk to the Forbidden City and Tianenmen square etc. China is a real mix of old and new and the vibrant colours are a treat for the eyes. Ticking the Great Wall box with this Exodus trip was memorable and as is the case on many a trip there were only minor things that could be improved but take it from me, if you’re thinking of booking then take the leap, you’ll love it.
spent 6 days walking the great wall of china and then a walking tour of beijing. we then went on a sleeper train to xian where we saw the terra cotta army
First time I have done something like this before but it has been one of the best trips I have done. Wish I could of been out there longer
Fantastic jam packed trip, from trekking up long steep challenging slopes to witnessing the stunning views from the great wall. A journey well worth the undertaking. I was a first timer to trekking, and a single traveller. The trip was well planned and executed. The organisation was second to none, from co-ordinating hot savoury pancakes on the great wall for lunch, to organsing shows and Tai Chi classes everything was done with a smile, a sense of humour and professionalism. A lifetime of memories, a personal achievement and a hunger for more. If you are thinking about it- think NO MORE, just book it - you will not regret it!
We recently returned from the Great Wall tour and the extension trip to the city of Xi'an to see the terracotta warriors (14th-26th April). The Great Wall experience opened our eyes to the hinterland of Beijing where we trekked the rugged sections of the wall, some of them challenging, staying in local homestays along the way. The families who run the homestays provided authentic hospitality in the most fantastic locations in and around national parks. Throughout our trip, under the inspirational leadership of our guide Jerry (who looked after our every need with inexhaustible attention to planning and detail) we learnt about China's fascinating history and culture as well as entertaining asides on the economics of China. The weather was brilliant. Following the tour of Beijing (mainly Forbidden City) at the end of the walk, we took the extension to Xi'an, under a new guide. The sleeper train from Beijing was an extra experience (it was fine!) not to be missed. The terracotta warriors are housed in a purpose-built heritage site; the numbers and scale are massive; you feel you are right back in the 2nd century BCE during emperor Qin's rule. Xi'an is also worth exploring, including the city wall, which is in perfect condition. Food on the Great Wall was excellent - invariably eating in local restaurants along the way - all food freshly cooked and washed down with the ubiquitous "cold beer"; always with fast and friendly service. This review is just a snapshot of a truly memorable holiday. Well done again Exodus.
Overall, we LOVED this trip and would highly recommend it. Just a few minor complaints, many of which are unavoidable (but some could be addressed): - Air pollution was pretty bad on some of the days (though not all). Obviously, Exodus can't do much about this, but future travelers should be aware. I had heard the air quality had improved significantly since the 2008 Olympics, and that might be...but it was still pretty bad. - Plumbing! Other than the Beijing hotel, every single guest house we stayed at had plumbing issues (and it wasn't just our rooms - the other travelers in our group had the same issues). You name it - scalding/freezing shower water, no water pressure, drainage issues. It seems like these SHOULD be pretty easy to fix, and yet.... - WIFI - there are many sites that are banned in China, but others (CNN, EPSN, local news sites) are accessible...when you can get a signal. Most places we stayed at *claimed* to have wifi, but the networks were slow at best, and in most cases unusable. - Food - generally pretty good at the guest houses, but there was not much variety (suprisingly). - Tai Chi - it was nice to have a Tai Chi lesson, but the instructor stood in the front of the group which made it difficult for those of us in back to see her. She should have been in the center, or if possible elevated on a platform or stage so everyone could see her. - Crowds - on the final day we went to the Forbidden City in Beijing at what seemed like the worst possible time: Sunday afternoon. The crowds were ridiculous. If possible, Exodus should try to arrange this tour early on a weekday morning to avoid (or at least lessen) the crowds. Again, all these complaints are minor. Overall, we loved our experience and would recommend it to anyone considering it!
Fabulous trip but, as with all Exodus holidays, the success is dependent on the tour guide. We had Jerry and he was faaaantastic! What a guy! Knowledgeable, committed and with a wonderful sense of humour. Thank you Jerry - you made the trip gloriously memorable.
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