11:30 am: We will meet you in your hotel lobby. Driving for 2.5 hours, you will arrive at the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall to start your hike in the afternoon. Upon arriving, you will walk for 2 hours to learn the grandeur of the Great Wall of its original state. With relatively flatter terrain and zero crowds, the route we take for this short hike is somewhat less challenging and suitable for seniors and young children. If you are physically healthy, you can upgrade your walk today to hike a 4.5-hour hike from Gubeikou to Jinshanling for an extra $49/person.
Gubeikou was a strategic fort to protect the capital in ancient times. Gubeikou, along with the passes at Shanhaiguan and Juyongguan, was a key strategic target in military campaigns since ancient times. Protecting these three passes was considered vital for keeping Beijing safe from the Mongolian nomads. The Gubeikou hike is to satisfy your curiosity about what the original Great Wall was formed and designed to keep out hostile armies and why it is strategically crucial to Beijing's defense. Even in the modern wars, the Great Wall was effectively used. Gubeikou was the battlefield in 1933 when the Chinese army fought against the Japanese invasion. In the four-month-long battles, over 5,000 Japanese soldiers and 9,000 Chinese soldiers died.
Serving as an essential defense in the capital's protection, this section of the wall was built under rigorous supervision and with strictly selected building materials. Therefore, it is undoubtedly the most magnificent, precipitous, and indestructible section of the Great Wall.
The vistas of the sinuous Wall snaking its way over the ridges of the Yanshan are breathtaking. This section of the Wall meanders through the countryside and mountains, and you will be rewarded by the scenery of this section, particularly with the fantastic sunset views. This experience will be a nature lover’s delight and is also an excellent opportunity for photos.
After viewing the sunset, you will climb down and have dinner at a nearby farm inn where you will enjoy delicious Chinese stir-fry with rice for your dinner. Then, before it gets dark, you will go up to the mountain and sleep overnight in a watchtower. We will prepare the necessary camping facilities such as sleeping bags, so you don't have to bring anything but yourself. Here it is the sound sleeper's paradise - let the mountain valley and the Great Wall echo your snoring sound. For those of you curious about Great Wall camping conditions, please be advised that camping on the Great Wall is very rugged and adventurous, and you should expect a relatively low comfort level from what you're generally used to.
Meals: Dinner in the local restaurant at our camping base
Bottled Water: Unlimited
Accommodations: Camping on the Great Wall
If camping is not your choice, you may overnight in a home inn at the foot of the Great Wall.