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Michelle W United States of ...
The Two-Day Great Wall Hike was fabulous and one of the best things I have ever done! Yaxin, my guide, was outstanding, always so informative about the area and structure.The hardest part of Day 1 was hiking through the woods to get to the Wall, partly because of the heat and the extra weight of the water in my backpack, but Yaxin allowed me to go at my pace and took breaks when he thought it was needed. He knew just where to stop for the best photos.The remote unrestored sections of the Wall were rough and wild, and the first couple hours we were solo hikers. The awesome beauty of the Wall and it's surroundings are indescribable and should be experienced. During the hike Yaxin gave me several options for an extra challenge and at the end of the hike the options of taking the cable car, sliding down the chute or walking. The chute was great fun and a good way to end the journey. We took a short bus ride into the village, had a delicious lunch, then off to the little village where our accommodations were waiting. The inn keepers were very pleasant and the food delightful. Day 2 started at sunrise, yet another option Yaxin suggested the evening before. It was the right choice, absolutely beautiful! The cooler temperatures were welcomed and we were the only hikers among a handful of photographers. Yaxin took lots of photographs and even air dropped them to my phone at days end.I can't say enough about this trip and highly recommend it and with Yaxin as your guide!
Exhausting! BUT VERY EXHILARATING!!! The first day's hike Jiankou to Mutianyu was over eight kilometres, and the second day's hike Jinshanling to Simatai West was about six kilometres. We covered both the restored and unrestored parts of the Wall on both days and we encountered very few other tourists somewhat more on the second day than the first day which made for excellent photo ops. The overnight accommodation at a nearby guesthouse was basic but adequate clean and safe with excellent dinner and breakfast. Wu Yaxin is a very capable and interesting guide for this hiking tour -- kudos to him for making this a very memorable trip for me.
My humble advices: 1 DO NOT take this tour if you are not in good health, especially if you have leg/knee/foot problems and/or cardio-vascular issues. The Great Wall was built along the ridges of the mountain ranges in order to secure the strategic highest grounds. Therefore, it meanders along these ridges where there are constant changes in elevations both upwards and downwards, and VERY STEEPLY at many stretches. 2 Prepare for all kinds of weather. My group quite literally experienced four weather conditions in the course of the two days at the end of July 2015: fog actually low clouds at mountain tops overcast sky heavy rain forced to stop and rest at one of the forts and beautiful sunshine. 3 Wear good hiking shoes. You will be glad you did, especially at the steep inclines.
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