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This was the highlight of our entire trip to China. If you are deciding whether or not to do it, DO IT! Miko was a great guide. Not only was he knowledgeable, but friendly and professional with great English. We went in late November and the wall was spectacular. On the wild portion we only ran into five other people. The trail leading up was steep, but you could view portions of the wall on the top, so it kept you motivated to keep going, and Miko stopped to give us breaks whenever we needed them. After the steep climb up it was mostly downhill with the most amazing views. Lunch was very good. We even got to see a Chinese health inspection. Very interesting. I highly recommend this tour.
I'd give this 6 stars if I could. Amazing experience. Our guide Jerry was the best. The time you get on the wall is fascinating and so amazingly private. I really couldn't imagine going back and doing it more traditionally bus to a cable car to the wall. This experience just felt so authentic and was so meaningful.
That said, parts of this hike are strenuous. You start by hiking up a mountain for an hour. It's difficult enough that the driver stays put and calls the guide to make sure the guests are gonna make it. But then after that hour, ti's pretty easy going. Finally there is a bit of a tough decent at the end that keeps your knees under tension for a while. Probably if you balance the hard and the easy you get a moderately difficult activity, but the hard parts are pretty hard.
An amazing experience though. Worth losing some weight and getting in shape for it. It was so authentic....six stars. And tip your guide cause he does the hike too. Never seen a guide work so hard.
Our tour guide, Peter, was amazing! He was very nice and outgoing and spoke fluent english. He organized everything for us, including pick up, drop-off, and an incredible lunch. He was very attentive to our needs and whenever we needed to stop for breaks. He provides you with great history of the wall and tells you tales about it. The hike itself is amazing. Breathtaking views. I highly recommend this tour.
We went on a hike at the end of March with Jack as the tour guide - it was a group of six of us and I cannot recommend this tour enough. We spent a week in Shanghai and Beijing and this was by far my favorite experience of the entire trip.
Jack was very knowledgeable and able to provide a lot of history/background both during the hike itself as well as the drive to/from the Great Wall. The hike was a great experience with amazing views - anyone that is in average physical shape should be able to complete.
This tour was the highlight of our trip to Beijing! Our guide, Peter, met us promptly in the lobby of our hotel. He was professional, warm, friendly, and knowledgeable. We headed to the car and our driver did a great job maneuvering the traffic of Beijing and got us to our destination safely. Peter provided information about the history of the wall in the car and as we hiked. The hike itself was amazing and being able to visit parts of the wall that aren't easily accessible was a real treat. The hike itself was challenging for us but Peter did a great job assessing when we might need a break. The pollution was really bad on the day we went but the views were still stunning. We loved the ruins of the wall more than the restored section at Mutianyu. We decided to take the cable car down to save 1,400 stairs down the mountain. Peter then took us to a lovely restaurant for lunch. I have celiac disease and he was able to call the chef ahead of time and arrange for the dishes to be prepared without gluten. It was the only traditional Chinese food I got to experience on our trip and it was wonderful. I really appreciated all the care he took to make sure the food was safe for me. Overall the experience was outstanding and Peter exceeded all of our expectations. If you like venturing off the beaten path, you should book this trip. You won't regret it!
Excellent, excellent experience. The Great Wall hike with Miko was the highlight from my 4 days in Beijing. Its about a 1.5 hour drive to the starting point, followed by a 45min to hour long hike to the wall. You'll start at a section not open to the broader public, and then wind your way down to the touristy area. The first 2/3rds of the hike are exceptional well worth it alone. Miko did an excellent job providing me with background history and guiding the overall experience. In the future, I would very much enjoy hiking with him again.
My wife and I recently spent several nights in Beijing and this tour of the great wall was easily the highlight of our entire trip. We were collected early in the morning by our superbly friendly, funny and knowledgeable tour guide Miko, as well as our equally nice driver. As we drove out of the city, Miko shared with us the rich and fascinating history of the wall and even gave us a crash course on how to count in Mandarin! We started our hike on the outskirts of a small village and got to experience the beauty of the wilderness as we made our way up to the wall. We're not hugely experienced hikers but Miko was very patient with us and allowed us to set the pace and take frequent breaks. When we reached the mountain peak we arrived at a battlement of the Jiankou section of the wall and were treated to incredible views of the wall snaking out endlessly across the mountain ranges and into the distance. Here we walked along the unrestored section of the wall and saw the remnants of the original structures as well as getting fantastic panoramic views of the mountains. Since a hike is required to get up to Jiankou, this section of the wall is less heavily populated by tourists so we got to soak up the views all to ourselves! Along the way Miko also gave us more detailed history about the functions of the wall as well as a retelling of a classic folk story about the wall. As we crossed to Mutianyu the restored wall sections became apparent which allowed us to visualise the past grandeur of the epic structure. Reaching the end of our walk we opted to get the cable cars down to the base which were relatively cheap and gave us some good views of the wall. Afterwards, we were driven to a local restaurant on the outskirts of Beijing and treated to a feast of amazing food. My wife is vegetarian, so Miko very kindly organised meal options for her too. We finished the day with full bellies and a truly unforgettable experience. I don't exaggerate when I say this tour is incredible and a MUST DO for anyone visiting Beijing. Unlike a simple visit to Mutianyu, with this tour you get see a side of the wall not visited quite as frequently by tourists, giving you access to stunning views and a real glimpse into the past when the wall stood tall and grand. Additionally, our tour guide Miko made this trip even more enjoyable and exciting and helped us to understand and appreciate the beauty, significance and importance of the Great Wall.
Great tour. Booked one day in advance and driver picked us up at our hotel right on time We did this off-season, so maybe not as easy peak season. We intentionally picked a day with expected low pollution count to get better visibility. Wind is the key to clearing things up. We could see all the way to Beijing. Picked up Jack our guide en route out of the city. Traffic always intense so plan mentally for a grind out of the city. Driver dropped us at trailhead and guide Jack led us up the 40 minute track to the first tower. Probably the toughest part, but doable for anyone in moderate shape. There were just two of us, so we made good time during the trip. Jack guide was awesome to have along in taking photos of us and explaining the history fo the wall. As we approached the restored section near Mutianyu, Jack asked we we wanted to hike back down where our driver was waiting or take the gondola. We chose to pay the 100 RMB - which had it's own view of the wall as we quickly descended. Lunch on the way back to the city was great. Jack picked the little restaurant and helped us order. He offered some of his own tea to share. Delicious. Offered to stop and do a tea ceremony as well on the way home but happy to head directly back and call it a good day. Only about 8 hours instead of 10 - guessing larger groups would take closer to 10 hours. This tour was a bit pricey compared to others - so might be worth shopping around. Still, if this seems a good value to you, go for it!