You can go to the Great Wall of China multiple times as there are various sections. Around Beijing there used to be only the three sections open to tourists four years ago: The overcrowded renovated section at Badaling, the renovated section at Mutianyu and the slightly renovated section at Simatai.
Four years ago hardly anybody went to the Great Wall at Simatai as the roads to get there were not good. It used to take over 3 hours to drive there but it was well worth it as the section has very steep parts and breathtaking views. Today the road to get there is perfect with more highway in construction. The Great Wall section west of Simatai called Jinshanling is now getting more and more tourists.
The China Capital Toastmasters Club (CCTMC) organized an outing to the Great Wall. We rented a bus. 24 friends left early in the morning and drove to Jinshanling. We started our hike from the Jinshanling parking lot. It is an easy paved road to the wall. It was quite crowded from there till the place where the cable car ends. It seems a lotof people do take the very slow cable car.
A praying manta decided to secretly hitchhike on Ivana’s hat, but she did not really like that. The hike was quite pleasant as this section is not too steep and either still in good condition as well as renovated. The more unrenovated parts started just before we stopped for our lunch break. In our group were not many foreigners so even while cooking some ladies were trying to sell touristy souvenirs to me. Thanks to Yann for the above and below picture.
Especially after lunch our group fell into small subgroups. The fastest group decided to hike up to the top of Simatai. That was really exhausting because it only goes uphill till the end. There is a guard who makes sure that nobody walks any further. We were happy to have come all the way. Here is the link to the webalbum with more pictures.
Back in Beijing we had dinner at the official Guizhou province restaurant. That was a delicious traditional dinner in a fancy room with traditional music and ladies helping us drink. Here are some pictures. What a great day out!