If you guessed that this photo was taken outside the Beijing South Railway Station you would be morally correct. The crowds there can be quite fierce sometimes. But actually, that’s not where I clicked the photo, as you can see when I pull the focus back just a little, as below.
Yes, this is the Great Wall of China at Badaling, near Beijing. Badaling is the easiest to reach. Taxis will take you there. Numerous bus tours serve this point. On a weekend the crowds can be daunting. Many travellers despise the crowds, sneer at Badaling, and go off to further points. I’m from Mumbai. I love crowds. Chinese crowds are even better, since they seem to be more well-behaved than Indian crowds. So I went to Badaling.
You can climb up to the wall, or save time and zip up in the cable car. I’m not much for needless exercise, so I took the cable car and was up in a few minutes, walking along with the crowd. Is it worthwhile?
I think it is. The scenery is just so spectacular! Lines of hills roll away from you. You see the wall straddling the ridges, marking a line of military control over the hills. The panoramas are spectacular, and the crowds are just a small part of the whole picture. Why would I miss this? I think the stalls selling water and ice-cream on the wall are pretty convenient on a day when the temperature touched 33 Celsius. Having toilets up there is pretty useful as well.
As far as I’m concerned, it is Badaling forever.