- Walking the Great Wall is a fantastic tour. The itinerary is really varied - you get a good amount of time in Beijing and see lots of different sections of all the wall. (But there's not too much driving and the coach was really comfortable).
The accommodation is often quite basic, but really not as bad as tripadvisor review might make you think. I was pleasantly surprised. The standard isn't up to UK hotels, but then again, it's not the UK.
Our tour leader Puma was absolutely brilliant - fun, infomative, endlessly patient and helpful and really did everything he could to make sure we were all having a good time. He also ordered our food for most evenings meals which was great - we got to try loads of local dishes and he really knew what we'd like. The food was actually brilliant.
The wall in incredible. The scale and beauty of it really doesn't come out in pictures. It's a lot tougher than some people in our group expected. I really enjoyed it and found the pace and intensity about right, but it was a challenge. A lot of the walks start and end in the same place. It would have been nice to do more A to B routes.
Don't expect restored wall and even footing - there's a lot of scrambling in many parts (which I actually enjoyed more than the restored sections). Apart from the first and last day, we had the wall completely to ourselves for 99% of the time which was an unexpected surprise.
The tour takes you to progressively more and more stunning sections of the wall as it goes along, including bits that are really off the beaten track.
The weather was pretty good - but I personally wouldn't want to have been doing those walks in the summer months.
Tips - take snacks (on most of the walking days there's no time for lunch stops and breakfast isn't to everyone's taste), a toilet roll will come in handy, walking boots definitely, the evenings finish early and they don't seem to really do bars, so some evening entertainment might come in handy, and a I wish I'd taken a penknife and bottle opener.
Published on: 17 April 2016