The Great Wall amusement park of Badaling sure has a pretty wall – too bad you can’t see it through all those tourists. OK, sometimes you can see the wall here quite well, but if you come to this most popular section on a summer weekend you can forget about seeing much of anything except people. Great Wall hiking elitism aside, for many people the convenience of this area is offset by the souvenir hawkers and the hordes of tourists that can at times make walking come to a standstill. The highest visitation day in Badaling’s history saw 41,000 tourists. While you digest that number remember that the section’s most recent full renovation in the 1980s also makes historical authenticity pretty lackluster.
Nevertheless, Badaling photos can be postcard worthy (again, if there aren't too many people), and its tourist facilities are top notch. Badaling is great for the leisurely visitor, those pressed for time, the disabled, or those who want to view the Wall in its most accurately restored form representing 14th century Ming bastions. Your best bet is to come on a weekday.
Hiking & Info
The steps can be quite large, and some short areas offer a steep descent, but Badaling is highly manageable, so walking this section is particularly well suited for those with physical impairments and/or small children. Keep in mind, however, that busy days can be so crowded that walking is no longer a convenient option, and pictures may be loaded with throngs of people.
Pack & Additional Options
Sunscreen, Water, Snacks, Camera
Cable car – ¥60 one way, ¥80 round trip
Taxi - ¥400 to ¥700 round trip.
Badaling-bound buses all depart from the north side of Deshengmen (德胜门) gateway. From Jishuitan (积水潭) subway station on Line 2, head east for 500 m (1,640 ft). Listed below are bus schedules:
887 – ¥12; 1 hour; 6:00 to 17:00; arrives at Badaling east car park
919 – ¥12; 1.5 hours; 6:00 to 18:30; arrives at Badaling west car park
880 – ¥12; 1.5 hours; 7:00 to 17:00; arrives at Badaling west car park
Catch a tour bus at the Beijing Hub of Tourist Dispatch Catch a tour bus at the Beijing Hub of Tourist Dispatch
(Běijīng Lǚyóu Jísàn Zhōngxīn 北京旅游集散中心; phone : 8353 1111; website: www.bjlyjszx.com/english/index_1.htm), located south of Tian'anmen Square. Prices include return ticket and Badaling entry ticket.
Line A – ¥160; includes lunch and a trip to the Ming Tombs; departs 6:30 to 10:30 (Apr 1-Oct 15), 7:00 to 10:30 (Oct 16-Mar 31); this is a 9 hour trip
Line B – ¥190; includes lunch and a trip to the Summer Palace; departs at 9:30
Line C – ¥120; departs 6:30 to 11:00 (Apr 1-Oct 15), 9:00 to 10:30 (Oct 16-Mar 31)
Beijing North Station next to Xizhimen subway station (line 2, 4 and 13) is your departure hub for Badaling. Return trains set off from Badaling station, next to the west car park.
Morning departures – 6:12; 7:58; 8:34; 9:02 and 10:57
Afternoon returns – 13:02; 15:19; 15:52; 16:21; 17:33 and 19:55