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Huang Hua Great Wall Travel Blog

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The Great Wall at Huang Hua

People I met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Charlene, Steve and Lisa (USA)

It was a 07.30 start on Wednesday, to ensure it gave us enough time to reach Dongzhimen Long Distance Bus Station, where we had arranged to meet Charlene, Steve and Lisa. The bus station wasn't really what i envisaged, for the best part it was just a load of bus stops on the road. As we had arrived a little early we had time to sample some street food for breakfast, which contained egg, cracker, paste and dough. I have no idea what it was or what its called, but i do know that it hit the spot.

Thankfully the guys were persistent in finding us, as at one stage we thought that our meeting may go pear shaped, due to there been no real central terminal, like we had arranged to meet at.

The Great Wall at Huang Hua
Around 09.15 they turned up bright eyed and bushy tailed and Bus 916 was boarded for the princely sum of 6RMB ($0.85), which took us to the town of Huairou. The journey took almost 2 hours, even though it was only meant to take 1, i have no idea why! As the guys had an evening train to take and they were a little worried over time, they paid 120RMB ($17) for a minivan that ferried us too and from the wall, a 45 minute journey each way, with 90 minute waiting time. If you take pubic transport instead, the journey is 4RMB ($0.60) each way.

Arriving at the base of the wall in Huang Hua, i was surprised at how few people were there. To be exact, there was an old man and 3 old women all trying to sell us souvenirs and that was it. The 5 of us crossed the dam of a reservoir to reach the wall and here encountered an old woman who was levying a 2RMB ($0.
The Great Wall at Huang Hua
30) fee to walk along the path. I don't think you have to pay this, but we weren't in any mood to squabble over a few pennies, not when the Great Wall was sat right there and just waiting to be climbed! Anyway, most other sections you have to pay anything ranging from 35RMB ($5) to 70RMB ($10), so we couldn't grumble!

Walking along a dirt path up to the wall, a wooden ladder was clearly visible propped up against one of the Worlds most well known structures and we initially joked that this was probably the entrance, only to find that it actually was! A few Chinese girls who had just come down assured us that this was in fact the correct way to gain access, which didn't particularly sit well with Lisa and Charlene who are afraid of heights! Steve on the other hand was like a kid in the playground and was up the ladder faster than a ferret up a drainpipe!

Eventually the 5 of us clambered onto the wall and there were two things that struck me.
The Great Wall at Huang Hua
Firstly, WOW! This place is beautiful and secondly, why the hell are we the only people here?! The hostels in Beijing run tours to parts of the wall they claim to be deserted and charge 320RMB ($50), which people happily pay, and here we were having paid $6 each! For the 5 of us, thats a saving of $220!

Clambering up the wall was great fun, as the wind gusted in and threatened to blow you off the steep drop offs next to the walls edge. Towering mountain ranges, with the wall snaking off into the distance provided the backdrop as slowly but surely we ascended to the highest points. After 50 minutes we were at the top of a ridge, which offered sublime views, and the engineering feat from this perspective seemed completely unimaginable.
The Great Wall at Huang Hua


At this particular section of wall, it is said that each inch of masonry represented one days work of a laborer. This impressive statistic led to Lord Cai's execution, as the government believed it was rather an unnecessary overindulgence. If its any consolation to the poor chap, i thought it was some bloody good work, i take my hat off to you sir!

Beacon towers, parapets and impressive ramparts appeared at regular sections of wall and it made for a really inspiring day out. Why no-one else was there, i have no idea, but in all the time we spent, we only ran into 2 other Westerners, as we were heading off the wall and 2 small groups of Chinese youths. My recommendation would be to get your bum there as fast as possible, before China's best kept secret is finally unearthed!

After the minivan ride back to Huairou, we were all famished and ended up in KFC, even though Lisa and Charlene are vegetarians.
The Great Wall at Huang Hua
There were 2 reasons for this, that we were out of time and needed to grab something on the run, and that Julia and I had lured them with the promise of scrumptious egg tarts! Thankfully the bus back to Beijing only took an hour, at which point we said our farewells and drew to a close another successful chapter in the round the world travbuddy meet up club!

Deats says:
Began in Beijing, if you follow the instructions at the top, it tells the bus station and even bus number :) I hope you enjoy as much as i did :)
Posted on: Jan 27, 2009
RJ82 says:
hey deats thanks for blog help! cant believe its so cheap. your blog was a great help.. where was your starting point to huang hua?
Posted on: Jan 26, 2009
cmgervais says:
Mmmm, thanks for reminding me about those tarts. They WERE good, weren't they? And this was a good day... it was fun to read your version of it.
Posted on: May 27, 2008
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The Great Wall at Huang Hua
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Huang Hua Great Wall
photo by: cmgervais