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1 Oct 2013

Badaling Station Beijing, China

Beijing [北京]  • 1 OCTOBER 2013
Badaling Station is about 10 minutes' walk from the Great Wall ticket office. On arrival at the station, turn left and walk up the hill, and you will see the ticket office. There are English road signs.

As the closest section of the Great Wall to Beijing, Badaling is by far the most popular part of the site to visit. The best time to visit is early morning, before the tour buses arrive. If you make it past the hoards and hustlers and make the climb itself, the views are quite spectacular. The wall itself was designed to allow five horsemen or ten soldiers to march side by side along the wall! How cool is that! 
Bus routes to the railway station: 9, 10, 20, 24, 25, 29, 39, 52, 59, 103, 104, 122, 403, 420, 434, 457, 637, 638, 639, 640, 668, 673, 674, 728, 729, 744, 938, 957 and some night buses including 203, 204, 208, 209, 211 and for the Subway: Line 2
English service is provided in the international waiting room, soft seat waiting room and the central ticket barrier.
Tourists can buy tickets and reserve seats up to 4 days in advance.

Tickets cost ¥40 and it should take you about 2 hours more or less depending on your fitness levels
Do wear comfortable shoes and proper clothing as it can get pretty chilly up there (despite it being summer). Be warned that the slopes are dangerously steep!!
Bring some water (they do sell bottled water at the mid-point rest area but they're expensive) but note that there's no restroom while you're on the wall! 
Admission Fee:
CNY 45 (Apr. 1 to Oct.31); CNY 40 (Nov.1 to Mar.31)
Cable Car:
CNY 60 (single trip); CNY 80 (round trip)
Pulley: CNY 30 (single trip); CNY 60 (round trip)
Opening Hours:
06:30-19:00 (In summer); 07:00-18:00 (In winter)

Going by train is the hard way. Because it involves trekking to the Beijing North Station (Nearest subway is XizhiMen on the West - and then a 0.5 km walk to the station) then catching the train to Badaling.
The S2 trains are those with the last station as Yanqing departing from Beijing North with these timings - 07:26, 08:00, 09:33, 11:08, 13:19, 15:01 and the return from Badaling is at 09:22, 11:39, 13:07, 15:19 and then 17:05. Tickets each way would be First Class: ¥24 and Second Class: ¥20
Once you arrive at Badaling Station, ignore the minibus drivers offering to drive you to the wall, turn left and walk about 500m to reach the main ticket office where you can get your ticket for the Great Wall.
The other option is the bus to Badaling but there are huge fake bus scams involved so please beware. Do read this reader's experience of taking the bus to Badaling to make up your mind. The first bus leaves at early as 6:30 AM.

The Easy Way and Expensive way
Well the easiest way to get to Badaling is take a car and drive out there. Should be roughly a hour's drive away from downtown Beijing using the Badaling Expressway. And even easier is to do with a tour guide. I found a tour with an English speaking guide which is offering its services for about US $120 for two people (too expensive for me )The other option is to hire a taxi and ask the driver to wait for you. Roughly US$90-100

The Great Wall at Badaling always seems very busy but with a little hike the crowds disappear. It is very easy to get to Badaling on the train which is a quite pleasant ride and offers opportunity to interact with the Chinese tourists on board. It is always and adventure when going to Badaling. I've met people from many parts of the world and seen a very memorable marriage proposal. I have not been bothered by some of the souvenir vendors as has some. The train gives you the flexibility to take your time and enjoy all the activities in the area and still return for a nice dinner in Beijing. We enjoyed immensely our visit to the Great Wall at Badaling. Yes, this is a "reconstructed" wall, and yes, it may have alot of people visiting the site, but we were still in awe at the Great Wall.


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