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Sunset on The Great Wall of China

Great Wall Of China Trek 10 days China

Trek
Trek
Hotel
Hotel
Terrain
Terrain
YELLOW 2
Grading


About the Challenge

One of the Seven Wonders of the World, The Great Wall of China has to be the ultimate building project the world has ever known; constructed by human hands over 2000 years ago, it stretches across this hilly region with long spurs and watch-towers often disappearing into the mists.

Our trek is very varied, as we pass through woodland and terraced farmland, and follow the contours of the beautiful hills and mountains in remote areas north of Beijing. We follow old sections of the Great Wall, as well as restored sections with smooth flagstones and lots of steps!

 

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Camilla - June 2019


Discover Adventure would be my go to for any kind of adventure challenge. There are endless options of incredible places to go and you're guaranteed to work with excellent crew both in-country and from DA. A wonderful bonding experience with the other participants too!
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A lot of fun, a lot of laughs, and so supportive of each other. Can't wait for another! Nigel was an excellent leader and from the feedback and conversations of others on the trip he made us all feel safe, comfortable and well looked after. Doctor David was also lovely and a very calming presence who kept an eye on all of us.hey were an excellent pairing! James Ren, our in country leader, was also brilliant. Good sense of humour, very respectful and got to know everyone in the group. Informative and interesting too.
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Itinerary

Great Wall of China Trek (9 days)


OPEN 9 DAYS
 On our Open Challenges you can raise money for any charity of your choice, or pay your own way. This is one of our most popular treks, especially to those new to multi-day trekking.
  • Depending on our flight arrival time, we will either avoid Beijing’s considerable traffic and transfer to the start of our trek at the small town of Huangyaguan, where we can freshen up and relax! Alternatively, when our arrival time makes it practical, we will transfer into Beijing. Here we enjoy a tour of Tianenman Square and the Forbidden City, the must-see sight of Beijing, before a night in the city. There will be a full trip briefing in the evening. Night city hotel / mountain hotel.

    Drive approx 2 hours

    NB: If transferring straight to Huangyaguan, there will be opportunity to visit the Forbidden City at the end of the trip.

  • Huangyaguan is a small town situated in a beautiful valley in the heart of the Yanshan Mountains. After a fairly leisurely start (or driving from Beijing), we have our first experience walking on the Great Wall. After some steep step sections, which give us a good inkling of what lies ahead, we walk predominantly downhill until we again reach Huangyaguan for the evening. Here the wall crosses the road that leads back to our accommodation. Night mountain hotel.

    Trek approx 3-4 hours

  • Our day’s walk begins where we left the Wall yesterday, and we head up the steep renovated steps towards what appears to be a sheer cliff face. This is where we encounter ‘Heaven’s Ladder’, a steep climb of over 200 steps leading us up the cliff face. There are fabulous views from the top, and once we have caught our breath the path continues gradually on steep tracks through forest, up to the top of the ridge. Once again we join the old Wall, and follow it along the contours of the mountain until we clamber down into the valley below. We bed down in the houses of a local village, a real cultural experience. Night homestays.

    Trek approx. 7 hours

  • Waving goodbye to our hospitable hosts, we head up steeply through the farming terraces immediately behind the village. The terraces soon give way to rocky scrub-covered hillsides. Eventually we re-join the Wall, which is unrestored and crumbling so we follow a path alongside it, with fabulous views along the ridgeline to the day’s highest point. We then drop down the hillside and make our way on winding tracks back into the valley, through fields of maize, and walnut and fruit trees, to the village road and our waiting transport. Our drive through the mountains to Jinshanlin is very scenic. Night mountain hotel.

    Trek approx. 4 – 5 hours; drive approx. 3-4 hours

  • A quick 20-minute hop in the bus takes us to our start point just outside the village of Gubeiko. We walk through the village and farmland until our path takes us alongside an un-restored yet well-preserved section of the Wall. This part appears to be of almost brick-like construction and dates back to the Qing Dynasty – the last dynasty to rule over this vast land. We follow a track down into the valley in order to skirt a Chinese military post and follow dirt paths through trees and undergrowth before rejoining the Wall. There are some steep sections and we help each other out if need be. Stunning views of the Great Wall snaking along the hilltops keep us going whenever we find it tough! The final stretch to Jinshanlin is on restored Wall with lots of steps. A short walk through the village and small shops takes us to our simple accommodation. Night mountain hotel.

    Trek approx. 7 – 8 hours

  • Starting where we left off yesterday, we head up the carefully restored steps which take us into the mountains one final time. There are a few sections on older bricks and some dirt tracks, but for most of today we walk on good flagstones. The scenery is superb with rolling purple hills fading into the distance, dotted with many watchtowers; classic ‘scales on a dragon’s back’ scenery. After time to soak up this breathtaking panorama, as we enjoy looking back over the mountains at our huge achievements, we leave the Wall behind and head down on small paths through forest and farmland. We then meet our waiting transport which takes us back to Beijing, the nation’s capital and home to over 20 million people! This evening we have a great celebration to mark our achievements. Night hotel.

    Trek approx. 6 – 7 hours; drive approx. 3 hours

  • We enjoy time visiting Tianenman Square and the amazing Forbidden City before free time to explore or shop. If you saw this on your arrival day, you are free to spend your time as you wish. Night hotel.

    (Lunch and Dinner not included)



Dates & Prices

Prices may vary depending on date.


WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • All return transport from London to Beijing
  • All meals except where specified, and accommodation
  • Discover Adventure leaders; doctor with a group of over 15 participants; local guides & cooks
  • Local support and back-up equipment
  • Tour of Forbidden City on free day and entry to any other sites included in itinerary

WHAT'S EXCLUDED

  • Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • China entry visa (approximately £150 - £200 as of September 2018)
  • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
  • Tips for the local guides and support crew
  • Inbound airport departure tax (no tax applied at the time of writing)
  • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
  • Airline taxes: we cap these so that £250.00 is the maximum you will pay
  • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions


Detailed Information

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Usually leaders are based in the UK or other English-speaking countries and lead for us regularly throughout the year in many different countries. In some instances, trips are led by in-country guides with a wealth of knowledge about the region; they have been trained by us to provide the level of support expected on a Discover Adventure trip.

  • An expedition doctor or medic accompanies the group (dependent on group size.) Their role is to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly, and encourage you when things get tough. The total number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but at Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: participant ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Not all support crew will speak English well, but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. 

    Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek, and you will be provided with a guideline amount in advance. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in many countries we travel to is far below what you would spend on a normal night out.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

  • For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
  • Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick on scheduled airlines and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). 

    Your journey may involve a transit en route, details of route and flight times will be confirmed several months before departure.  We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier and flight times, please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • Accommodation on this trek ranges from good quality international-style hotels in Beijing to more basic mountain hotels or lodges. Expect plenty of variety. There is one night in guesthouses (dorm-style) in converted farmers’ homestays.

  • Some accommodation (in hotels or camp) will be twin-share. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller in a shared room.

    On some nights we are likely to sleep in more communal accommodation such as dormitories/hostels, huts, local homestays or monasteries, depending on the trip, and you may be sharing with a larger number of participants or the whole group; this type of accommodation cannot always be single-sex.

  • Your booking is part of a group challenge, and the tour costs and fundraising targets listed on our website are based on a minimum number of participants which is shown on the challenge  Our typical groups run with approximately 20-30 participants; however you may find your group is smaller or larger than this.

    We will confirm at least 12 weeks prior to departure that your challenge is guaranteed to run. Occasionally it may be possible to still run the challenge with less than the minimum numbers, subject to a small group supplement.  If we think a small group supplement may be necessary, we will discuss this with you as soon as possible, usually 5 months before your departure date. 

    Minimum numbers and groups sizes may vary on Bespoke Charity challenges.  If you are booked onto a bespoke challenge please contact your charity for full details.

  • The food provided is plentiful, often local in style and freshly-cooked, and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we enjoy a buffet-style lunch-stop, other times we might have packed lunches. On some trips we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at the hotel, depending on accommodation. In some regions there may be less variety than you are used to, and in others fresh meat or produce can be harder to come by. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally on travel / free days, giving you the opportunity to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit different budgets.

    Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we may be in very rural or remote areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next. If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the destination and terrain.

    Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • In the unfortunate circumstance that you need to cancel your booking, we would ask that you notify us in writing either by post or email.  Your cancellation will be considered effective from the date the notice is received. Registration fees, amendment fees and insurance premiums are non refundable and, depending on your payment option and how close it is to your challenge departure date, you may be liable for a cancellation charge.

    Full details of all cancellation charges may be found in the Terms and Conditions of booking.

  • We have a Passenger Portal which will give you more details of the challenge itself. It also enables you to see any outstanding information we need, the countdown to your challenge departure, see your outstanding balance, make payments and update your contact details. You can access this via the following link - Passenger Portal Log in.


Preparing for the Challenge

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience, fitness and ability as well as all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. If you have concerns about your fitness or if you have reduced mobility please do contact us for a confidential chat about whether this challenge is appropriate for you.

    For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. To find out if you need a visa you can check your requirements using our partner, Visa Machine, website here; please ensure you allow plenty of time.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

  • Walking is partly on flagstones of various conditions on the Wall, and partly on paths through woodland or farmland. At times it is rough and rocky underfoot, at other times it can be muddy. There are also many steps. If you are unsteady on your feet you may find trekking poles useful.  You will trek approximately 45km in total – though do not base your training on distances! It will feel far longer. It’s much more useful when training to think about the hours you need to walk for!

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

    If you are still to buy some kit don’t forget that Cotswold Outdoor, Snow and Rock, Cycle Surgery and Runners Need offer all Discover Adventure participants 15% off any purchases you make with them. Please ask us for the code if you do not have this already.

  • Travel Insurance is compulsory on our challenges; we strongly suggest that you arrange insurance cover as soon as your booking with us is confirmed. Should you need to cancel on medical grounds, you will need insurance to cover the costs involved (registration fee and any trip costs depending on cancellation date). 

    You should also ensure that you have adequate cover for the type of challenge you are taking part in as well as medical emergencies, evacuation and repatriation.

    You can obtain a quote with Insure to Travel from our website here, or you may choose to take out your own travel insurance, just remember to let us know the policy number and emergency phone number!

    For more information about travel insurance, please click here.

  • For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow participants and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!