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Trekking-on-The-Great-Wall

 
   Amdo Tour
 
[ GW-CA-013 ] Beijing-Great Wall Trekking from the west to the east-Beijing
( 22 days )

The Great Wall, whose building started more than 2,000 years ago, as a defensive fortification. Just like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall
winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 8,851.8 kilometers (5,500 miles) from east
to west of China. Now, some of the sections are in ruins or have disappeared. However, it is still one of the most appealing attractions all around
the world.

During this trip, you will see the Great Walls mostly built during the Ming Dynasty, traversing Gansu Province, Qinghai Province, Ningxia Province,
Inner Mongolia, Shanxi Province, Beijing, Hebei Province.
Day 1 Arrive Beijing

Arrive in Beijing, the capital of China. Pick up from the airport and transfer to your comfortable hotel. Dinner is on
your own. (NO meal)

Day 2 Beijing-Jiayuguan
(2200km by air)

Take a morning flight to Jiayuguan, the site of the fort that
marks the western end of the Great Wall in Gansu Province.
We will meet the local guide at the airport, and transfer to the
hotel. Pay a visit to the Tombs of Wei & Jin Dynasties, 15
kilometers northeast of Jiayuguan. Entering the cold stone
tomb, you will marvel at the vivid murals and special layout
inside. Most tombs are of families, each tomb generally has
two or three chambers which are connected by corridors
paved with tiles in various flower patterns. The exquisite
murals on the inner chamber walls tell the master and
mistress's contemporary carefree life, and servant's hard
working. Most reflect the political, cultural, military, and
scientific developments of the Wei and Jin Dynasty age. (B,L,D)

 

Day 3 Jiayuguan-
Zhangye
(hiking: 7-8km, 3 hrs;
driving: 244km)

In the morning we will meet the drive and van that we will use until Day 10 inclusive. We will first visit the
Jiayuguan Pass, the first pass at the west end of the Great Wall of China and was built during the Ming Dynasty,
earned the name “Strategic Pass under the Heaven”. The desolate desert surroundings and the snow-capped
Qilian Mountains form a dramatic backdrop to the impressive fort, to keep out the remnants of the defeated
Mongols. It is also served as logical place of Silk Road. Our first
hiking will be from Jiayuguan Pass to the Overhanging Great
Wall, some 8km to the north, an important part of the defensive
work of Jiayuguan Pass. Built with sandstone and clay, it is a
rich sandy-brown color, and quite different from the gray bricks
seen elsewhere. Then, drive to Zhangye, a famous commercial
port on the Silk Road. Pay a visit to the Giant Buddha Temple,
the largest architectural relic in Gansu Province of the Western
Xia (1038-1227) period. The Giant Buddha Temple was built in
1098 to house the Buddha. (B,L,D)

Day 4 Zhangye-
Shandan-Wuwei
(driving: 257km; hiking:
16-20km, 6 hrs)

This morning, drive 1.5 hours to Shandan, where we will start
our today’s hiking. The scenery during the 16-20km hiking is
quite varied: grassland, Gobi Desert, red stone mountains,
and the ruins of both a fortress and a beacon tower. Then, we
will drive to Wuwei, called Liangzhou in ancient time. Its
importance as a stop along the Silk Road made it a
crossroads of cultures and ethnicities from all over central
Asia. Numerous Buddhist grottoes and temples in the area
attest to its role as a path for bringing Buddhism from India
and Afghanistan to China. Visit the Leitai Han Tombs, in which
the most important find was the Bronze Galloping Horse.
Known in Chinese as “Ma Chao Long Que”, the horse is depicted in a full gallop supported on just one foot upon
the back of a bird in flight which has been adopted as a symbol for Chinese tourism. (B,L,D)

Day 5 Wuwei-
Zhongwei-campsite
(driving: 300km, hiking:
5km)


This morning we will drive for half day along the Old Silk Road to
Zhongwei, a desert city in Ningxia Province which is surrounded
by sand dunes. We will also stop briefly at the highly-photogenic
“S” bent of the Yellow River. We will ride camel to the Tengger
Desert. Then start our hiking in the late afternoon, this ancient
Great Wall named Si fangdun Great Wall, half of which will be in
the desert and the other half on and along the ruins of the Wall.
Partway we will pass a beautiful lake - Gaodun Lake. Dinner in
the desert. (B,L,D)  

Accommodation: camping in the desert

 

Day 6 Camel Riding-
campsite
(camel riding)

 

Today is our day to imagine life in the camel caravans that
traveled the Silk Road so many years ago. We will ride woolly
Bactrian camels from our morning campsite to our evening one,
across what appears to be the endless Tengger Desert. That
evening, we will view the setting sun from our campsite, and
wake up to a magnificent sunrise the next morning before our
busy Day07 activities start. (B,L,D)         
                    
Accommodation: camping in tents

 

Day 7 Campsite-
Qingtongxia-Wuzhong
(driving: 150km; hiking:
8km)


Enjoy the magnificent sunrise in the morning. After
breakfast, we will take an exciting trip down the Yellow River
(the second-longest river in China) by sturdy sheep-skin
raft. Then drive to Qingtongxia, we will have a short visit to
the curious 108 Dagobas, located near the bank of the river
in the shape of an equilateral triangle. Then, we will start to
hike on the wall for about 8km in the afternoon, seeing both
Pigeon Mountain along the way. Then we will arrive at
Wuzhong. After2 days of camping, we will enjoy the
amenities of a good hotel in town. (B,L,D)       

Day 8 Wuzhong-
Gaoshawo-
Campsite(driving:
100km; hiking: about
15km)

 

Wuzhong is a special area for the Hui minority who are
Muslims - therefore one highlight will be a visit to their local
Bazaar after breakfast. Drive to Gaoshawo, from where we will
hike to our No.3 campsite, about 3-4 hours on the way. By this
time you will be enjoying the fresh air, the healthy life-style, and
being at one with Nature, appreciating of the stark beauty of the
Gobi desert, with its sparse animal and plant life. Although we
may see an occasional Steppe Eagle during the day, geckos,
and other desert inhabitants normally emerge after dark, when
it is cooler. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: camping in tents

 

Day 09 Campsite-
Yinchuan (driving:
150km;hiking: about 15-
20km)



The scenery on the way becomes greener as we enter an
area of grasslands, dotted with small lakes, villages, and
along the Wall, ruins of fortresses built so many years ago! At
the end of our hiking day, we will drive to Yinchuan, the capital
of Ningxia Province. (B,L,D)

Day 10 Yinchuan-
Taiyuan-Shuozhou
(700km by air; driving:
220km)

 

This morning we will take a sightseeing tour to West Xia
King’s Tombs
(Xixia Wang Ling), which are heralded by the
Chinese as the "Pyramids of China". The tombs were
originally created by the founder of the Western Xia
Kingdom (1038-1237 AD), Li Yuanhao, who built over 70
tombs, one for himself, a number for his relatives and more
to be left empty, presumably against theft. In the afternoon,
take a flight from Yinchuan to Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi
Province. Meet the local guide at the airport and transfer to
the hotel in Shuozhou, located in the north of Shanxi
Province. (B,L,D)
Day 11 Shuozhou-
hiking eastward through
small villages (driving:3
hrs; hiking: about 17km,
8 hrs)



Drive 3 hours to Lao Niu Wan (Old Ox River bend) where the
Great Wall meets the Yellow River. Then, trek eastward
along the boundary of Shuozhou and Inner Mongolia. Many
dynasties throughout history built their walls in this area,
such as the Warring States, Eastern Wei, Northern Qi,
Northern Zhou, Sui Dynasty, Song Dynasty, Ming Dynasty
and Qing Dynasty. But, due to natural disasters and man-
made sabotage, sections of the Great Wall in Shanxi are not
exempted from destruction. Most are the disjointed relics of
Great Wall, the body of the walls were weathered to grow
smaller or collapsed to change to the farmland. Stay
overnight in Huashizhai. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: guesthouse or camping
Day 12 Huashizhai-Bai
Ni Yao-Youyu County
(hiking: 4 hrs; driving: 4
hrs)


Trek from Huashizhai to Bai Ni Yao. This section is relatively
well-preserved, which was the remnant of the Great Wall built
in North Wei. Both sides of the wall are planted with the trees,
and the piers are scattered randomly and stretched to the far.
Many photographic fans like this part, especially in autumn: the
blue sky, the golden land stretched afar, the strange-shaped
trees, the infertile yellow earth, the harvesting farmers, the
sheep eating grass around the remnant of the Great Wall at
ease, which will provide the best material to the humane
pictures with the thick color and unlimited imagination. Then,
drive 4 hours to Youyu, and check in the hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 13 Shahukou-ruins
of a Fortress-Datong
(hiking: 2 hrs; driving:
120km)

 

Drive to Shahukoui, located near the boundary of Shanxi Province
and Inner Mongolia. It is 100km from Datong and 180km from
Huhhot. Then, trek to West Fifteen Gou Village. Shahukou has a
circumference of 20km, you will not only appreciate the mighty
and ancient structures, but also enjoy the magnificent natural
scenery. Then, drive to Datong, known as the “City of the Coal”.
Datong is one of the 24 famous historical and cultural cities in
China due to its ever prosperous history. Stay overnight in Datong
Hotel or the same standard. (B,L,D)
Day 14 Datong- Beijing
(take train)

Today we will visit the famous Yunguang Grottoes, with their 252 caves and 51,000 statues, represent the
outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art in China in the 5th and 6th centuries. Shanhua Monastery contains
more than thirty Buddhist statues sculptured during the Liao and Jin dynasties, the most noteworthy being
covered in gold leaf. Then take an afternoon train to Beijing. Transfer to the hotel on arrival. (B,L,D)

Day 15 Beijing-
Gubeikou-Jinshanling
(driving: 170km, hiking:
3 hrs)



Drive from Beijing to Gubeikou Great Wall. Continue trek from General
Tower in Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall. On the way, you will pass
a military area where you have to trek a short distance country road away
from the wall. Today’s trekking is easy because the Jinshanling section
of the Great Wall is still kept well. (B,L,D)

Day 16 Jinshanling-
Huangyaguan
(driving: 105km, hiking:
2 hrs)

 

Drive to Huangyaguan, another important pass on the Wall,
located in the south mountain area of Jixian County in Tianjin.
The Huangyaguan Great Wall has two sections: The east
section runs from the pass to Taipingzhai Great Wall and the
west section from the pass to Wangmaoding Mountain. Each
section has its own special characteristics. In the afternoon, trek
the western part of the wall, constructed on steep cliffs and part
of it is single-sided. It is not very long and a small segment of
the wall is in ruins. Then, trek back to the pass along the same
way. Stay overnight in the hostel at the bottom of the wall. (B,L,D)
Day 17 Huangyaguang-
Qing East Tomb-
Zunhua
(hiking: 2 hrs; driving:
70km)


Get up early in the morning and hike the eastern part of
Huangyaguan Section, 873 meters long with heights ranging
from 400 to 500 meters. Although Taipingzhai Great Wall is
also single-sided, it is better preserved and not as dangerous
as the west section. Here, too, a handrail is available as you
continue along the wall. Huangyaguan Great Wall trekking
ends in Taipingzhai Village at the foot of the mountain. Drive to
visit Eastern Qing Tomb, a sacred burial ground along
Changrui Mountain in the west of Malanyu Town, Zunhua
County of Hebei Province, it is one of the two tomb areas
devoted to the emperors, empresses and imperial
concubines of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911, the last feudal empire in China). The tombs of five emperors, four
empresses, five imperial concubines, and one princess are arrayed based on the traditional concept of placing
the most senior and most distinguished in the center. Stay overnight in a hotel in Zunhua. (B,L,D)

Day 18 Zunhua-
Luweishan-Beidaihe
(driving: 100km, hiking:
4-5km, about 5 hrs)



Transfer to Luweishan, start trekking along the wild wall from
Luweishan to Liujiakou where is known for its huge cross-river
watchtower. This part of Great Wall contains beautiful Ming-era
calligraphy bricks in the Wall. The towers here are very close to
each other, thus forming an intensive defense system. Then,
transfer to Beidaihe. Stay overnight in a hotel in Beidaihe. (B,L,D)

Day 19 Beidaihe-
Dongjiakou  
(driving: 60km, trekking:
2.5 hrs)

 

After breakfast in the hotel, drive to Dongjiakou. This section of
the Great Wall is located to the northeast of Funing County, which
is 38 miles from Qinhuangdao downtown. As an important
strategic point, this section fortified with 36 turrets, 28 ramparts
and 16 beacon towers with a total length of 8.5 miles. The highest
altitude is 556m. Trek from Dongjiakou to Chengziyu. The
architectural forms of the Great Wall are various. Some the relief
carvings on the arched gateways are scanty in China, because
this is the vivid embodiment of the culture from south China,
which General Qi brought in from Fujian Province. You will trek
some part of Dongjiakou Great Wall, taking 2 and half hours. Stay
overnight in family house. (B,L,D)
Day 20 Dongjiakou-
Jiaoshan-Shanhaiguan
Pass
(driving: 50km; trekking:
5 hrs)


Transfer to visit Jiaoshan Great Wall, which section is only 1.5km
long, and trek to Shanhaiguan Pass. The first part is from
Jianshan Mountain to Weiyuan Hall. The wall was built by green
bricks and filled in with loess and gravel. Many sections of wall
have been collapsed and only some adobes are left. The second
part is from North Gate (only 200m west of Weiyuan Hall) to the
First Pass, it has been blocked, you need to get off the way and
take the bus. Then trek again in First Pass sightseeing area,
taking about one hour with walking at this part. The "First Pass
Under the Heaven" is actually am arrow tower. It is 13 meters
high, 10.1 meters wide from east to west and 19.7 meter long
from north to south. The tower also has two floors, and altogether
there are three steles which inscripted by words of "First Pass under the Heaven". Stay overnight in a local hotel.
(B,L,D)  

Day 21 Shanhaiguan
Pass-Laolongtou-
Beijing  (hiking: 4.5 hrs;
driving: 285km)



Visit the Great Wall Museum, then trek to Laolongtou (Old
Dragon Head). This part is about 5km, take about half day to
finish it. On the way, you could have a good view of sea and rural
scenery. The trekking ends in the Old Dragon Head, the very
eastern end of the Great Wall, where it plunges into the sea. It
was built in the Ming Dynasty by General Xu Da. Drive back to
Beijing in the afternoon. Check in the hotel on arrival. (B,L,D)

Day 22 Depart from
Beijing

Transfer to the airport and prepare for boarding on your homebound flight. TOUR ENDS! (B)

B:Breakfast  L:Lunch  D:Dinner
 


Hotel list (or the same standard):

Beijing: ***(*) Days Inn Forbidden City Beijing
Jiayuguan: **** Changcheng Hotel
Zhangye: **** Hua Chen Hotel
Wuwei: *** Rong Hua Hotel
Wuzhong: **** Hong Bao Hotel
Yinchuan: **** Kaida Hotel
Jinshanling: Jinshanling Hotel
Simatai: Sima Shanzhuang Guesthouse
Huangyaguan: Huangya Shanzhuang Guesthouse 
Shuozhou: ***(*) Hai Yuan Grand Hotel
Huashizhai: guesthouse or camp 
Baiyu: *** Baiyu Hotel
Datong: **** Datong Hotel 
Zunhua: *** Zunhua Hotel
Dongjiakoui: guesthouse
Shanhaiguan: **** Shanhai Holiday Hotel

Include:

  1. Twin sharing accommodation: 18 nights in hotel or beds in guesthouse
  2. Domestic fights in economic class and its airport tax: Beijing-Jiayuguan, Yinchuan-Taiyuan
  3. Train ticket: Datong-Beijing
  4. Lunch and Dinner as mentioned in the itinerary
  5. (first) Entrance fee mentioned above: Jiayuguan Pass, Zhangye Giant Buddha Temple, Leitai Han Tomb, West Xia King’s Tomb (included
    boat), Yungang Grottoes, Laolongtou, Shanhaiguan Pass, Jiaoshan Great Wall, Dongjiakou, Qing East Tomb, Huangyaguan, Jinshanling,
    Gubeiko
  6. English speaking accompanying guide through out program on all days with excursions
  7. All Transfers specified in the itinerary by air-conditioned vehicle   

Exclude:

  1. International Flight and airport tax
  2. Tips, personal expenses
  3. Transfer for “day at leisure”
  4. Guide Service during the plane and train
Camping tents and outdoor gear: 3-4 nights for camp
 
 
 
 


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