Q. So where are we going?
Q: What time do we leave and get back?
A: 8.00-9.00 City accommodation pick up pick-ups
8.10-9.10 Depart on the Great Wall
10.10-11.00 Arrive at the Great Wall
10.20-11.10 Start walking with guide
14.00-15.00 Finish walking, have a late lunch
16.00 Depart the Great Wall
18.00+ City accommodation drop offs
Q. How large is the group?
A. We limit hikes to nine hikers to help you get the most out of your vacation, except for families and others booking as a group. You can receive the personal attention you deserve.
Q. Will we be hiking with others?
A. If other guests have reserved on the same day, you might all hike together. The group size is below 9. If you prefer a private hike, please request it in advance.
Q. What’s the weather like?
A. Beijing region has its four distinctive seasons. Spring (March to May) has much wind sometimes sandstorms. It is the good time to visit wild Great Wall. Summers (June to August) are hot, humid, and sometimes rainy. It’s a good idea to travel before early June or late August to avoid the heat. Autumn is generally comfortable. It is probably the best time to visit wild Great Wall. Winter is usually cold, dry but bright, sunny skies and lots of snow. January is the coldest month while July is the warmest.
Q. When’s the best time of year to visit wild Great Wall?
A. Autumn is probably the best time, nice and cool. The sky is high and blue. The mountains are covered with leaves of motley colors: red, yellow, brown, and dark green. There are many fruits in season: grapes, pears, peaches, plums, apricots. You will breathe the pure and fresh country air during your hike.
Q. Where is your Office located?
A. Our office is at 6th floor Building 5 Alpha Community Tongzhou district Beijing. Our office hour: 8:00am to 5:00pm (GMT+0800), Monday to Friday.
Q. What about our accommodations?
A. You usually stay at local farmer’s guesthouses or camping overnight on the Great Wall. Farmer’s guesthouses are family-owned, with the family living on the premises, like a hotel, but a bit more basic. The rooms have air-conditioning, hot water and TV and are generally equipped with 2 single beds. Guesthouses provide us authentic farmhouse style dishes. The fresh vegetables we will eat are all from their own farmland. Most guesthouses don’t provide towels, bath towels, dental cleaning. They have a more limited staff presence.
Q. How do hikers get water while hiking?
A. We provide free-bottled mineral water in the vehicle each day (two bottles a day) and of course you can bring extra bottles of water for your hike.
Q. What is the camping equipment like?
A. Th teents are easy to erect. They are canvas square tents with 1 peg in each corner and a pole in the middle, complete with built-in floor and insect screens. We use spacious two-person tents and thick (air/foam-filled) sleeping pads, warm sleeping bags to ensure your evenings are comfortable and restful. All you need to bring is a sense of adventure to enjoy a comfortable night on the Wall.
Q. Can I have a single tent?
A. Single tents are available on all our camping tours. Sole use of tents can be requested at time of booking (limited number available) at 200RMB as extra charge.
Q. What vehicles do you provide?
A. Cars, vans and minibuses. All our vehicles are modern comfortable and air-conditioned. More about vehicles.
- Medium: 1 – 2 passengers, e.g. Red Flag (Chinese version Audi).Benteng.
- Large: 3 – 7 passengers, e.g. Mercedes MB100, Refine 10
- Minibuses: 7 – 15 passengers, e.g. Coaster Coach
Q. How many different hikes does Wild Great Wall offer?
A. So far we know of 12 different hikes within a 2-hour drive of Beijing. We have carefully selected the hikes from among many favorites to suit your interests and requirements.
Q. Who guides the hikes?
A. Hikes are guided by our seasoned guides. Your guides will lead your hike with their stories; answer questions regarding the particular hike and much more, help you explore wild Great Wall, find a suitable stopping place for lunch, and ensure that no hiker is left behind. They are familiar with the area in which they work and know the wildlife in that area. You have your own local contact to ask for suggestions, ideas and opinions about restaurants, other activities and more.
Q. Are your guides registered with the relevant authorities?
A. Yes. All of our guides are registered for Beijing in which they operate.
Q. Why isn’t there a rating as to the difficulty of the hike?
A.We don’t rate the difficulty of our hikes because all our hikes are alike in distance: from 8 to 12 kilometers each day. Each hike has its own character and offers its own brand of experience.
Q. Do I have to take every hike? Can I spend some time sightseeing Beijing attractions?
A. Not necessary to take every hike. Do only the hikes you want to take. We understand some people just want a taste of the hiking experience of wild Great Wall. Others might want to explore the Wall. So the choice is yours. If hiking is a new experience for you, choosing short hikes and hiking with others in a group is probably a good way to get started.
Q. Do you offer group discounts?
A. Of course. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 people and above. To help families we offer discounts to all children aged 17 years and below. Please contact us for further information.
- Ages 0 to 4 years – FREE!
- Ages 5 to 11 years – 50% off
- Ages 12 to 17 years – 25% off
- 5% off with valid student ID
Q. What exactly is included in the price? And what’s not?
A. Accommodations for multiday hikes, meals as described in itinerary, transport, guiding service, entrance fees to different sections of the Wall are included.
Not included? Any breakfast or dinner NOT on the itinerary, personal expenses (souvenirs, beer etc) phone calls, insurance, airfare, anything not on the scheduled itinerary.
Q. What costs are associated with each hike?
A. Transportation costs, park fees, meals, guiding service fee, entrance fees and accommodations are listed in the description for each hike.
Q. Do I have to book a hike in advance or is it enough to book it when I arrive in Beijing?
A. It is highly recommended to book a hike in advance to make sure you will have place available to suit your timescale.
Q. How to book a hike?
A. Booking is easy. There are three ways to book a hike: send us an email, or you may fill in the form online as soon as you think you might want to do a wild Great Wall hike or tailor an itinerary to meet your exact requirements. The booking form can be found by going to the trip page that you would like to travel on. You are welcome to give us a ring.
Q. What information do I need to give when booking a hike?
A. What we need to have is your name, when you want to come, how much time you’ve got, where you are staying at, what pace you prefer, how many people in your party and some way of contacting you either an e-mail or a phone number. We respect the privacy of our guests and the privacy of their personal information. Your personal information (email, contact address) will not be published or shared with anyone without your permission. You retain all rights to your information.
Q. How do I know whether my reservation has been confirmed or not?
A. We start to arrange logistics once we receive your confirmation of your trip. We’ll email your trip confirmation which includes all the information like the time, route, date, and total costs before your departure and look forward to welcoming you!
Q. Can I change my itinerary?
A. Absolutely! If you could give us as much notice as possible that would be great. Prior to one week before arriving in Beijing, you can make any changes you want. We’ll do our best to make changes. We’ll send out your trip confirmation before your departure and look forward to welcoming you!
Q. When and how do I pay for the hike fee?
A. You will pay the cost in cash to reception people at your arrival. You don’t pay for the trip until after your trip has taken place. No pre-payment or deposit is required. Sending money abroad could be a slightly risky business and may make it difficult to obtain a refund if you need to amend /cancel booking in any way. Your money will be safe.
Q. I never learned Mandarin when I was in school. Would I make it?
A. It’s not essential to know how to speak Chinese when travelling around China. We can help you get into wild Great Wall, that’s what we are here for. There are lots of English-speakers in hostels, hotels too. A good recommendation is just to know 10-20 phrases that should be enough to get you through most situations. Here are some basic starter words/phrases in Chinese:
- Hello/How Are You/Good Day: Ni Hao. (Knee How)
- Goodbye: Zai jian. (Dzai gee-en)
- Yes: Shi (Shrr) No: Bu Shi (Boo-shrr)
- Excuse Me/I’m Sorry: duey bu chi (Dway-boo-chee)
- Thank You: Xie-xie ni. (Syeah-syeah nee)
Q. When will I return to the downtown of Beijing?
A. The usual time of our coming back to Beijing is from 4pm to 7pm in general. All in all it depends on your preferred pace and the traffic in the city.
Q. What if I’m travelling on my own?
A. We welcome solo travelers and we’ve had people start off as strangers and become lifelong friends forever. One of the best things about travel is the great people you meet.
Q. Do I need insurance?
A. It’s really important that you make sure you have appropriate levels of travel insurance to cover personal injury or illness before your departure.
Q. If I arrive at the airport, can you collect me, take me to my hotel and then do a hike?
A. Absolutely. We’ll help you arrange an easy transfer to your hotel if you need this.
Q. How do I chose a hotel or do you do this for me?
A. We have a number of trusted hotels which we know. We’ll find out your preference and help you book in if you need this.
Q. What if I’m not happy with my hike?
A. You’ll have someone to complain to! We really hope this doesn’t happen but if so, we are easy to reach and we’ll do our very best to sort out the problem. If you are still unhappy when you return home, then contact us at [email protected] within 3 weeks of your return and we’ll look into your concerns.
Q. What’s the electricity in China?
A.China has both 110Volts and 220volts and plugs have 3 flat pins placed diagonally. It is necessary to get a portable plug adaptor before you go .You can buy adaptors here or in your local countries.
Q. What about public transport in Beijing?
A. We have an extensive underground system (subway) and numerous bus routes. Subway is fast and convenient with English signage. Most stations have self serve ticketing machines. The subway can get very crowded during peak hours (7am-9am, 5-7.30pm) but trains run frequently.
Q. What do I need to know about my safety in Beijing?
A. Beijing is China’s safest city to visit. It is probably one of the safest cities in the world. Like all large towns, it is important to keep valuables and bags secure at all times. It is best to avoid wandering into isolated areas alone. Beijing seems to always be in a rush hour so crossing street with care is very necessary.
Preparation for enjoying hiking
Q. What shoes should I wear?
A. Comfortable, practical and durable shoes will definitely serve you better than others. Hiking boots or walking shoes, that’s probably the issue of your personal preference. Generally the footwear needs to have the kind of sole that won’t have you slipping on any surfaces while you are walking in the wilderness.
Q. What clothes should I wear?
A. Based on time of year and locale, wear clothes that feel comfortable while hiking. The clothing you choose should help your body maintain a comfortable temperature during the hike. Please pay attention to weather forecast before your departure.
Q. Should I bring a camera or leave it at home?
A. By all means, yes. You’ll definitely take lots of pictures on wild Great Wall. Make sure your memory cards have enough space and you have the proper adaptors/converters to recharge your camera.
Q. What about toilet facilities on wild Great Wall?
A. Generally on the trail or on the Wall there is no public toilet. More often than not we will be to use the woods when “nature calls” while hiking. It is easy to find a toilet at the foot of Great Wall, like in the villages or farmer’s guesthouse.
Q. Can I leave things on the car/van during the hike?
A. We can leave non-valuable items, such as a change of clothes, extra bag or reading material on the car/van during the hike. Only bring valuables that are small enough that you intend to carry in your day pack. Valuables should never be left on the car/van.
Q. How much water should I carry?
A. As much as you comfortably can. It depends on the length of the hike, the weather and your fitness level. We generally recommend 2 liters per person per day.
Q. Should I bring a hiking stick?
A. It depends entirely on you. It is a common sense that hiking sticks can take some of the stress off your legs. Many hikers enjoy using a stick even though they are in great physical condition and have a sense of balance coordination. Others wouldn’t take it.
Q. What happens if it rains?
A. It’s usually refreshing. Our hikes operate in light rain and other moderate weather conditions. We would offer to switch your hike if it’s in severe or unsafe weather conditions. Your safety and well-being are our top priority.
Q. Are gratuities accepted?
A. Gratuities are welcome and greatly appreciated if you have received good service. It will let the guide/driver know he has done a good job!