How did we do it?
We wentt to a section in
Zhuangdaokou and hiked to the nearby village of #Huanghuacheng
I talked to them and they were very friendly. The guy (Jules) is fluent in both spoken and written Chinese because he worked in Southern China as an ESL teacher a few years back. We were lucky.
Once on the wall, ( facing same position before you climb it) you can choose to either go left or right. The one on the left is restored on the first few meters and the rest are crumbling so it could be very challenging. Plus, it leads t nowhere. Try this route if you feel like walking for days before you get to another village. The one on the right will lead you to another village ---Huanghuacheng.
I would rate this hike moderate. It could take a bit strenuous if you rush yourself. Take your time. Enjoy every step. And with should be respect for this great place. Sabi nga ng wife ko, hinalikan nya yung wall when I was not looking. If you will hike through it in moderate speed, it will only take 1 hour and you will be on the other side. I remember going through three towers before we reached the highest portion. From there it was downhill and a little more easy. I took hundreds of photos of course. It was already past 10:00 am when we started our climb and it took us more than two hours to get to the other side because we had a lot of stops for rest and taking photos.
Going down the village is of course easier than the ascend but one has to be careful. You need to take it slow because it most of the wall on this part is smooth---meaning, no steps. We were lucky it wasn't rainy on our visit or else it would have been very risky going down. The floor of the wall and most parts is restored and that leaves me wondering if this was the original state of this section when it was originally constructed because I get the feeling that it was not at tinamad nalang sila so they just made it flat. Hahahaha
And the above description of the walls condition going down should be your maim consideration if it is from Huanghuacheng to Zhoudaokou for you or not. If you are into adventure then start at Huanghuacheng. Sure, it easier to get to this village from Huairou but it is more difficult to hike up coming from here because of the absence of steps. I still suggest to start from Zhuangdaokou and end in Huanghuacheng.
The other goof reason is that, even if you finish later during the day, there are more buses coming from this village back to Huairou.
Beijing (about 103 km) The Jiankou Great Wall;
Beijing (about 150 km) The Gubeikou Great Wall;
Beijing (about 157 km) The Jinshanling Great Wall;
Beijing (about 149 km) The Simatai Great Wall;
Beijing (about 81 km) The Mutianyu Great Wall;
Beijing (about 80 km) The Huanghaucheng Great Wall;
Beijing (about 59 km) The Juyongguan Great Wall;
Beijing (about 69 km) The Badaling Great Wall.
PS: Special thanks to our roommate at Happy Dragon Hostel for telling us about this place and for even making us borrow his Lonely Planet book which gave us confidence to try this section of the wall. If not for him, we would have opted for the usual tours. Also to Jules and his wife for allowing us to go with them from Huairou to Zhuangdaokouand from Huanghuacheng back to Huairou and Beijing.
--BEIJING OLYMPIC GREEN: #Bird'sNest #WaterCube