|A #casuallean on the Gubeikou section of the Great Wall.
The latest issue of NZ’s number one travel mag Let’s Travel is out and it features my second of three China articles, this one all about the Great Wall and the Gubei Water Town of Gubeikou. People are often a bit stumped as to which part of the Great Wall to visit and given it’s more than 8000 kilometres long, that’s hardly surprising. But with the Wall so accessible from Beijing, it’s worth noting there are several sections you can visit from the Chinese capital.
Badaling is the closest to Beijing and is a fully-restored section that can be overrun with people. If you’ve ever spoken to a tourist who was somewhat blase about their Great Wall visit, chances are they went to Badaling, saw the Starbucks, rode the cable-car, battled the throng and left pretty promptly. A shame because up the road in Gubeikou is a very different, very beguiling experience.
All of this detailed in my Let’s Travel article, including the specifics of why the Gubeikou to Jinshanling section that we walked over the course of about four hours is everything you could hope the Great Wall Of China to be. As in, beautiful, wild and ragged and with a very palpable sense of history. The crumbling, steep state of this section of the Wall makes this a real adventure – only made better by the fact it is relatively low on tourists.
|The latest Let’s Travel issue.
Which is odd given our nearby hotel (an enormous modern structure built to look vaguely like a European castle) was busy with guests. The hotel is next to the quite remarkable Gubei Water Town – find out in the article why this newly-built replica of a traditional Chinese village could be kitsch and tacky but is somehow enthralling.
Thanks once again to Cathay Pacific who flew us to and from China in style in their very swish business class. Cathay Pacific and their sister airline DragonAir fly to over 20 destinations in mainland China – more than any other airline from New Zealand.
As far as the “we” described in this piece, that was the group of Kiwi travel writers from various different publications. We had a rip-roaring time together and a lot of this was thanks to Wendy Wu Tours – one of the most established travel companies to operate in China. Beyond China, Wendy Wu Tours also offer extensive itineraries throughout the rest of Asia.
Here are my top 50 photos from the Great Wall and the Gubei Water Town – enjoy!