The problem with most iconic sights is that they're usually mobbed with tourists. Because China's Great Wall is more than 5,000 miles long there are bound to be tourist-free stretches. One of them is the Jinshanling section, which is about a two- hour drive from the center of Beijing. It's one of the best preserved parts of the wall and still maintains a lot of its original features. A good six mile hike starts at the Wanginglou Tower in the east and ends at Longyukou in the west. Imperial Tours (imperialtours.net), a Beijing-based tour company specializing in China, can arrange a guide who will detail the history of the wall, and also arrange for a lunch to be waiting at the tower, supplied by locals from a nearby village.
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get away from the crowds at jinshanling.
The Great Wall is a must for any first-time traveler to Beijing. However, it is also the most touristy thing you can do, meaning there are throngs of people around to unintentionally (or intentionally) photobomb your memories. Jinshanling is a great section of the wall to explore for those that want to get away from the wall and see a bit more of the original, unrestored wall.
Located about 125km outside of the Beijing city center, Jinshanling is a beautiful part of the wall that is much less touristy than the very popular Badaling section. Transport can be difficult so going with a small tour is recommended. The hike up an around the wall is around 10km long. There is a cable car that cam be paid for to go up or down the wall too.