Within 24 hours of my arrival in Beijing, I was off to visit the Great Wall of China. There are three main sections of the Great Wall you can visit within a reasonable drive from Beijing. Badaling is the closest and most crowded with tourists. Mutianyu seemed like a better option, being a bit further away but typically is a lot less crowded. So I decided to go there. 

I had incredible luck with both the lack of crowds and having clear weather with (relatively) low air pollution that day. You can kind of get a sense of how steep sections of the Great Wall are in these photos - there are sections you will crouch down to scramble up on your hands for fear of falling backwards.

It was a hot day in Beijing, reaching 41 C / 106 F, but thankfully it was a bit cooler out here, but not by much. I brought more than 2L of water with me and drank all of it over the 3 hours I was there. Sunblock was useless, as I sweat it out within the first 20 minutes or so. But it was still an amazing visit and a highlight of my trip!
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Great Wall of China - Mutianyu - May 2014
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