The Great Wall of China, one of Earth's great wonders, serves as the northern and northwestern border of China and comprises a total distance of 8,851.8 km (5,500.3 miles). With those kinds of numbers, we can't rightly expect the every day adventurer to drop everything and take one hell of a long walk. Still, when in China, it is a must to at least step foot on one piece of this ancient fortification, some of which is two millenia old. Where shall you put those feet? That is the question.
The most popular spots, due to being so near to Beijing, are Badaling and Juyongguan, and are usually easiest to reach from the city by bus or train. These sections of the wall will be quite crowded where you enter, but those willing to walk a few miles will leave the tourists behind and get some great photo ops of the this amazing structure and the surrounding wilderness. Mutianyu is further from the city, but is also excellently preserved and is often much less crowded. It is also has two lifts and a toboggan run that you can buy tickets for; a glorious opportunity when on looking for your next adventure!
Finally, our favorite part of the wall is the section between Jinshanling and Simatai, which lies about 130 km (81 miles) outside of Beijing, and can be an excellent hike of varying elevation changes and gorgeous wilderness views. Because there are few tourists, there will be fewer vendors here, but the big draw is that much of this is the original wall (although Simatai just completed a series of restorations). If you are up for this hike, put aside up to six hours of your time, as well as another few hours for transportation.
The stretch of the Great Wall featured on the map is the section from Badaling to Juyongguan.
Note:Beware of scams! Know your routes ahead of time, because some buses or taxis willfully take you to the wrong spots or use roundabout ways to make sure you pay more money. You'll also encounter people trying to sell you things with extreme frequency at bus stops known for tourist transport, so be prepared. A final note of warning: if you really do want to trek into much of the poorly maintained sections of the wall, be sure that you take any and all safety precautions. Potable water can be hard to find in some areas and China DOES NOT HAVE ANY wilderness rescue personnel.