In one of my recent Beijing Bucket List articles, I shared my experience of camping on the Great Wall (the Huanghuacheng, or lakeside section). If it wasn’t for the smog, my trek would have been 100 percent awesome. But hey, despite the gray haze blocking the otherwise magnificent view of the surrounding mountains during the day, it made the night sky dreamy as it helped scatter moonlight to make amazing silhouettes of the wall.
Next week will be extra special as it is a double holiday: the eight-day Golden Week, connecting the national holiday on October 1 and the Mid-Autumn Festival on October 4, when the Moon is back as a full and bright disk. What better way to spend the break than camping on the Great Wall under a clear night sky? I bet it will be a great week to hike and camp, especially if smog stops blocking the sky! So if you’re staying in Beijing, you might as well use the break to visit the Great Wall.
Mid-Autumn Festival Great Wall Camping: Witness the Full Moon on the Wall, Oct 4-5
This two-day trip begins with a morning hike at the West Huanghuacheng and Zhuangdaokou sections of the Great Wall. Later in the day, the hike continues at East Huanghuacheng and then hikers will camp out on one of the wall parts to see the full moon. On Day two, get up early to see the sunrise, then pack up the camping gear before getting down to a guesthouse for breakfast. The hikers will get back to central Beijing by noon.
Ages 10+. RMB 1,100 (including camping gears, transportation, guides, entry fees, water and three meals). Meeting time on Oct 4 is 9.30am at Tuanjiehu Line 10 subway Exit B. China Travellers. (188 0133 5578, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.chinatravellers.com
Sunset Over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall, Oct 5
Hike the Huanghuacheng Great Wall in Huairou District, starting off on an unrestored stretch and following it over the hills to a restored section and then up to a high tower to watch the sun go down. The hikers will go down to finish the day at a countryside restaurant near a scenic reservoir.
Ages 10+. RMB 420 (regular price), RMB 380 (for members), RMB 200 (for under 12’s). Booking can be done on Beijing Hikers website. 11.30am departure from Lido Hotel Starbucks; Liangmaqiao subway area pickup at 11:00am.
Photos: Courtesy of China Travellers and Beijing Hikers