29 April, 2021 - 8 May, 2021
12:00 am - 12:00 am
Are you ready for the Challenge?
This is no holiday! You will travel to a remote and challenging area of the Great Wall of China where you will trek for 5 consecutive days from Gubeikou to Jinshanling and Simatai. Not only will you trek on the wall itself, meticulously built and restored over thousands of years but you will also trek through wild and secluded countryside landscapes with unique views of one of the great wonders of the world perched atop the rolling hills.
Staying in guesthouses throughout the trek allows you to experience authentic rural Chinese culture as you discover more about the simple lifestyle of the local people.
The trek days are tough; with long days on your feet, hundreds of steps to climb and steep ascents and descents but with adequate preparation, dedication and perseverance you have the best chance of completing the challenge.
China – China is a giant country which boasts seaside, jungles, massive mountains, wildlife, architectural heritage and fascinating culture. The incredible variations of culture can be experienced in a number of ways, even just in the variations of cuisine throughout the country from the spicy stir fries of the Szechuan province to the piquant Peking duck of Beijing. A journey to China is a mesmerising adventure that, from start to finish, leaves you with an appetite for more.
Beijing – Also known as Peking, Beijing is the capital of China and one of the most populated cities on the planet. Beijing is home to a staggering 21.5 million people in an area of only 16,000km2. You will find ancient architecture next to high rise buildings and fast food restaurants, you will find peace and serenity in enchanting temples located next to busy highways, and of course just slightly north of Beijing you find the awe-inspiring Great Wall. Beijing is also home to delicious cuisine so take your time to explore the restaurants, sampling Peking duck, dumplings, noodles and much more.
The Great Wall – The Great Wall of China is the longest man-made structure on the planet. The Wall was built, rebuilt and maintained from the 7th Century BC to protect the Chinese empire from invaders. It stretches approximately 8,850 km (5,500 miles) across the rolling hills of northern China to the sea. Many sections of the Wall are unrestored, scarred by battles of the past. A visit to the Great Wall is an opportunity to step back into history and marvel at the ingenuity and tenacity of the Chinese dynasties and the millions of soldiers who defended their land.
Who accompanies us? The trek is accompanied by local English-speaking guides who have an excellent knowledge of trekking in the region. The guides are first aid trained and will support you throughout your journey. You will also be supported by an excellent team of assistant staff, cooks and drivers and a Different Travel Company UK tour manager.
What is the terrain like? The terrain is hilly and undulating with steep sections. You will not trek on the wall the entire time, often you will walk next to it through the countryside so be prepared for a variety of ground underfoot from the grassy, dry terrain of the countryside to the stone steps of the Great Wall. The Great Wall has been restored in some sections so you will find smooth paved ground with steps built up the hillside. In the original sections, the Wall may be crumbling, with earth and stone rubble that shifts underfoot like scree, making it challenging to climb. In general, you should expect to climb a lot of steps during the challenge, so you must train with this in mind and ensure you do plenty of hill walking to prepare for the hills.
What kind of food will we eat? The trek day will start with a breakfast of hot drinks, noodles, rice, eggs, Chinese dumplings and fruit. You will prepare your own packed lunch each day which will consist of sandwiches with jam or peanut butter, fresh fruit, Oreos (or similar), dried fruit, and nuts, etc. Some days you may have a hot lunch. You should bring your own snacks to eat throughout the day. A freshly cooked traditional Chinese evening meal will be served at the guesthouse comprising rice, noodles, meat, tofu, and vegetable dishes.
Where will we stay? During your nights in Beijing you will stay in hotels, and each night during the trek you will stay in local guesthouses.
Is there an age limit? You must be 18+ to join this trek. It may be possible for you to participate if you are 16 or 17 years old if accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is no upper age limit.
Who can take part? An ideal candidate for the trek would be someone who enjoys being out of their comfort zone and trying something new. Adventure travel involves an element of the unexpected so do not expect standards to be the same as you are used to at home. Remote areas are sometimes unpredictable (be it because of group pace, weather conditions, local bureaucracy, or other factors) and itineraries may be altered to allow for this. For you to get the most out of your challenge it is important that you are flexible, positive, and eager to take on all the challenges that arise. Suitable fitness preparation before departure forms part of this.
How fit do I need to be? You should have a good level of fitness to ensure fast recovery from each day of trekking.
How should I prepare? You must engage in training (including plenty of walking up and down hills) before departure to ensure your best chance of enjoyment on the trip. This could include hill walking, running, cycling, gym workouts, boot camps, etc. You can download a number of free apps to help you train and track your progress, e.g. MapMyWalk, C25K, MyFitnessPal, etc. Attempting to complete the trek without training will make it more challenging than necessary and will be detrimental to your experience, and the experience of your teammates.
Health declaration We require a medical form to be completed by everyone upon registering, and any pre-existing conditions, medications used, and other medical issues, must be noted and (if relevant) signed off by your GP. Any conditions that develop after registration must be declared and a new medical form completed.