While planning our trip to China, Mrs. Selfish and I determined that a trip to the Great Wall was mandatory. I mean, how could you go to China and not visit the Great Wall, especially if you’re staying in Beijing?
After a little research we discovered that there are numerous sections of the Great Wall ripe for visiting, all in various states of disrepair. From Datong we could have visited a dilapidated section of the wall – it’s bricks stolen by local farmers to use as building materials – but the more famous sections are near Beijing.
The Great Wall is big business for the Chinese government, so sections near Beijing have been restored to match what they would have looked like back in the day. Instead of holding back throngs of Mongul hoards, however, many sections of the Wall now house throngs of Chinese tourists and hoards of Chinese merchants hawking crappy t-shirts and calendars.
With that in mind, Mrs. Selfish and I quickly settled on the Jingshanling section of the wall – and while we did spot a few hawkers, the wall was blissfully empty for the 6 hours we hiked its heights.