When we started to plan our year traveling, the Great Wall of china was right up there at the top of my bucket list, but I didn’t want to be pushed around by crowds and people trying to sell key rings, so I spent a little bit time researching where was to best place to see the wall.
Jiayuguan is the far west end of the wall, you can’t go any further, for this reason it’s the least busy section of the wall and it’s such a magical place to visit, (if you can stomach the 18 hour train journey).
The main section of the fortress has been completely renovated to its former glory, there is lots of information posted around the walls and there is a really good free museum on your way out. Entrance costs ¥120 per person and we didn’t bother with a tour guide. I heard it gets busy so we go there for opening and we’re one of the first people in.
This was my favourite part of the whole day, and was much less busy than the main fortress. You can use your Jiayuguan Pass ticket for free entrance into the overhanging wall. There is no public transport to this section of the wall, for a taxi from the main area to take you, wait one hour then bring you back costs ¥60. Otherwise it’s about a 5 mile walk each way.
Where To Eat:
I honestly can’t remember the last time we sat down for a meal, we’re loving all the street food in China. There’s a small market around 5 minutes walk from the hotel, it’s half wet market half food market. (Head towards the roundabout where Jianshe road crosses Xinhia road.)
To Jiayuguan from Xi’an you can take a sleeper train which takes just under 18 hours, the soft sleeper cabins are really comfortable. Jiayuguan also has an airport but there aren’t many flights and they are really expensive, maybe that will change as the area becomes more popular. From the main train station we walked to the hotel (around 90 minutes) then when we left, a taxi to the south railway station cost us ¥28.
To the wall from the city centre you can take the No.4 or the No.6 bus, they both cost ¥1 and you get off at the last stop. The No.6 left from directly opposite our hotel and took about 20 minutes.
Where To Stay:
We stayed at the Jingjiang Inn, also known as the Jingjiang Express. We booked through booking.com then paid cash on arrival. Rates are ¥124 per night plus ¥22 per person for breakfast. We really liked it there and the location to get to the wall was perfect. (The hotel shares a building with the Bestay Hotel, their sign is easier to spot from the main road.)