20 Tourist Traps Worth Visiting And 10 That Aren’t

The Great Wall of Badaling is probably the most-visited section of the wall, as it’s a relatively short train ride from Beijing. You’ll probably hear a lot of people recommend that you travel to one of the less popular sections of the wall that are farther outside the city — and they’d be right that you’ll encounter fewer crowds and get a more authentic experience of the wall, since the Badaling section is partially restored.

However, even if you just go where the crowds are, seeing the Great Wall is incredibly cool. The scale of it is so impressive, and the fact that you’re actually able to walk on top of this ancient structure is pretty amazing when you think about it.

Sure, nobody likes crowds of tourists, but guess what — you’re also a tourist! And here’s a little story: After my wife and I visited the Great Wall, it started to thunderstorm. We were standing on the train platform waiting to board, and there was a lightning strike and loud thunder that sounded VERY nearby. My wife jumped. This older couple — Chinese tourists from elsewhere in the country — was standing next to us, and the lady took a towel that she had been covering herself with and draped it around my wife’s shoulders, smiled, and said something to her (presumably reassuring — I only know roughly five words in Mandarin). I always remember that moment as so lovely and human, and it wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t in a crowd of tourists.

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