Suggested itineraries for road trips

Many people would like to explore the Great Wall for an extended period of time while using surface transportation to go from place to place rather than walking long distances. Here are some suggested Great Wall road trip plans.

For Ming Dynasty Great Walls built in mountainous areas, you will choose between Beijing Municipality and Hebei Province. If you have time available, consider a drive through Hebei. You could start at Shanhaiguan, for example, and drive west via many interesting locations, Great Wall-related and otherwise. Hebei is less popular and less touristy than Beijing and boasts many very impressive sites along the Great Wall. For a shorter driving trip, you could drive across Huairou District, visiting Great Wall sites from Qinglongxia to Xishuiyu, for example. Ningxia, with its many prominent locations, is another good choice if you have the time.

For non-Ming Dynasty Great Walls, consider driving in the area between Zhangjiakou and Datong. The fortifications in this area, from both Ming and other dynasties, are very impressive.

Which ever itinerary you choose, a road trip in China experiencing the Great Wall along with the local culture and food is sure to be a wonderful experience.