Before you head to the Badaling Great Wall to check it off your bucket list, book your tickets online first.
This follows the Forbidden City which moved all its tickets sales online
back in October 2017. While the Palace Museum requires advance booking (at least a day before), you can buy same-day tickets for the Badaling Great Wall, provided they haven’t sold out. You can also book tickets up to one week in advance.
However, at press time, the two portals to buy tickets – Badaling's official website and its WeChat mini programme – are only in Chinese. They also only support payment via Alipay, WeChat Wallet and UnionPay cards, which means tourists can only book through tour agencies or friends with these accounts. Or perhaps head to the Mutianyu and Simatai sections, which are so far unaffected by this policy.
The move comes as authorities try to regulate visitor traffic to just 65,000 a day at Badaling, which is the most crowded section of The Great Wall near Beijing. Badaling receives 9.9 million visitors annually. And while this works out to a manageable 28,000 a day, pilgrims visit mainly during the summer months and public holidays; we've all seen the viral images of the human crush on top of The Wall.
While this makes it a lot more inconvenient for visitors to head up to the Great Wall, it also means that you won't be standing with the hordes and just sweaty heads for a view.