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Departure date: Wednesday, September 3

Great Wall Spur

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On this hike we will visit a remote stretch of the Great Wall that was completed around 1580 AD, during the reign of Emperor Wan Li. After a good long (some say tough) climb up a hillside trail we’ll follow the Great Wall along a ridge, enjoying great views the whole way. There is plenty of Great Wall in this area, and on a clear day it is extremely picturesque. Price includes lunch after the hike.

Note: While rated a 3+, this hike is sort of a tough 3+ because of the long climb at the beginning.

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Departure date: Thursday, September 4

Auspicious Village and Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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For this hike we will head out to Huairou County for a countryside walk through farmland, hills, and valleys. We’ll follow old trails between three different villages – a good opportunity to compare the big-city lifestyle in Beijing to that of the rural residents of small hamlets that you’d miss in a blink if driving. After we finish walking we’ll have a big meal at a restaurant nearby the Huanghuacheng Great Wall, and then climb up for a quick look. This hike is rated a Level 3, but if it’s a hot day it will feel a lot tougher.

Note: the focus of this hike isn’t the Great Wall, and if this is your one chance to see the wall it’s probably not the best fit. But if you’re interested in a long walk through the Beijing countryside, and a post-lunch climb up to a pretty stretch of the Huanghuacheng Great Wall, this is an excellent choice!

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Departure date: Friday, September 5

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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UPDATE 2014/8/28—changed departure times: 8:00am (7:30am from the subway)

Starting at the Walled Village, we’ll follow a gentle path up terraces and orchards before coming to the Great Wall. We’ll climb a very steep section that is still quite difficult, although it has been restored. After coming over the top of a peak, we’ll stay on the wall as it plunges down the other side to Huanghuacheng, where we’ll get a meal of delicious country-style Chinese food. After lunch, we’ll have the option to walk up to the wall on the other side of the reservoir—we think it’s well worth it!

NOTE: This is a short hike, but the stretch of wall we follow is fairly steep, both ascending and descending. We’ll take it nice and slow, and enjoy the views. If it’s not enough exercise for you, there’s another stretch to climb on after lunch!  We usually rate this hike a Level 2+, but we’ve upgraded it to a Level 3 because we expect hot weather will make it more difficult.

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Departure date: Saturday, September 6

Chinese Knot Great Wall

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UPDATE 2014/8/28—changed departure times: 7:30am (7:00am from the subway)

This tough Great Wall hike involves a lot of climbing and scrambling, and you’ll need strong legs and a good head for heights to make it to the end. Starting on the southern side of the mountains to the north of Beijing, we follow the Great Wall up and over two ridges, peaking just after the ‘Chinese Knot’ at 987m above sea level. 4–5 hours of hiking over 10km, with hiking boots and above-average level of fitness required. Note: if you’re not comfortable with making a short-but-steep climb on somewhat tricky terrain, you will probably not find this hike an enjoyable experience.

We’re leaving early to try to beat the holiday traffic.

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Departure date: Saturday, September 6

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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UPDATE 2014/8/28—changed departure times: 8:00am (7:30am from the subway)

On this hike we’ll head out to a beautiful section of the Great Wall that is further outside the city than the crowded main tourist sites, and much quieter. You’ll have a chance to hike along an unrestored section of the Great Wall that grants magnificent views of the Great Wall stretching beyond the horizon in the east and west. As we follow the wall, we’ll pass through restored and unrestored sections, as well as taking a nice detour through pines on a hillside trail. Warning – if you’re not good with heights, there are ections of this hike you might not enjoy.

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Departure date: Sunday, September 7

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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UPDATE 2014/8/28—changed departure times: 7:30am (7:00am from the subway)

This stretch of Great Wall in Yanqing County is extremely picturesque, and seldom visited, but its steepness can prove difficult for casual hikers. On this visit we’ll do the ‘middle route,’ cutting out the toughest parts to make it a little easier. There are still some steep climbs to do, but overall this hike isn’t long enough to rate as difficult – we’ll take our time climbing up and down and make sure that we have a relaxed and enjoyable visit.

Cooler version: today we’re going to start from the clean and tidy little rural village on the other side of the hill – it’s worth a look, and the climb up to the Great Wall is shaded and a little easier.

We’re leaving early to try to beat the holiday traffic.

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Departure date: Sunday, September 7

The Great Flood

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UPDATE 2014/8/28—changed departure times: 8:00am (7:30am from the subway)

We almost named this hike “The Goat’s Trail” after the many herds of goats we saw while scouting the route. Along the way we will pick a path up a bouldery canyon, follow rivers, climb a steep valley, walk through grassy meadows, and see a village that was abandoned after a particularly large flood and is now being resettled. Bring something to eat for lunch – we’ll supply water and snacks.

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Departure date: September 7–8 (Sun-Mon)

Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Mid-Autumn Festival Holiday overnight

Hike the Great Wall and camp in a private and quiet spot beside the wall on this two day Great Wall adventure. We’ll take care of the heavy lifting and have things delivered direct to our campsite; you’ll be free to enjoy the scenery, sunset, stars, and sunrise without all the sweat involved in a full-on camping expedition.

We’ll supply the camping equipment, water, snacks, and breakfast and a restaurant lunch on the second day. Discounted price available if you have your own camping gear.

Maximum group size of 12 hikers; book early to make sure you get a spot!

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 10

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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This hike is a shortened version of our Nine-Eyes Tower trail, made easier by skipping the tough climb up to the top. We’ll follow hill trails through leafy valleys to get to Jiankou’s ‘Big West Wall’, and then walk south along the wall towards the Chinese Knot. There are some sections that are very steep and slippery.

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Departure date: September 10–11 (Wed–Thu)

Camping: Great Wall Spur

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On this two day Great Wall adventure you’ll hike the Great Wall and camp in or beside a Great Wall tower. We’ll take care of the heavy lifting and have things delivered direct to our campsite; you’ll be free to enjoy the scenery, sunset, stars, and sunrise without all the sweat involved in a full-on camping expedition.

We’ll supply the camping equipment, water, snacks, and breakfast and a restaurant lunch on the second day. Discounted price available if you have your own camping gear.

We’ll organise delivery of tents and sleeping bags direct to our campsite; you’ll just need to carry your clothes, water, and food and snacks.

Maximum group size of 12 hikers; book early to make sure you get a spot!

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Departure date: Thursday, September 11

Great Wall: Gubeikou West Side

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On the west side of Gubeikou, over the river from our Gubeikou Loop hike, is another stretch of wall that is not often visited. On a clear day the views are excellent, with towers atop big hills and a line of Great Wall stretching far off into the distance.

The hike is moderately difficult, and there is some exposure to heights. If you’re okay with that, then this will be an interesting short stretch of wall to look at, and we’ll take a look about the small village below the wall as well.

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Departure date: Saturday, September 13

Dahaituo Mountain

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UPDATE 2014/8/28—changed departure times: 7:30am (7:00am from the subway)

Take a trip to the far edge of Yanqing District for a day of hiking in the mountains on the border of Beijing and Hebei Province, following a trail that will take us up to the lower peak Big Haituo Mountain, the second-highest inside the Beijing municipality. We’ll start off in a tiny village, head up through grassy meadows and gravelly gullys, and then make a long climb along a ridge trail, passing alongside forested areas on the way to the top. Expect to see abundant greenery and flowers, as well as butterflies and moths in an area protected from farming.

Last time we did this hike we tried a route from a new starting point, and it’s that route we’ll follow this time—our old way is often a bit crowded.

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Towers on the ridgeline on the west side of Gubeikou
Departure date: Saturday, September 13

Great Wall: Walled Village to the Little West Lake

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After a quick look at the thick walls of what was once a Ming Dynasty-era barracks, we’ll take an easy stroll through chestnut orchards on the way to a stretch of the nearby Huanghuacheng Great Wall.

We’ll stop for a rest there and will have time to climb a few towers of a restored section before reversing direction and following a line of unrestored ‘wild’ Great Wall up and along a big ridge, finishing up with a stunning bird’s-eye view of the Little West Lake.

Regular hikers: our trails in this area overlap quite a bit, and if you’ve done any of our Zhuangdaokou or Huanghuacheng hikes you may already have walked a lot of this trail.

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Departure date: September 13–14 (Saturday–Sunday)

Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Almost four hours’ drive northwest of Beijing city is Yu County, home to ancient pagodas, temples, pavilions, and large gates and plaques inside fortified walled towns that preserve traces of the Zhou, Liao, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties.

On this two-day trip to the area you’ll walk the streets of well-preserved Yuxian Ancient City, visiting the pavilions and pagodas, as well as visiting Jimingyi, the remnants of a Ming Dynasty postal relay center. And, on the first evening, we’ll take in a performance that includes Da Shu Hua, a 300-year old local tradition that translates as ‘Beating Trees into Flowers’ and results in molten iron being flung against the city walls in lieu of a fireworks display!

Note: The performances used to be only done at Chinese New Year, when the weather was absolutely freezing! Visiting in summer we won’t see all the Chinese New Years festivities, but we won’t freeze, either!

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Departure date: Sunday, September 14

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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UPDATE 2014/8/28—changed departure times: 8:00am (7:30am from the subway)

On this hike we’ll head out to the border of Beijing Municipality and Hebei Province for a moderately difficult walk through peach orchards, up valleys, and along the Great Wall. We’ll have views of the distinctive peaks of nearby ‘Brush-rest’ Mountain as we walk, and we think this remote area is a great spot for a walk.

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Hikes in Beijing

We publish our hike schedule month by month, with updates around the 10th of each month. If you're interested in hikes and trips during a month that's not yet listed, email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and we'll let you know when the schedule is online.


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All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Wednesday, September 3
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, September 4
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Auspicious Village and Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Friday, September 5
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, September 6
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Chinese Knot Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, September 6
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Sunday, September 7
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 7
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The Great Flood

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Departure date: September 7–8 (Sun-Mon)
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Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 10
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Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: September 10–11 (Wed–Thu)
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Camping: Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Thursday, September 11
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Great Wall: Gubeikou West Side

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Departure date: Saturday, September 13
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Dahaituo Mountain

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Departure date: Saturday, September 13
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Great Wall: Walled Village to the Little West Lake

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Departure date: September 13–14 (Saturday–Sunday)
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Yu County’s Ancient Walled Towns and Fireworks of Molten Iron

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Departure date: Sunday, September 14
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Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

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Departure date: Sunday, September 14
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Shunyi Hikers: Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 14
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A Long Way to Catch the Train

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 17
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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Departure date: September 17–18 (Wed–Thu)
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Camping: Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Thursday, September 18
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The Round Tower

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Departure date: Friday, September 19
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, September 20
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Moyashike Valley and Jiankou’s ‘Big West Wall’

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Departure date: Saturday, September 20
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Stone Valley Great Wall

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Departure date: September 20–21 (Sat–Sun)
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Ming Dynasty Village Overnight

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Departure date: Sunday, September 21
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Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall (longer version)

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Departure date: Sunday, September 21
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Changyucheng Walled Village

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Departure date: Sunday, September 21
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Intelligence Valley

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Departure date: September 23-24 (Tue-Wed)
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Overnight: Great Wall Spur and Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

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Departure date: Wednesday, September 24
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Nine-Eyes Tower

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Departure date: Thursday, September 25
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Saturday, September 27
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Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

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Departure date: Saturday, September 27
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Tang Dynasty Cave Dwellings and Yongning Town

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Departure date: Saturday, September 27
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Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

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Departure date: September 27–28 (Sat–Sun)
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Camping: Big Camp Plate Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 28
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Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, September 28
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Mr. Mao’s Chestnut Orchard hike

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Departure date: Wednesday, October 1
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Gubeikou Great Wall and Hemp Village

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Departure date: Thursday, October 2
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Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

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Departure date: Friday, October 3
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Great Wall Spur

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Departure date: Saturday, October 4
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Hillwalking Challenge: Spring Valley Super Loop

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Departure date: Saturday, October 4
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Zhuangdaokou to the Walled Village

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Departure date: Sunday, October 5
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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

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Departure date: Sunday, October 5
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The Pinnacle Tower

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 7
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Silver Pagoda Loop

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Departure date: Tuesday, October 7
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Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

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