The Great Wall of China stretches more than 8800km and there are several starting points to scale it. Most tour groups visiting Beijing will visit the North Pass also known as Badaling. However, if you want to get away from the crowd, and enjoy the sight of the Great Wall without the pushing and hustling, I recommend you to start at Jia Yu Guan Pass.
Located in Gansu Province, Jia Yu Guan Pass represents the western starting point of the Great Wall. In ancient times, this military fortress was of great strategic importance and the wall was part of a complete defense system. The inner wall is more than 10 meters high and encloses a city section of about 25,000 square meters.
There are two main gates, the Guanghua Gate in the east and the Rouyuan Gate in the west. At the western gate, an inscription of “Jiayuguan” in Chinese can be found written on a tablet. This is a very popular photo spot for tourists. Moving along, the south and north sides of the pass are connected to the Great Wall.
Scaling the Great Wall can be both fun and tiring. I find the steps here much easier to climb probably because they are not as steep. Depending on your own physique, you can walk for hours exploring the different pavilions or just take it slow, enjoying the sights along the way. This famous Wonder of the World is an amazing sight. Do not forget to bring along your trusty camera and lots of film.