Feb 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm #1285239
*Edit, NM. Posted in wrong place + Too many questions and variables to post in a thread. Better to do the gear research myself.
-Mods Please delete if possible.
Kenny.Feb 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm #1834973
I think you should post this question at the Oriental List run by Peter Neville Hadley and get some real advice based upon recent or past visits to this region. It is an objective site unlike Lonely Planet. I was in that region 7 years ago . The Gobi is brutal. Hiking or even walking on sand is difficult. High winds .Sand will take a camera out in a day. The region is under heavy security because of protests and Han crackdowns. Unless your Mandarin is quite good and bargaining way up there this will be difficult . If you want to play the Wall some Watchtower illegal camping near Beijing may satisfy you -where are you going to school? Might be time better spent. And the Eastern end is going to be much easier,but that is not to say easy at all. The Wall is only restored enough to be walk-able in sections and really is a work in progress, and most would say degredation. Do you want to hike among tourists? The water carrying ladies up at the top will offer to hold your hand over the irregular steps if you buy the picture book at the end. They will in fact insist upon it from the moment you arrive.Relentless.Feb 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm #1834979
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
While sorting out the gear side of things, you should also research on routes and permits. You may already know that the Wall is disjointed / eroded in numerous sections. If you are thinking of wild camping along the way, that may be forbidden in many places as well.
I haven't done this, but I wonder about your west to east route. Curious, have you thought about doing this the other way around — from east to west instead? The eastern terminus — Shan Hai Guan — is on the coast in Hebei province, a few hours' train and bus ride from Beijing. The Wall then winds its way through the north of Beijing towards Jia Yu Guan out in the west. Hate to say it, but the Beijing and eastern sections can be extremely crowded and touristy. For myself, I would hate to have that as my grand finale. Instead, I'd rather start with the crowded, developed, relatively polluted areas and work my way west — hopefully with the scenery improving as I go — instead of the other way around…
If you do go from east to west, you can take the train from Jia Yu Guan further west to Kashgar. The "spectrum of civilizations" changes ever-so-slowly from Han to Turkic as you move westward. Kashgar brings you to just tens of miles to the border with central Asia.
Anyway, food for thought.
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