What are the best places/parts/areas of the Great Wall of China?
I've heard a lot of people say it's best to travel further West outside of Beijing to see some nicer parts of the wall - is that true?
Great Wall of Badaling is the most popular spot of the wall, if you're looking for a less touristy location, I would head towards Jiankou Mountain or Huanghuacheng Shuiku (difficult to get to, but beautiful scenery).
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We visited Mu Tian Yu Huan Dao portion of the great wall in September and while there were people, it was not busy at all. Many times we were the only people on a segment we were walking along.
We wrote about it on our site - http://onemoderncouple.com/mutianyu-great-wall/
Although we didn't go with a tour group, it might be a good idea - as from our post, you can see we had quite the adventure! If you choose not too, there are lots of online sources with some pretty detailed directions for getting there - there's a bus stop right across from the ticket gates. If you stick to it and ignore anyone telling you a different route, you should get there fine! :) Either way, it's an amazing experience!