The Great Wall of China is one of the most photographed landmarks in the World, this 13,000 mile wall stretches all the way from Dandong to the tip of Inner Mongolia and features plenty of locations for you to take some stunning photographs. Naturally, the Great Wall is also one of the most visited landmarks in the World and getting good photos and avoiding the vast number of people isn’t easy. Thankfully due to the sheer scale of the wall, if you know where you are going, you can escape the crowds and get some fantastic images of these incredible piece of human achievement. Here are some of the top places to go where you can get the best views and more importantly, the best snaps of the Great Wall of China.
Around 100km north-east of Beijing, the Simatai area of the Great Wall will not only give you some great photo opportunities but also a damn good workout. There are several steep incline and drops on this section of the wall and you can get some great panoramic shots of the wall. There are quite a few sections of this part which are crumbling and they can give you some great contrasting shots, there are plans to renovate this area however so make sure you get there quick!
The closest part of the wall to Beijing, it is however also the busiest so don’t expect to get any shots here that are without crowds. The reason that this is such a good place for photos is simply due to its proximity to Beijing, if you’re on a tight schedule then this is the best place for you to get a view of the wall. Be prepared for a tourist hell if you want to visit though, this part of the wall is near perfect, there are hoards of people and tourist traps galore. If you’re short on time then head to Badaling.
If you want some truly dramatic and altogether different views of the Great Wall then head to Gansu Province, 1,500km away from Beijing. The wall here cuts through a barren landscape, the Hexi corridor as it is known is an large area of dry and uninhabited lands and the wall at times is almost unrecognizable from the beast that you can witness through many other parts of China.
Around 15km from Simatai is the town of Jinshaling, except some crowds here but mainly local photographers who have come to see the impressive views of the wall and its watchtowers that this section offers. Jinshaling has great vantage points for shooting the wall from distance and if you can rise yourself early enough to watch the sunrise then this is the place to do so. The wall here varies from pristine to in need of repair and can provide you with some really contrasting shots of this impressive structure. If you have already visited Simatai then you should absolutely make the journey up the wall to the town of Jinshaling.