Great Wall of China Juyongguan

"There's snow on the Great Wall of China!"  I shouted, as the coach pulled up to the Juyong pass; the excitement almost overwhelming as I saw the great wall climb up the mountains and disappear into the clouds.  It looked just like every picture I'd ever seen of it snaking over mountains into the distance.
Juyongguan Pass Great Wall of China

We had been told there were no shops at Juyongguan so we came prepared with snacks and water, thinking that finally we'd be able to visit somewhere in China and not be tempted into buying something. What we didn't come prepared for was the change in weather.  We left Beijing in the spring sunshine of 22 degrees centigrade wearing short sleeved t-shirts and on the approach road to the pass, we started to see snow on the ground.  Not a great deal, it wasn't deep but nor was it melting which meant that it was cold outside.

I don't know whether it was unusual for the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall to be so cold at that time of year or whether we were just unlucky.  We put on the extra layer we had with us but it still wasn't warm enough and it was still lightly snowing when we arrived although it didn't continue.

At the top of the pass wearing a Great Wall Woolly Hat and Hoodie

Reluctantly we knew that to enjoy the day we were going to have to buy some Great Wall clothing souvenirs.  Luckily the advice we received about there being no shops was only partially correct for although there were no restaurants, there were, perhaps not surprisingly, numerous gift shops selling Great Wall hoodies and woolly wall hats.

Travel Tip:

  • This is the closest section of the wall to Beijing city and was originally built to prevent invasion from the north.  It's a continuous loop which takes about 3-4 hours to circumnavigate which is great because you don't have to double back on yourself.
  • It is very steep in places and with snow on the steps, it can also be quite slippy.
  • It is only 37 miles from downtown Beijing and is accessible by bus or train.

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