Sandwiches on the Great Wall

When you happen to find yourself in Beijing on a warm summers day and feel the sudden and mighty need for a picnic with impact, then why not consider a trip to the “wild wall”? – The quiet and unrestored section of the Great Wall of China. Sitting alone, atop the crumbling ruins, as you thoughtfully munch on a crappy ham and cheese sandwich, inspires introspective thoughts one does not usually associate with such humble provisions.

The wild wall is an adventure in and of itself. Mostly inaccessible by public transport, you will need a car or to book with a company that will arrange for someone to pick you up and take you back home again. Once there you can hike for kilometres and not pass a single soul, unlike the crowded, touristic and sanitized sections of the wall that have been fully restored. These are actual ruins in various states of decomposition, with some challenging hills and steps to climb.

And i do mean climb….


But the payoff is totally worth it. Finding a quiet turret and sitting down to eat salted sliced meat and cheese held together with bread has never been better. Plus if the sun is a little too harsh, and you were smart enough to select a turret that still has most of its roof intact, you can retreat inside to enjoy the view and the shade unrestricted.



Remember that if you decide to brave the wild wall, you will essentially be on your own out here, and these are honest to god ruins. If you fall over the edge and break your leg, the chances of someone finding you quickly are slim to nil. So take plenty of water with you, a well-charged phone and everything else you would bring on an outdoor hike. Oh, and if you are even half as pale as I am, bring a hat, sunglasses and all the sunscreen you have in the house. Then stop to buy more. You will need it.

And the sandwiches man! Have you not read the thread title? What’s the point without the sandwiches?


Pictured scouting the optimal sandwich eating location