Indagare member Barton Biggs ended a recent trip to China with an adventurous hiking expedition on the Great Wall, which he declares was one of the most interesting trips of his life.
“Last June Indagare organized a magnificent China experience for a large group of us, of which the highpoint was three days and two nights at a remote spot called The Barracks near the Great Wall. The location is only about two hours by car from Beijing, but it is in the pure Chinese countryside, which is a wonderful respite from the noise, traffic, and crowds of the city. This adventure is nothing like the tourist trip to the Great Wall from Beijing where someone is trying to sell you postcards and knick-knacks every fifty feet. We hiked and climbed for three days and we never saw other hikers or a scrap of toilet paper or trash. Magnificent!
The Barracks is simple living. The accommodations are around an open courtyard and are not exactly roughing it, but they’re basic but yet charming. Your host is English scholar William Lindesay and his Chinese wife. Lindesay is an author-photographer, and is considered to be one of the foremost experts of the Great Wall, which is his passion. Meals are cooked by Lindesay’s wife and staff, and the atmosphere is very convivial. At the end of a long day, beer and wine flow. You will get a large and very interesting dose of Chinese history from Lindesay as you hike and climb on the fortifications.
We were mostly a young and energetic group, but I’m sure Lindsay would adjust his program. Suffice it to say, he led us on a series of very challenging hikes and scrambles up to and on the Great Wall that left even teenagers gasping. The scenery is totally spectacular, and the structure and buildings of the Great Wall are robust and amazing in the sense that you wonder how this could have been built five hundred years ago. The Chinese were very worried about the Mongols!
I can say with complete sincerity that this was one of the most spectacular and interesting three days of travel I have ever spent! Two days at the Aman resort at the Summer Palace was a great finale.”
Read a member postcard from Alex Beard on a Wild Wall stay
Read a member postcard on the Aman at the Summer Palace
For advice on planning a trip to China or for a custom itinerary, contact our advisory team