You are ready for one of the main stops on the world tour circuit – the Great Wall of China near Beijing. Preparing for discovery channel type views or a nice walk along the wall taking in the history you head out on the convenient public transport that goes to the nearest portion of the wall at Badaling. Arriving you find hoards of crowds reminiscent of a Chinese market street with vendors pestering you to buy a souvenir, or heaven forbid more postcards, every 20 meters. The hike is a little different than what you expected. You hike up the stone steps avoiding bumping into the tourists who seem to have no clue about your 2 foot personal space bubble. Turning around to take a picture of the Wall and surrounding background, you find it difficult to get the picture you wanted: each picture looks more like a snake of people than the TV documentary photos. Disappointed you buy your obligatory souvenir stating that you climbed the wall in chinese, “Wo deng shang le chang cheng” and head back to Beijing thinking the Great Wall really isn’t all it’s made out to be. Maybe you should have listened to your backpacker friend’s advise and tried out a different, slightly harder to get to location like Mutianyu, Jinshanling, or Simatai.