Xi Ma Tai
Of course, you need a local, so this is Doria, our improvised guide, who helped us for arranging this trip.
One of the MUST DO when you are visiting Beijing is for sure the Great Wall. But as usual the touristic attractions are very crowded so the section of the Great Wall you visit should be well chosen. My will was to find a nice place to hike without having all those masses of tourists hanging around. After 3 weeks of research and advices I choose Xi Ma Tai ( Si Ma Tai ). There is a water village at the bottom af the mountain, recently build and full with nice tea saloons and restaurants. The real fun starts at the end of the village, there is a 20 minutes climb to the wall through the forest. Once you get to the 1st pillar of the Wall, well...there are 9 more to climb. We didn't do it on the right time, it was 14h00 when we began climbing and the temperature was around 40 C but we survived. It is a matter of physical condition and willingness. If somehow you want to do the same, be sure you have a hat and enough water to get to the end. Finally you are not born a warrior, you became a warrior🙂. Next trip we prepare is a 2x day 20km hike on the Water Side of the Great Wall...Will keep you posted.