If you plan to visit the Badaling section of the Great Wall by public transport, you need to be careful especially when it comes to the location of the bus stop. Most information available online, for example from TripAdvisor, tells you only that you need to go to Jishuitan Subway station, go out from Exit A and then walk to the Denshengmen Bus station.
However, there are two problems with this:
- Lack of details on how to actually reach the bus station on foot
- Many websites recommend bus 919 instead of 877. This is misleading because only bus 877 goes directly to Badaling.
Because of that, I met several obstacles and wasted more than an hour just to find the Deshengmen Bus Station from Jishuitan Subway Station exit A – the distance to which is only 400 meters.
So here is the story:
When we went out from Jishuitan station through Exit A, we saw a sign board saying: “Bus to Great Wall Badaling, 877, this way (arrow to the left) 400 meters”. As we were looking for bus 919 (as per our research) we thought that the signboard is either incorrect, outdated or not relevant since we were looking for bus 919 not 877. Therefore, instead of turning left we decided to cross the road as described in the TripAdvisor post — another mistake of fully trusting the post. After walking straight for around 600 meters and not finding the 919 bus with my limited Mandarin I managed to communicate with a security guard who informed us to walk back in the direction from which we came. We decided to do that and to follow the sign board for the 877 bus. Basically any bus that goes to Badaling.
Around a 100 meters later, after crossing back towards the subway station, we saw a bus stop with a long queue of tourists. I saw a blue sticker on the side with white writing and some Chinese characters and 919 and 877 written on it. We assumed that that is the bus stop that we were looking for by the number of foreigners waiting and when we asked around they all confirmed that they were there for the same reason.
Please learn from my mistake and know that this is FAKE STICKER PUT UP BY THE TAXI DRIVERS!
After waiting for almost an hour, standing in the sun, not even one 919 and 877 bus passed by. While waiting, I noticed there were some local guys who were shouting and who looked like they were arranging the queue approaching Chinese tourists (because they, of course, can’t speak English) and luring them to take taxi instead. Once again, with my very limited mandarin I understood them saying that the bus only comes once every hour and it will be cheaper and more convenient to take a taxi if the passengers share the fare amongst them. After awhile, people gave up and finally went with the taxi offer.
It was RMB400 – RMB500 for return trip compare to bus fare which is only RMB12 /way!!!
After waited for quite a while,we got impatient and Ogi decided to check out the area while we stayed in the queue. He was gone for around 10 minutes and came back with news that he saw the blue sticker with 919 and 877 written on them almost in every bus stop along the street. We suspected something wrong and started to talked to other foreign tourists in the queue. Most of them had no idea and queued there because they saw many people queue and the bus sticker was correct. Luckily one of them who seemed to be from a group of foreign students made a phone call and she then told us that that was in fact not the correct bus station. We followed her, leaving the queue and walking straight for another 300 meters, across a smaller road and found a very big Denshengmen Bus terminal with many, YES, MANY, 877 and 919 buses on standby there and ready to depart whenever they fill up. I was so relieved and shocked at the same time!
The scammers who made the fake bus stop for 919 and 877 were completely heartless. They knew the bus will never come and they were pretend to help to arrange the queue for their victim to line up.
They legit ruined other people’s holidays and deserve to be punished. When we returned, by the way, and passed by the same fake bus stops, the blue stickers with 919 and 877 on it were gone. The scammer are really professional!
I can go on and on with my anger at these scammers and this post will have no end. But I will not bore you with that.
My only advice is please do not fall to this scammer trap like I almost did. Remember from Exit A at Jishuitan station, follow the sign on the station and do not stop, I repeat DO NOT STOP before you walked for 400 meters and you spot a BIG bus terminal (not a bus stop)!