If you like things more authentic and want to see the actual Wall, go to Mutianyu, for its accessibility and gorgeous scenery.

What is Mutianyu’s attractive? It is the perfect Wall, not too grimy, not too touristy, still true to its origins without being too remote or so authentic it's actually dangerous.

You can go up via cable car, which will offer a great view. If you go up by foot, you'll miss the view but the effort will be part of the experience.

On the way down I would definitely recommend the slide, arguably the best part of any Wall, be it fake or legit. You go down sitting in a type of seat-like contraption with a lever used to brake or accelerate. If you push down you speed up, wind, pollen and pollution in your face, and if you lift it then you brake. Very simple.

Mutianyu in the summer

The goal is to use this brake as little as possible, while waving back at the strategically positioned Chinese boys squatting on wholes on the side of the mountain yelling you to "SLOW DOWN, TOO FAST, PLEASE SLOW."

At the end there may be a man dressed in Ming Dynasty attire, complete with tinfoil ax and a muskrat’s tail for a mustache/whiskers. Or a woman asking for 20 kuai to pet a camel. Why is this camel in the middle of the mountains, and what it has to do with the Wall, has been beyond many a tourist before you, so don't bother yourself with answerless questions.