Visiting the Seven Wonders of the World using miles & points: The Great Wall of China

Feb 10, 2022

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Editors note: This is a new series showing you how to experience the seven wonders of the world using miles and points. As only one of the original seven wonders of the world from the second century is still standing (the Pyramids of Giza), we are using the list of the new Seven Wonders of the World.


Dating back to 700 B.C., the Great Wall of China is one of the largest construction projects ever undertaken. It stretches some 12,000 miles across 15 northern Chinese provinces, from the Bohai Sea in the east to the Gobi desert in the west. It is comprised of several different materials including bricks, stone blocks and lime mortar.

Taking more than 2,000 years to construct, while it is famously known as a ‘wall’ it is actually a series of fortifications.

The Great Wall stretches across China, though the most convenient way to visit is from the capital city of Beijing. This city experiences weather extremes across the year – it’s the only city to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympic games. As a result, visiting in the middle of summer or middle of winter is not ideal due to the weather. April to May and September to November are great times to visit because of the more pleasant conditions.

Related: What the beds at the Park Hyatt New York and Beijing Olympics have in common

Different sections of the wall are fully restored resembling how they were originally built thousands of years ago, while other sections retain their overgrow, dilapidated and more rustic appearance – it will depend on how authentic you want your experience to be, versus how many crowds you want to battle. It’s a good idea to do a guided tour to and from the wall as battling Beijing traffic is not for the faint-hearted.

Related: 7 tips for avoiding crowds at the world’s most popular tourist sites

While you probably won’t be heading to China in the immediate future given their long-standing covid restrictions, if you’ve ever wanted to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World in the future it’s never too early to start planning.

Here’s how to visit the Great Wall of China using miles and points.

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Photo by Haitong Yu / Gettys

How to get there

Depending on the section of the Great Wall you visit, you can expect a 1.5 to 2.5-hour journey from the city of Beijing so it’s a fairly easy day trip from the city. Check out the incredible Forbidden City while you are in Beijing too.

British Airways are scheduled to recommence daily services to Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) from London Heathrow (LHR) from 30 October 2022, though this remains subject to change.

To fly with British Airways you will need to redeem the following, one way, per person:

  • 16,250 Avios off-peak / 25,000 Avios peak + £150 in fees, taxes and surcharges in World Traveller economy
  • 32,000 Avios off-peak / 50,000 Avios peak + £354.06 in fees, taxes and surcharges in World Traveller Plus premium economy
  • 62,500 Avios off-peak / 75,000 Avios peak + £405.56 in fees, taxes and surcharges in Club World business class

Related: The best British Airways World Traveller Plus (premium economy) seats

Virgin Atlantic do not fly to Beijing though they do fly nonstop from London Heathrow to Shanghai (PVG) and then you could travel to Beijing by domestic flight, or internal train.

To fly with Virgin Atlantic to Shanghai, you will need to redeem the following, one way, per person:

  • 12,500 Virgin Points off-peak / 22,500 Virgin Points peak + £234.56 in fees, taxes and surcharges in Economy
  • 12,500 Virgin Points off-peak / 32,500 Virgin Points peak + £327.56 in fees, taxes and surcharges in Premium
  • 57,500 Virgin Points off-peak / 62,500 Virgin Points peak + £405.56 in fees, taxes and surcharges in Upper Class

Star Alliance member Air China flies nonstop from London (LHR) to Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). You can also fly indirectly from the United Kingdom to Beijing Capital with Air France via Paris (CDG), Austrian via Vienna (VIE), Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong (HKG), Emirates via Dubai (DXB), Finnair via Helsinki (HEL), KLM via Amsterdam (AMS), Qatar Airways via Doha (DOH) and Turkish Airlines via Istanbul (IST) among other airlines.

Related: Inside Beijing’s new Daxing airport, the world’s largest single terminal

Etihad Airways also flies to Beijing Daxing (PKX) from Abu Dhabi (AUH).

The Temple of Heaven, Beijing. Photo by Xia Yang / Gettys

Where to stay

As a megacity with a population of over 20 million people, Beijing has a wide range of great hotel options you can book with points and miles. With dozens of options, here are our favourites:

  • The Conrad Beijing is a five-star member of Hilton Honors with cash rates from £115 per night or 47,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
  • The Waldorf Astoria Beijing is a five-star member of Hilton Honors with cash rates from £227 per night or 80,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
  • The Ritz-Carlton Beijing a five-star member of Marriott Bonvoy with cash rates from £189 per night or 35,000 Bonvoy points per standard night as a Category 5 property
  • The Park Hyatt Beijing is a five-star World of Hyatt property with cash rates from £192 per night or 20,000 points per standard night as a Category 5 property.
  • The JW Marriott Hotel Beijing Central is a five-star member of Marriott Bonvoy with cash rates from £122 per night or 25,000 Bonvoy points per standard night as a Category 4 property.
  • The St. Regis Beijing is a five-star member of Marriott Bonvoy with cash rates from £142 per night or 35,000 Bonvoy points per standard night as a Category 5 property.
  • The Intercontinental Beijing Beichen will reopen in April this year. Cash rates start at £175 per night or 31,000 IHG Rewards points.

Related: Luxury really is personal: A review of the Park Hyatt Beijing

Visiting the Seven Wonders of the World using miles & points:

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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