The Great Wall may be China’s most known attraction. It’s rare that someone doesn’t know what or where this mammoth of a wall is. It snakes through the Chinese hillside, and has been visited by locals and tourists for decades.
While it was built as a means of border control and protection, it is now an international symbol of Chinese travel. It stretches for about 13,171 miles, although not all parts of the wall are in good shape. In fact, there are just a few sections that can still be visited today.
The wall gets thousands of visitors who awe at its beauty and size. The brave ones spend their visit climbing, while the others wander and take photos. No matter how you want to experience The Great Wall, a visit here is sure to be the highlight of your trip.
Interesting Facts About The Great Wall Of China
-The Great Wall can’t actually be seen from space with the naked eye. However, it can be seen from space if using a special viewing device.
-Bricks from the wall were actually removed and used for building homes during the cultural revolution in the 1960s and 1970s.
-The Great Wall receives about 10 million visitors every year.
-The Great Wall is sometimes called the longest cemetery on the planet because more than a million people died here while building it. Remains of humans have been found buried under parts of the wall.
-Glutinous rice flour was used during the Qin Dynasty to make the material that was used to bind bricks together.
History Of The Great Wall Of China
Building began as far back as 771 BC and started with fortifications. Slowly becoming connected over the years, the main purpose of the wall was to protect against travelers from inner Asia.
The wall was constructed by people who were forced into working, and by 212 BC, ran all the way from Gansu to Manchuria. Over the years, various dynasties worked on the wall. It was the Ming, Han, Northern Qi, and Sui who rebuilt and expanded it.
Later dynasties like the Yuan, Qing, Tang, and Song focused more on diplomacy and campaigning. While the wall’s function was to protect, it didn’t always get the job done.
In fact, there were a few raids throughout history during which the wall failed. One of these occasions was in 1644 when the Ming dynasty was replaced by Manchu Qing who marched right on through.
Today, the part of the wall that is mostly seen and visited can be largely attributed to the Ming dynasty. Opting for brick and stone, they helped to extend the life of the wall over the years.
The Mongolians, led by Genghis Khan, were also known to have ridden past the wall and into the Chinese territory.
Once the political culture calmed down, the wall still stood strong, and became recognized as a World UNESCO Heritage Site in 1987. While the wall has deteriorated in many places, there are still some spots that are great to visit. The Badaling area, which is only 43 miles from Beijing, was rebuilt during the 1950s, and is a popular spot for visitors today.
The Culture Of The Great Wall
The wall itself is considered a cultural icon in China. It represents a long history that has shaped the country.
It represents China’s love and ability to take on grand projects that go on to serve its country for decades.
The Great Wall has inspired stories, poems, art, opera, and legends around China since it was first constructed. Making it an integral part of everyday life for Chinese people.
The wall also serves as a symbol for unity. While physically representing unification, the wall also shows off the ability for the Chinese people to work together. Since the wall was constructed over many years, and by many different dynasties, it shows that the people worked together for a common good.
The wall also represents a separation from other countries and the world all together. It shows just how important Chinese culture is and how the citizens of the country are willing to do what it takes to preserve it.
-Visit during the spring and fall for the best weather. During spring, the weather is still cool, and the trees are vibrant and green. During the fall, the leaves are yellow and orange, making the landscape even more beautiful.
-The Badaling section is the easiest to visit. Kids and seniors should visit the Mutianyu section. Strong hikers should visit the Jiankou section, and regular hikers should visit the Simatai section.
-Staying at a hotel nearby The Great Wall can make the commute less stressful and give you more time to enjoy the area.
-It’s possible to camp on The Great Wall if you like adventure.
Visiting The Great Wall Of China
-One day private tour of Badaling Great Wall: Private tour guide and private car. There will be no shopping stops.
-Beijing Group Tour, Badaling Great Wall and Ming Tombs: Experienced, English-speaking guide who will take you to both of these cultural attractions.
-Glorious 1-day Best of Beijing Group Tour: See Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, and the Summer Palace.
-Beijing Group Tour of The Mutianyu Great Wall and Ming Tombs: This part of the wall is easiest to visit, especially for children and the elderly. Add on the bonus of visiting the Ming Tombs.
-One Day Classic Beijing Hutong Tour: After spending a day on The Great Wall, take some time to explore more of Beijing’s attractions. On this tour you’ll see the Temple of Heaven, the Mansion of Prince Gong, and a rickshaw ride through the Hutongs.