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The Great Wall of China

Great Wall Day

Travelling the Great Wall

The near incomprehensible 13,200 mile east to west China stretch of The Great Wall means travellers tend to pinpoint which section of the wall to visit.

Each primary section of The Great Wall provides a striking indication of just how great an architectural feat it was. Meandering through deserts, mountains and plateaus, The Great Wall offers a unique vantage point in which to survey China's diverse landscape.

The Badaling section, which can receive up to 70,000 visitors per day, will undoubtedly appeal to the majority of visitors to Beijing, with good access facilities and relatively straightforward climbs.

Among the most frequented stretch of all, Badaling can be reached easily by public transport at just over 40 miles from downtown Beijing. It is also one of the most preserved sections of The Great Wall, and represents the best chance of witnessing this astonishing shrine to Chinese civilisation.  

History

At more than 2,300 years old, The Great Wall of China, built with a combination of stone, soil, sand and brick, still stands defiant as the longest wall in the world.

Originally built in ancient China by the Zhou Dynasty and eventually several dynasties to protect their respective territories from invasion, it wasn't until The Ming Dynasty rebuilt the wall around Beijing between 1368–1644 that greater building techniques allowed enhanced fortification in turning the wall into a fully-equipped military blockade.

The famous flanking towers situated roughly every 500 metres along the wall allowed for archers to defend from a perfect vantage point, while vulnerable passes were protected by fortresses built to withstand even the most deadly attacks.

The Great Wall Dusk
The Great Wall fog

Culture and Myth

The Great Wall is as much a part of Chinese folklore as it is a structural embodiment of the determination and creativity of its inhabitants.

The tale of Meng Jiang Nü weeping over the Great Wall is among the most famous, detailing the legend set under the Qin Dynasty in which a section of the wall collapsed and Meng Jiang was said to cry over the death of her husband in constructing the wall.