Climbing the Great Wall of China
By Lola Adewoyin
So much has been written and published about the Great Wall of China but one thing is certain, if you travel to China without visiting this world renowned landmark, then your trip is incomplete. The history of the great wall is one which is difficult to comprehend, although it is said the construction of the wall began in the warring states period in the early seventh century BC.
The Great Wall of China is the one the artificial wonders of the world which symbolizes the greatness of China.
With a functionality of over a thousand years, the great wall was built to protect the villages from the invasion of the northern tribes providing a stable life, culture and government. The history of this wall is what contributed to the growth of China in terms of political, economy, culture and tourism.
The length of the Great wall extends approximately 6700 kilometers across deserts, and plateaus from the border of China to the Hun territories in the north. The beauty of the great wall is such that you cannot appreciate its beauty except you climb it step by step. It is better seen from an aerial perspective if you are on the plane or a helicopter.
In the ancient times, it was called the Wall of ten thousand li (a li is one third of a mile) and its construction started as earth works built for the protection of the different kingdoms. Each kingdom had its own section of wall; like in the east, the wall was built out of stones and bricks, while the section on the western part of China was built with less durable materials. The individual sections of the wall was later renovated and connected to one another during the time of the Qin dynasty (221 – 206 BC) when Emperor Qin recruited peasants, soldiers and farmers to work on the wall. This tradition continued for centuries until each dynasty added to the height, length and design of the wall through forced labor. The wall has now become a major landmark for tourists visiting China.
The Great Wall of China can be climbed from different sections all of which serve different purposes. The four main sections best suited for climbing and sightseeing are the Badaling section, Mutianyu section, Simatai section and the Shixiaguan section.
The great wall at Badaling became a strategic point of the wall since the Warring states period when it was built.
Being the very first section of the wall to be opened to tourists, it has recorded a statistics of about 140 million visitors who have climbed successively. This section was built with huge bar stones which weighed hundreds of kilograms with watch towers at every distance. These watch towers were used as the deployment points for the military during the olden days. This section of the wall is very crowded being that it is the most visited section.
The Simatai Great Wall is located in the northeast of Beijing. Its construction started in the Ming dynasty and measures around 5.4 kilometers with 35 watch towers. This section of the wall retained its original feature and has earned the reputation of being the most beautiful section of the wall. Unlike the other sections, Simatai section of the great wall is very quiet and remote and this has challenged many hikers to climb this section in quest of adventure.
The Mutianyu section of the great wall is the most preserved section of the great wall which is very important in Chinese military history. This section has cable cars installed allowing tourists to move from end to the other. It is slightly rugged and full of green plans making it the greenest part of the wall. The Mutianyu section is noted as the essence of the great wall because of the distinct style and construction of this part.
Shixiaguan Great Wall is the most part of the great wall to be opened to visitors and still shows the ruins of some of the old construction from the ancient times.
In conclusion, the great of china is definitely a must see on your next trip to china. In order for you to enjoy your tour around the wall, it is advisable to consult the services of a tour operator in China to assist you with the itinerary.
About the Author
Lola has been traveling around China and loves to write about adventure travels and tours in China.
She writes for China Tour and Travels a foreign inbound tour operator in China.
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