Hotels in China
Popular Places
Best of China
Special Interests
Food in China
Travel Tips
General Info
Weather Check
Currency Converter
Time Zone Converter
Language Translator
Stock Index
About Us
Contact Us
Join us
Reservation Terms
Site Map

Special Interests
Acupuncture l Great Wall l Mountaineering l Paleontology

Walking the Great Wall

Before the Great Wall of China existed there were many tinier walls or earth works constructed by several different states. In 220 BC, under Qin Shin Huang, those disparate sections were joined together to form a united defense system against invasions from the north. Construction continued up to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), when the Great Wall became the world’s largest military structure and is today inscribed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Over 6000 km in total length, the Great Wall is the only man-made structure that is visible from outer space. With steep, smooth sides, the wall features prominently in radar pictures and is a wonder to behold when one tries to imagine the number of man-hours that must have been involved.

There are traditional stories about the wall that implies the human cost involved in the construction of the wall. One such story is about Meng Jiangnu who, shortly after being married, saw her husband conscripted to work on the construction of the wall. She worried about the cold that her husband would face in the north and began sewing a padded cotton jacket. When it was completed, she set out on a long walk from the south. She finally arrived at the wall and found the men from her village, but she was told that her husband had died. She mourned her loss at the wall with such emotion that 20 li (about 7 miles) of the wall collapsed. It was in a pit at the center that she found the body of her husband. She then committed suicide to join her husband in the afterlife.

Walking along the better maintained portions of the wall is possible and one is even awarded a certificate for having walked along this monument to human will, achievement and sacrifice. Or you could always go for the more prosaic ‘I Climbed the Great Wall’ T-shirt. There are hiking packages available that allow travel on the wall along some of the most breathtaking locations, such as the largest imperial garden in the world, and the Ming and Qin dynasty imperial tombs. Perhaps you would prefer sunrise at Shan Hai Guan, where the Great Wall meets the sea, or gaze north from Badaling, which is where majority of visitors to China see the Great Wall.

About 70 km northwest of Beijing and at an elevation of 1000 meters above sea level lies a section of the wall, which is so popular that even a cable car system was built. Looking north, one sees the beginnings of the vast desert flatlands from which the Hun invaders once came. Here it almost seems as if the wall was built to keep out the desert as well as the Huns because the view south is one of rolling hills covered with short brush and trees.

If the crowds at Badaling do not appeal and if you aren’t afraid of heights then perhaps the Simatai section of the Great wall is a better choice. This section is in a relatively natural state, not having undergone extensive restoration like Badaling. A few of the slopes are at 70º inclines. There is a section of narrow footpath that has a 500 meter drop. If you prefer a totally low-tourist experience of the wall then a hike along the Wild Wall at Huanghua, 60 km north of Beijing, can provide you with an experience of the Great Wall au naturel.

Top of Page



Home l Places of Interest l Outdoor Travel l Food in Asia l General Info l Entertainment
Shopping Asia l Special Attractions


Australia l Bali l Brunei l China l Hong Kong l Japan l Korea l Macau l Malaysia l Myanmar l New Zealand
Philippines l Singapore l Taiwan l Thailand

Copyright © by Hotnet Sdn.Bhd. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Copyright and Disclaimer l Privacy Policy