Walk the Great Wall, China (UNESCO site)
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The Great Wall, known to the Chinese as the “Long Wall of Ten Thousand Li”, is a magnificent defensive structure built to ward off invasions of the Celestial Empire by barbarians. The roots of the fortification’s construction stretch back nearly 3,000 years. Approximately 2,300 years ago the Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, instigated the linking and restoration of several independent walls originally built to protect the empire from intruders to the north. An additional 5,600 kilometers were added to the length of the wall during the Ming Dynasty. At strategic points along the Great Wall fortresses, passageways to quickly move troops, and significant monuments were built into this ancient engineering achievement with the purpose of defending China against military aggression as well as assaults on its cultural independence. The entire system stretches nearly 9,000 kilometers which includes trenches and other natural barriers in addition to the stone, brick, wood and earthen man-made structure that comprises over 6,200 kilometers of the Great Wall which can be seen from outer-space.
The Great Wall of China is most often visited from Beijing, China’s capital and second most populous city. Public buses from iconic Tiananmen Square shuttle tourist to nearby sections of the wall on a regular schedule. The renowned “Old Dragon’s Head” where the Great Wall meets the sea in northern China is accessible with a 4 hour train ride from Beijing. Other important sections of the wall are accessible from nearby cities with regular train and air service. In many locations with close proximity to the wall are found museums, parks and nature areas and hiking trails. A number of guided hikes are available to view sections of the wall lead by knowledgeable docents. Adventures that include multi-day treks along sections of the Great Wall are a popular pursuit of visitors to China. These total immersion experiences can run from 6 to 15 days with diversions that include visits to sacred mountains, neighboring historic towns, rural villages and other culturally significant locations.
Your trip of a lifetime to visit China would not be complete without including time to Walk The Great Wall in your itinerary. Add this adventure to your list today. Whether you decide on a day trip or an extended exploratory expedition the memories you will create will no doubt help insure a dream fulfilling visit to China.
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