During your travel to China you can do lots of thing, depending on where you are and what are your interests, but there is one thing that you cannot avoid. The greatest construction of all time, the only thing human made that can be seen from the moon: The Great Wall. It’s not that you should include it in your china trip, is that you MUST.

The Great Wall is a gigantic construction that is believed to be 21,196 kilometers long (including the branches and the natural barriers that the ancient Chinese had included in the wall) and it extends from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Lake in the west, roughly following the form of Mongolia.

It’s believed to be started the 800 B.C, but it was reinforced and rebuilt the 221 B.C by Qin Shi Huang from the Qin dynasty, to protect their territory from the enemy, some sources said that up to one million workers died constructing this part.

Later in the 14th century, in the beginning of the Ming era, and following its defeat by the Mongolian, the emperor decided to reconstruct the wall and reinforce it, it was made of bricks instead of rammed earth and a large quantity of watchtowers (it’s believed that more than 25,000) were built to ensure the security of Ming’s dynasty’s land and to stop enemies from entering in their territory.

Now the Wall is mostly in ruins because it’s impossible to maintain it for it is very large, but you can still visit some parts, mostly reconstructed and adapted for tourism.

One of the best parts to go if you want to combine the visit and a little bit of adventure is in the south-east of Jinshanling, at 2h by car from Beijing; it’s called the Mutianyu Great Wall and it’s a 3 kilometers completely restored part.

In this part of the wall you can go up either by walking or in what they call “cable car” but it’s really a two seats chairlift, there you can ascend to the top of the mountain and also to the top of the wall when you can walk along until you reach one of the watchtowers that had been restored, it is very hot and the stairs are uneven so be prepared, also bring your own food because the prizes there are unbelievingly high.

Going down is another adventure, you can go down in the same “cable car” or you can slide down in the “toboggan”. This is the best thing you can do because it’s not just a funny way to go down the Great Wall; it’s also beautiful because you slide between the trees and the nature.

The Great Wall is a great place to go, so if you are travelling to China make sure that you make time to go in a one-day excursion to the Great Wall and you can see with your own eyes the magnificence of the most important of all the Chinese constructions.

Jack Li

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