The Great Wall of China

On June 19, 2012, in Adventure Trip, Beijing, Cultural Experience, Great Wall, by Jack Li

When you travel to Beijing, the top tourist sight is easily the Great Wall of China. If you travel to Beijing and do not see the Great Wall, then not only are you missing out on one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but you are also denying yourself the most beautiful view of […]

When you travel to Beijing, the top tourist sight is easily the Great Wall of China. If you travel to Beijing and do not see the Great Wall, then not only are you missing out on one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but you are also denying yourself the most beautiful view of China available. The Great Wall, although a large tourist attraction, has many different portions that people can travel to see. There are areas heavily populated with other tourists, but there are also areas that are more remote where the wall has been left in its original state.

The Great Wall was constructed in the seventh century B.C. by feudal warlords in order to defend the Chinese Empire from Mongolian and Manchu enemies to the north. During the early construction of the Great Wall, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives due to the building conditions being so dangerous. It is also said that the early parts of the wall were built from materials that could be found in the local areas due to rock and stone being too difficult to transport across the country. Several dynasties later, the wall was constructed from bricks. The Great Wall is fragmented and due to that, there are areas that are preserved really well and areas that are a little more worn.

When I traveled to the Great Wall, I went to the Badaling Remnant of the Great Wall. It serves as the Western gate of the whole fortification system. This area of the wall has been preserved as it was when it was originally constructed. There are fractions of the wall that are whole and easy to navigate, but there were also areas I climbed that were broken and deteriorated, which were a lot more difficult to climb. The broken portions we climbed are representative of the history that this portion of the wall endured. There was an attack in this area in about 1644 where LiZicheng who was extremely resentful of the corrupt regime of the day, led his troops from this area of the wall in a rebellion to successfully overthrow the Ming Dynasty. However, despite the wall not being renovated and difficult to climb, the resulting view was well worth it! The view from the top of the tower that we reached was breathtaking. I have never seen such a view in my life. This portion of the wall, still in its original form, takes you back in history to its construction two thousand years ago.

To travel to Beijing and not visit the Great Wall would be a disgrace! It was one of my most memorable experiences since arriving in Beijing. I definitely recommend traveling to the Badaling Remnant Great Wall for it is in its original state, which is not something that a lot of the other sections of the Great Wall can offer. However, if this is the section you decide to visit, I recommend bringing your own water and snacks because once you arrive, there are not places to buy these things. There is a shack that sells souvenirs, snacks, and water, but it closes in the early afternoon. The Great Wall certainly lives up to its reputation and I would definitely recommend taking a day to appreciate its beauty! 

A world wonder worth seeing!

On September 5, 2011, in Adventure Trip, Cultural Experience, Great Wall, Must-sees, by Jack Li

    With the Great Wall of China being one of the Seven Wonders of the World, I had very high expectations of my trip to the Muitianyu section. With the help of China Tours, I was able to book a day visit which picked me up directly from my Beijing Hotel and took me the 70km journey to the wall […]

 

 

With the Great Wall of China being one of the Seven Wonders of the World, I had very high expectations of my trip to the Muitianyu section. With the help of China Tours, I was able to book a day visit which picked me up directly from my Beijing Hotel and took me the 70km journey to the wall by airconditioned coach. Muitianyu is considered the most preserved section of the Great Wall of China and is less crammed with tourists compared to Badaling.

 

 

 

 

About the Muitianyu Great Wall

The Mutitianyu Great Wall was first built in the 6th Century AD, making it the oldest part of the Wall. It was later rebuilt in 1569 to which most parts are still in excellent condition, making it the best quality of all the sections of the Great Wall of China. US President Bill Clinton visited this part of the wall in 1998, stating “The Great Wall here is very beautiful, very grand, more beautiful and grander than what I imagined”. So it that is anything to go by, it makes it a must see for Chinese culture enthusiasts.

Getting up and down the Great Wall

You can get up to the wall by either cable car or by walking. If you intend to walk, there a lots of steep stairs to climb which can get very tiring and require several breaks inbetween to take in the views and catch your breath.

The wall itself is 3km long, consisting of 22 watchtowers which you can climb to the top of to get a better view. The wall is surrounded by forests and streams with views of distant mountains.

Once you get up to the top of the wall, you can either walk, take the cable car, or use the novelty toboggan slide down.

 

 

Things worth noting

If you intend on walking up or down the wall, wearing comfortable shoes is a must. The last thing you want is to be preoccupied with plasters whilst trying to enjoy your day.

Bring some spending money. Getting onto the wall requires a small fee (45RMB for adults and 25RMB for students who produce a valid Student ID) and the cable cars and toboggan slide require a little bit more. There are many street stalls selling a wide variety of traditional chinese goods and fruit and is a perfect way to test your haggling technique in preparation for the silk market.

Charge your camera up the night before. On visiting the wall myself, I took around 200 photographs so be prepared to get some beautiful scenic photographs. You can also spot the Chinese men dressed in tradition Chinese armour and get a photograph with them for a small donation.

 

So if you plan on taking a Beijing tour, the Mutitianyu Great Wall is a must see. It is an experience that I will always remember thanks to my excellent photographs, Chinese memorabilia and the blisters on my feet due to my lack of preparation!

One city, one Wall, 6 different destinations

On July 14, 2011, in Adventure Trip, Beijing, Cool Places, Must-sees, Tours, by Jack Li

I don’t have to remind you that a visit to the Great Wall is a must when travelling to China. If you’re staying in the bustling city of Beijing, a trip to the Great Wall – though one of its kind – can be a spiritual, but also a troublesome experience. The majestic scenery of […]

I don’t have to remind you that a visit to the Great Wall is a must when travelling to China. If you’re staying in the bustling city of Beijing, a trip to the Great Wall – though one of its kind – can be a spiritual, but also a troublesome experience. The majestic scenery of sublime and unique beauty will certainly put you in awe. However, the crowds in certain sections may lessen the joy of your visit, especially on weekends and during summer months. Around Beijing, there are 6 sections currently available to tourists. Read and pick the best one for you before travelling with China Travel and Beijing Tours!

Badaling section

Known as the essence of the Great Wall, it is the first choice for the majority of tourists. Located 70km from Beijing, it is a popular half-day trip, recommended especially for those who are not willing to do a steep climb. Many combine it with a visit to Ming Tombs nearby. It’s called a must-see section, but be prepared for massive crowds! Check out our blog for all the practical info.

Huanghuacheng section

The secluded section is said to be the most beautiful, but also the steepest one. It is physically demanding and requires appropriate
clothing, footwear and previous hiking experience. Located 65km from the city, it stretches over the area of 10km. The entry fee is 25RMB (20RMB cheaper than Badalling) and is recommended for adventurous tourists looking forward to experiencing the most intact part of the Wall.

Mutianyu section

This section, situated around 90km from Beijing, is renowned for exceptionally beautiful views. Less crowded, it is a good alternative to Badaling. The trail is over 2.2km long. Rarely encountered, the so-called branch cities – a few yard wide constructions built on a hill ridges for additional protection – are scattered around the Great Wall here. The admission fee is same as for the Badaling section, that is 45RMB.

Jiankou section

A recent photographic hotspot, the Jiankou section is known for its picturesque location and steep peaks. As in Huanghuacheng, remember about the outfit suitable for climbing. 30km away from Beijing, the section is 15km long. The famous Nine-Eye Tower is located in here. It is connected to the Beijing knot, where 3 walls coming from different directions meet. Entry costs 20RMB. Be careful, as the site is quite dilapidated and stones are loose!

Gubeikou section

Situated around 100km away from Beijing, the section is over 40km long. Many of the 157 towers along this trail have been recognized as cultural relics. Gubeikou is one of the best preserved part of the Wall in its original state. The admission fee is only 20RMB, however getting there will take longer than to more popular sections.

Jinshanling section

For a full Great Wall experience, you can join the hike along Gubeikou section with the Jinshanling one. Plan an overnight stay in one of the villages nearby, as the total walk can take as much as 14 hours! It leads via the Simatai section, closed for renovation till 2012, which is known for its harsh conditions for climbers. The Jinshanling trail alone is around 10km long. The admission fee in top season is 50RMB.

If you have an opportunity, do stay in the Great Wall area overnight. However, if you’re planning only a one day trip, make sure you book a hotel with Beijing Hotels.

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The Great Wall – Mutianyu

On January 18, 2011, in Beijing, Cultural Experience, Great Wall, Must-sees, by Jack Li

When on your China Travels make sure you book a china tour that takes to the Great Wall of China. It is a must-see attraction when in China and it is simply magnificent. One section of the wall that I would recommend you seeing is the Mutianyu section.  At the weekend, I went with a […]

When on your China Travels make sure you book a china tour that takes to the Great Wall of China. It is a must-see attraction when in China and it is simply magnificent. One section of the wall that I would recommend you seeing is the Mutianyu section.  At the weekend, I went with a group of friends and was blown away by the views that you can see from the wall.

The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is located in the Huarou County which is 70km Northwest of Beijing. This section is connected with Jiankou which is situated in the west and Lianhuachi which is situated in the east. This section is said to be the best preserved part of Great Wall and it used to be used as the northern barricade defending the tombs and the capital. It is thought to be built in the mid-6th century which commenced on the foundation of the wall of northern Qi. This was under the supervision of General Xu Da during the Ming dynasty. It was rebuilt in 1569, and most of the wall is well preserved still today. The wall itself was built, mainly, with Granite. The Mutianyu section is 7-8 metres in height and the top is 4-5 metres wide. When you compare this section to others on the Great Wall, the Mutianyu section posses unique character.

My Friends and I on the Great Wall of China

When I went, there was quite a big group of us and we went by online casino minibus which took about an hour to get there and after going out the night before, it gave some people the chance to sleep! We went to the section of the wall called Mutianyu (also known as the ‘fun’ section) and it took us just 40 minutes to walk up to the Great Wall from the tourist area. The walk up mainly consisted of all stairs and I mean steep stairs! Obviously, this was when people split up due to pace of climbing those stairs. I was one of the first ones on the wall and I was simply taken back as soon as I got there. The wall just goes on for miles and you see the watchtowers on the top of the small mountains that are so far in the distance. As it was a Sunday and it was January, there weren’t many other tourist around so we were mainly the only ones on the wall which was really pleasant. We took a picture of the ones who made it on the wall first and then took a massive group photo once everyone had made it.. The best bit of going to the wall had to be the way we got back down again. We got to toboggan back down, even though you’re hands felt like they were about fall off as you went down, it was so much fun.

You can visit http://www.mutianyugreatwall.com to find out more information on this section where it will have details on opening times, costs and how to get there.

So don’t hesitate and book your china flights today and prepare to see breathtaking views that will blow your mind whilst standing on one of the wonders of the world!

The Depths of the Great Wall of China

The Depths of The Great Wall of China The Great Wall of China is roughly an hour journey away from Beijing. In a group of five, we set off to the Bus Station by taxi from our China Hotels using China Travel. From there we boarded the bus to ‘Mutianyu’ which is a small village […]

The Depths of The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is roughly an hour journey away from Beijing. In a group of five, we set off to the Bus Station by taxi from our China Hotels using China Travel. From there we boarded the bus to ‘Mutianyu’ which is a small village near the Great Wall. It was interesting as we gazed out of our windows most of the time and looked at the scenery of Beijing’s landscape, culture and beauty.

The bus dropped us off in a small village 20km away from Mutianyu and we then flagged a taxi down to take us to our desired destination. We negotiated and bargained with the taxi man to give us a good price for the ride there and eventually after a long discussion we managed to get a good price and arrived in a small minibus. The roads there were not fully developed although most are concrete payment, but huge holes in the ground made us jump around a lot in the taxi, it was fun so using China Tours would definitely be the best option for a more comfortable ride.

So we finally got to the Great Wall, ahead of time we stopped off for some food at a nearby restaurant and we dined into some Chinese cuisine. It was traditional style Chinese food with a variety of foods to choose from and gave us a boost of energy for the upcoming trek. We then walked up a large hill and came across the ticket box to purchase our entrance, sky lift, and toboggan lift tickets. It was surrounded with heaps of cultural stalls and attractions to interest tourists and people in with souvenirs and gifts to purchase. This felt intense as you were bombarded with hundreds of people trying to sell you something. But eventually to our glee and to some extent- exhaustion, we made it to the sky lift and made our way up to the Great Wall of China.

At last! Standing and seeing an ancient and most preserved wonder of the world! It felt great and good to be witnessing something extraordinary. I took lots of pictures and videos, and for some reason started thinking about life. It really does amaze you once you are up there in the mountains and seeing something powerful, its beauty at its best. We walked the wall until the very end of its capable and safety limit which took us around two hours to do. The Wall itself is actually thousands of miles long so we couldn’t see all of it as it would probably take us a year to do. So getting here with a good pair of shoes is better for long distance walking especially on the Great Wall of China.

After an eventful and enjoyable day, we turned around and began our journey back. This involved taking a toboggan ride down the last hills of the Great Wall. It was great and so much fun when you slide down, it’s like one big roller coaster! Once down the mountains, we got a minibus back to Beijing city and ended our day. This is was fun also as it gives you a chance to relax on your way home from a long and tiring but exhilarating day out. This is one trip that should be experienced by everyone and is truly something different and special. For more information, I would recommend China Flights to create a package.

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