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Everything You Need To Know About The Great Wall of China

Not only is the Great Wall of China the longest wall in the world, but it is also an ancient defensive architecture made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials. Stretching for 6000km from the Gobi Desert in western China to Shanhaiguan in the east through beautiful countryside and mountainous areas. The wall is also one of the seven wonders of the medieval world. 

Topping many people’s bucket lists, The Great Wall of China offers tourist a unique opportunity to learn about the country and experience the beauty of China’s countryside. For anyone who wants to head to see part of the wall, walk the full length or just get a few photo for social media, here is everything you need to know about The Great Wall of China:

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Source: Wikipedia

History

The Great Wall of China was built along the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe. Made up of seven walls built in the 7th Century BC that were later joined together to make a bigger and stronger defence unit. The combination of all the walls is collectively known as the Great Wall. Since the Ming Dynasty, the wall has been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced, and used as border controls which included control of immigration and emigration.

Today, the state of the wall differs from place to place. Seeing some of the original wall can only be done in certain places, while in others the wall has been totally renovated. 

Getting To The Wall

Most tourists view the Great Wall of China at various locations around Beijing. The best option for tourists wanting to see the wall, is to hire a taxi or hiring a car and going from location to the next. Most taxi drivers will drive tourists from location to location and wait for passengers for a few hours at specific venues before taking them back to the city centre.  This often costs around 400Y and is one of the best ways to see the wall while taking your time and not being rushed on by tour guides.

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Source: Flickr

Sections Of The Wall

As mentioned above the wall is made up of various smaller walls that each have their unique stories. Some of these walls have museums and incredible views. The more popular one often have entrance fees and are extremely crowded with a total of 70 000 people visiting the wall daily during peak season. Here are the various sections of the wall and why you should (or shouldn’t) visit it:

Simatai Great Wall

Simatai is known as the most awe inspiring part of the Great Wall with the wall plunging down steep valleys and running right on the edge of steep cliffs. The climb on this stretch of the wall is challenging and steep so come prepared. There is also a cable car for those who prefer an easier way to get to the top.

Entrance Fee: 30Y. There is an additional fee of 50Y for the cable car.

Badaling Great Wall

Even though the Badaling Great Wall is one of the popular parts of the Great Wall, it’s also the least authentic area with a theme park-like atmosphere. If heading to this part of the wall is important to you, be sure to do so for the stunning views and extensive Great Wall Museum.

Entrance Fee: 45Y which includes entry to the Great Wall Museum. 

Huanghua Great Wall

In recent years the Chinese Government has started repairing some of the Huanghua Great Wall. Like Gubeikou it is fairly quiet and gives tourists a true reflection of what the wall would have been today if not looked after.

Jinshanling Great Wall

Jinshanling is also a less populated section of the wall which has not been extensively renovated. At this wall tourists will find the ruins of an ancient watchtower.

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Source: Wikipedia

Mutianyu Great Wall

The most picturesque part of the wall is the Mutianyu which winds over green hills and is dotted with giant towers along the way. Even though this wall has been extensively renovated, it is often completely empty, but can also be extremely crowded when the tour buses arrive. Beware of pesky postcard sellers. 

Entrance Fee: 85Y. There is an additional fee of 50Y for the cable car.

Juyongguan Great Wall

Another popular wall is Juyonguan as it is the easiest place to get to from Beijing - about 50km northwest of the city. The wall has been restored and renovated, making it a beautiful stop for a few hours.

Entrance Fee: 45Y

Gubeikou Great Wall

One of the less popular sections of the wall is the Gubeikou as it is not well preserved and unkempt. It is the perfect area to get an unobstructed view of the wall without other tourists to get in your way. There is also a temple at this wall.

Entrance Fee: 25Y

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