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  • Writer's pictureKirk

The Great Wall of China

Yeah, one of the three greatest wow factor sites in the world that I've visited. The other two being the Grand Canyon and Iguazu Falls. I've already posted on Iguazu Faiis here:


I've also posted the Grand Canyon at sunrise here:


But this is the only one of the three that is man-made. I normally prefer natural wonders to man-made ones, but this one is truly exceptional.



These photos are from my second trip to the Wall. The first was more memorable because it was January and very few tourists were present. But even on my second visit you can see it is not too crowded. I expect weekends and holidays the Wall is quite full.



There are several sections of the Wall that can be visited but I chose the closest to Beijing where I was staying. This was the Badaling section, a well preserved and easily accessible section. In fact, an easy gondola ride brings you right to the wall with very little climbing.

You can also exit the wall after your tour by using the same gondola, or you may choose to take a toboggan ride back down. My first trip I took the toboggan ride, but I chose the Gondola the second time.


The trip from Beijing is only about 1 1/2 hours. The first time I went I took a taxi as it was inexpensive at the time. But the second visit, a few years later, prosperity in the country led to labor inflation so the taxi was cost prohibitive. As a result, I chose to go by bus.


Access to this section of the Great Wall is available at a very reasonable $6 USD. But the cable car ride adds an additional $20 USD to the price. Still very reasonable for such a magnificent attraction.


I did a self tour both times. It's possible to take a group tour or even hire a private guide at a reasonable cost, however, I often don't enjoy toured guides. You follow their agenda and time table and not yours. Plus, the internet can fill in all the information you need.



I really loved the natural setting of the Wall. Surrounded by woods and wilderness it's easy to picture an invasion at this site. In fact, the Wall was breached by Genghis Khan and the Mongols in 1211. He was the only leader to successfully breach the Wall. The story of how it was done differs, but the one that seems most plausible is he bribed a gate keeper to open a gate.



Look how long just this one section stretches! The wall is not continuous as there are mountainous and other natural access inhibitions where a wall is not required. The Badaling section is 7 1/2 miles long with 43 watchtowers, but only a little over 2 miles is tourist accessible. The wall is approximately 26 feet in height.


Such an impressive structure in an impressive setting.






This place is so impressive it's worthy of a second post. I'll post pictures from my first trip another time.

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
01 jun
Obtuvo 5 de 5 estrellas.

Sounds like a great time can't wait for the pictures

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Kirk
Kirk
02 jun
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Thanks for reading Mike!

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