The Great Wall of China is arguably the most visited tourist attraction in mainland China. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a long stretch of walls that crosses through deserts, grasslands, plateaus, and mountains. Built originally to prevent invasion more than 2,000 years ago, the Great Wall of China is an iconic spot that echoes the country’s prolific history that transcends to the present times.
The Great Wall of China’s history can be traced during the time of three great dynasties. In the year 770 – 221 B.C., during the Warring States Period of the Zhou Dynasty, state overlords started to build walls in order to protect their respective areas. It was during the Qin Dynasty when its first Emperor linked the different sections of the wall on the Northern border of China. The major reason for this was to protect their side of the country for defensive fortification against invaders. Another extension of the wall occurred during the Han Dynasty to protect the Silk Road trade in the Western side of the country. Finally, building the walls around Beijing, which took place during the Ming Dynasty, completed to what is currently known as the Great Wall of China.
More Facts about The Great Wall of China
Considered to be the longest wall in the world, The Great Wall of China is over thirteen thousand miles in length. This majestic wall was built with the brilliance and hard work from the hands of soldiers and peasants over 200 years ago. Made of a combination of soil, bricks, sand, and stones, these walls have flanking towers every 500 meters that allow defenders to shoot arrows to their attackers. As huge as it is, the great wall is said to be one of the few structures on earth visible from the moon.
Best Spot to Visit
Year after year, millions of tourists flock to China to witness the grandeur of this one of a kind masterpiece. Equipped with high-end cameras and selfie sticks, every traveler is itching to capture a picture perfect shot of this amazing handmade creation. If you want to capture the postcard worthy view of this magnificent wall, make a stop at Badaling. This is the most splendid and the most visited spot where majority of the photos of the Great Wall were taken. This spot is closest to Beijing, China’s capital, and trekking is just a walk in the park. Since this is the most popular site, be ready to be in the company of a huge herd of people. Mutianyu is the best alternative if you want to avoid the crowd at Badaling. This spot is covered with lavish vegetation and breathtaking views. Going here, however, is a little more difficult compared to Badaling.
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Best Time to Visit
For regular visitors, it is recommended to plan your trip to The Great Wall of China during spring and autumn in the months of May, September, and early October. You can expect sunny weather perfect for strolling along the walls. June to August could also be an option although generally hotter than the other months. It is also during these months when tourist visits are in full swing. The months of November to April are super cold and windy. However, if you want to witness the Great Wall covered with snow, then these months are perfect for you.
Present Condition and Restoration
The number of tourists coming in every year and natural erosion are the two major contributors for the destruction of some portions of The Great Wall. In order to mitigate the situation, the government implemented restoration programs since 1957. Stricter laws concerning guests are also enforced to further the life of this amazing wall.
Traveling to the Great Wall of China will not be complete without the unique gastronomical experience after a long walk. During summer, several culinary extravaganzas are showcased for visitors looking for foodie adventures. Savoring delectable cuisines alongside a breathtaking view of The Great Wall makes the experience complete.
Tourists are recommended to bring umbrellas and sunscreen protection, as it is generally hot during summer. A pair of sunglasses will be a great addition to your accessories. Bring a bottle of water to keep you hydrated during an approximately three-hour tour. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Don’t miss a quick cable car ride available within the vicinity of Badaling. Most of all, make your reservations early to avoid inconvenience.