The Great Wall of China was originally built in the Spring & Autumn Period (770-476BC), once stretched approximately 12,000 kilometers from the Bohai Sea in the east to the Gobi Desert, Lop Nor in the west. It is actually a series of stone, bricky and earthen fortifications and puts itself on the map as the greatest of the eight ancient architectural wonders in the history of human civilization. In 221 B.C, when the first China’s emperor, Chinshihuang finished conquering all the kingdoms, he linked all the walls that belonged to the different states. And since then the Great folding wall was built, rebuilt to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire from the Hun’s and Mongolian attacks during the rule of successive dynasties. Today, many famous Great Wall sections and ruins that belong to different dynasties are still remained in Xinjiang, Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Henan, Shandong, Hubei, and Hunan etc. The current wall only stretches about 6,700 kilometers totally, and the most intact sections are all nearly built in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).
The Great Wall is a must see for those who visit China. Along the giant dragon winds through the lofty mountains, great rivers, and boundless deserts, many hikers enjoy their tour by unveiling the interesting ancient Chinese facts and recording the picturesque landscape take their breath away. For many years, most people have flocked to the sections in Beijing and its nearby areas. But now some begin to explore the western part since the portion shares the same line and mystery with the ancient Silk Road.
It is just as a Chinese proverb goes that “He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man!”, therefore you should not miss this great symbol of the Chinese nationality.
The following 6 sections are in Beijing or its nearby counties which were renovated and which are regularly visited by tourists from across the world.
Badaling Great Wall
Built in 1505AD, the Badaling Great Wall is known as one of the nine famous passes of the Great Wall and the outpost of the famous Juyongguan Pass. When used by the Chinese to protect their land, this part has had many guards to defend the capital city Beijing. Made of stone and bricks from the mountains, this section is 8meters high and 6 meters wide. It is generally rated as one of the best 40 tourist destinations of China. In the Badaling Great Wall Scenic Area, the China Great Wall Museum was built for those who want more information about the wall.
Gubeikou Great Wall
Gubeikou is an important strategic pass of the Great Wall, which is located in Miyun County, Beijing. This section has been reconstructed many times since the Eastern Zhou dynasty (770-256B.C.). It is famed for its natural beauty and places of historical interest along the wall. Both sides of the wall have the ancient war fields, royal hunting grounds, emperors’ summer resort remains, barracks ruins, and old post roads…
Simatai Great Wall
Located in Miyun County, Beijing, 120 kilometers from Beijing downtown, Simatai Great Wall is renowned for its unique watchtowers, walls and the stunning natural beauty. This segment is very precipitous, still keeps the original form and known as the living Chinese Great Wall Museum. Wangjing Lou (Viewing Beijing Tower) is one of Simatai’s famous watchtowers, 986 meters above sea level. Walking across a flying passage across between the cliffs, a courageous visitor can reach there.
The Simatai Great Wall Scenic Area furnishes with all kinds of facilities such as the cable lifts, boats, swimming pools, fishing gears, shops, hotels, meeting rooms, encampment, and fields for barbecue.
Jinshanling Great Wall
Located in the Luanpin County, Hebei Province, Jinshanling Great Wall was initially built in 1368 AD, and has never been reconstructed for over 400 years. It snaked away into the distance and meets the Simatai Great Wall finally (the whole section is about 10 kilometers). Jinshanling section is considered the quintessence of the Great Wall. Hiking along the wall, you can see many different stylish watchtowers, emplacements, block walls, stables, and storehouses. In addition, the beauty of Beijing and Miyun Reservoir seen from its highest watchtower-Wangjing Lou (literally Viewing Beijing Tower, 980 meters above sea level) is a tremendous spectacle. These years, hiking along this section of the Great Wall (about 4 hrs) has become a must program for the foreign hiking enthusiasts.
Mutian Yu Great Wall
South East of Jinshanling is the Mutianyu Great Wall, which was originally built in over 1400 years ago, and rebuilt in the early years of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). It winds along the valleys and lofty, cragged mountains from the southeast to the northwest for about 2.25 kilometers. It is connected with Juyongguan Pass to the west and Gubeikou to the east. Along the wall, the watchtowers are found building on the top of the peaks or on the precipitous cliffs. Here there are three sections of wall meet in a watchtower. This section is located in the Huairou County, Beijing, is only 70km from the downtown.