Although no one knows for sure, it is rumored that this impressive structure is visible from space. Only one human-made structure is referred to with such hubris, that is the Great Wall of China.

The Ming Dynasty took on the responsibility of building a wall that acted as a shield in Northern China. Some parts of the wall date back to as early as the 7th century BCE. Parts of the wall over time have broken down and are in need of restoration.

Even though the structure has experienced wear and tear with the passing centuries, its beauty remains undiminished.

HOW TO GO

You might think that getting from Beijing to the Great Wall is a cinch, but do not get fooled! There are many tour operators who offer itineraries to the Great Wall.  However, many of them will not take you where you want to go. Before you book a tour or hop on a bus, make sure you know where you want to begin hiking from.  Whether that is Badaling or Jinshanling, you will take a bus from Beijing to arrive at your launch point. Also, note that there are no direct buses to take you; you will need to change buses.

WHEN TO GO

Summer is the peak tourist season. If you want to have the Great Wall all to yourself, then visit in spring (April/May). The contrast of the old gray walls against the blooming glory of the surrounding mountains is reason enough to visit during the springtime. If you visit in the fall (October- November), you will enjoy a surreal atmosphere painted with grays, browns and rust-colored hues which spread across the valley. Avoid visiting in the winter; it can be annoyingly frigid.

WHERE TO GO

Simatai West to Jinshanling is just a 4-hour hike that offers you splendid views of watch towers and semi-restored parts of the Great Wall. The wild scenery of Simatai West inspires you at the start of your hike and then you can take a cable car back for your descent.

The hiking ninjas can take the hard way out. Jinakou to Mutianyu is the rough and rugged section of the wall with stumbling stones and no cable cars. Hiking the steepest part of the Great Wall takes around 5 hours.

WHERE TO STAY

Though camping seems like a convenient option for hikers, there are no camping sites near the wilderness of the Great Wall. However, there are hotels nearby to give you a good night’s sleep and a stunning view of the sunrise.

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December 21, 2017 12:04 am Published by

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