A Travellerspoint blog

November 2012

China's Greatest Wall

sunny 15 °C

The hundreds of skyscrapers and other cavernous buildings of modern Beijing, that have miraculously sprouted over the past 25 years, pale into insignificance when compared to the architectural masterpieces created in China’s heyday during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). For instance, this single Ming construction is comprised of nearly 12,000 buildings…
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It is of course The Great Wall of China and, whilst it is certainly the most recognizable structure in the world, no photograph, film or description can hope to capture its awe-inspiring enormity. If Everest had been built by man, or the Grand Canyon dug by hand, they would not measure up to a wall which once stretched unbroken for nearly nine thousand kilometres (5,500 miles) from Hushan to Jiayuguan…
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It is a truly breathtaking sight to see the wall snaking across the mountaintops amidst the autumnal trees before finally disappearing into the mist…
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The greatest majority of tourists in Beijing at the moment are Chinese and many have posed alongside us while their photos are taken. Mr. and Mrs. Wong – a couple old enough to remember the rise of Mao and the Cultural Revolution – were as delighted being pictured with Sheila as they were with seeing The Great Wall…
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And here is Sheila with our friend Christine who has joined Blissful Adventures for a tour of China…
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The wall we see today is only the last re-incarnation of the third Great Wall. In the past two thousand two hundred years the Chinese have built three Great Walls to keep out the Mongol Hordes and other potential invaders and have repaired and replaced sections of each many times. It is estimated, (by our guide Amy), that altogether they have built fifty thousand kilometers of wall. This is Amy…
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A ski-lift took us up the mountain to visit the wall, but coming down the luge track was much more exhilarating for daredevils like James…
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The Wall is just one of the amazing architectural achievements in and around this city of twenty million and we are already suffering from Beijing Knees – a well documented medical condition. So, don’t be envious. Sit back in your armchair and let us do the walking. Check back tomorrow to visit The Forbidden City.

Posted by Hawkson 06:50 Archived in China Comments (6)

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