The Great Wall of China

#1 - Beijing, China
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Quick Description
The Great Wall of China is a several thousand mile long wall built along the historical northern border of China to protect the Chinese Empire against intrusion. Sections of the wall were under construction as early as the 7th century BCE.
Why AbsoluteVisit #1?
The Great Wall of China is among the largest and longest construction projects in the history of mankind. Spending a day walking along several miles, less than 1% of the length of The Great Wall, will absolutely blow you away. The scale is unimaginable. Consider further that the Great Wall was constructed along steep mountain ridges.
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The Forever Snaking Great Wall of China
#1 Great Wall of China Photo - Brad Harbach
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The Raw Face of The Great Wall of China
#2 Great Wall of China Photo - Brad Harbach
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Repaired Great Wall of China
#3 Great Wall of China Photo - Brad Harbach
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The Great Wall
#4 Great Wall of China Photo - Zhao Naidoo
Slide 5
Steep Great Wall Steps Near Jinshan T...
#5 Great Wall of China Photo - Brad Harbach
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Great Wall & Terraces
#6 Great Wall of China Photo - Brad Harbach
 
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Brad & Will's Quick Thoughts

Everybody knows about The Great Wall of China, but only once you get there and you are standing in front of thousands of miles of hand-built wall do you even start to comprehend the immensity of it. In 2010 we made the 10km trek across the wall from Jinshangling to Simatai and that day is one the two of us will never forget the rest of our lives. The weather wasn't particularly great, the tour company we took to get out to the wall was subpar, however the actual experience hiking that section of the wall stands to this day as the number one travel experience we have had in our lives.

You could see it in both of our eyes that day; we were unbelievable blown away by what we were walking on and the views that stretched further in the distance than we had ever seen before. To someone who has not visited, The Great Wall might not seem like much more than just, well a stone wall. You almost have to stand at the top of one of the many towers and look out at the ancient wall scaling up and down the towering hills lining the horizon to truly appreciate how unbelievably incredible this structure is.

The Great Wall of China is our absolute (pun intended) favorite place we have ever visited!
 

Quick Facts & History

  • Built over 2000 years ago, it is the longest man-made structure in the world, (approximately 6000 kilometers, or 3,728 miles) and is up to 25 feet high and between 15 and 30 feet wide.2
  • It is a common myth that the Great wall is one single continuous wall. It is actually a series of individual segments, not all of which are connected, built by multiple dynasties over time.
  • During construction the wall was often referred to as "the longest cemetery on Earth" due to the high number of deaths that occurred as it was built. It is estimated that over one million people died in its construction.
  • The most visited area is in Badaling (near Beijing). It was the first section of the wall open to tourists, and is where Nixon visited and was the finish site of a cycling course in the 2008 summer Olympics.
  • The Great Wall was built by a variety of people, including peasants, guards, and convicts. In fact, during some dynasties there was a special penalty where convicted criminals were forced to work on the wall.
  • The common myth that The Great Wall can be seen with the naked human eye from space is false.
 

Where is The Great Wall of China?

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The Forever Snaking Great Wall of...
Ranked #1 by Brad Harbach
The Raw Face of The Great Wall of...
Ranked #2 by Brad Harbach
Repaired Great Wall of China
Ranked #3 by Brad Harbach
 
The Great Wall
Ranked #4 by Zhao Naidoo
Steep Great Wall Steps Near Jinsh...
Ranked #5 by Brad Harbach
Great Wall & Terraces
Ranked #6 by Brad Harbach
 
 

Videos

Travel Channel - Great Wall of China
NG - Trekking The Great Wall of China
Modern Marvels - Great Wall of China
 

Top Blog Posts

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Popular routes include the Jinshanling to Simatai route and the section around Badaling. These options were not particularly interesting to me because they tended to cater to ultra touristy folks. You know, the fanny pack wearing, mega camera toting, cheesy destination hat (which might say “I Heart China” across the front) wearing , and plastic neon green sunglasses sporting visitors from North America. People on these tours take cable cars up the majestic hills, an artificial and unappealing way to experience the magnificent creation in my opinion....  read more
Submitted By: Brad Harbach
Submitted On: May 29, 2013
2
 
A trip to Beijing would not be complete without visiting what many would consider to be the #1 travel attraction in the world – The Great Wall of China. Snaking through the mountains and up and down ridges for close to 4,000 miles, The Great Wall of China is by far the largest completed construction project on the planet. Standing high up in the mountains on the wall and looking off in the distance at the same contiguous wall thousands of feet away is breathtaking. We only had three days to see everything in Beijing and we decided to devote an entire day to the Great Wall to make sure we...  read more
Submitted By: Brad Harbach
Submitted On: Apr 30, 2012
0
 

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Travel Channel - Great Wall of China
NG - Trekking The Great Wall of China
Modern Marvels - Great Wall of China
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The Forever Snaking Great Wall of China

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The Raw Face of The Great Wall of China

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# 3

Repaired Great Wall of China

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The Great Wall

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# 5

Steep Great Wall Steps Near Jinshan Tower

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# 6

Great Wall & Terraces

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