In China there is an old saying that goes... "you are not a man until you have been to the Great Wall!"
This famous icon of ancient times stretches 8,851.8 kilometres from the Eastern coast to the Gobi Desert. The first Emperor to unify all of China in 221 BC, Qin Shihuang, had a workforce of up to a million people link previously existing walls from smaller kingdoms and build new sections, in order to keep out Northern invaders.
Subsequent dynasties continued to strengthen the wall; however this was not enough to prevent the Mongols from invading China in 1271 and forming the Yuan Dynasty.
Adventure Holidays to China
Most of our adventure holidays to China include a visit to the Great Wall. Most climb the wall at Simatai, two-and-a-half hour's from Beijing and one of the most beautiful sections.
Because this section has retained many of its original features, it is quite precarious in parts for trekkers. Beyond the perilous Simatai Ridge, the condition deteriorates to an incline at an 80 degree angle with only a single parapet wall.
This section of the Wall is so steep that it has been dubbed the 'Stairway to Heaven'.
Great Wall of China Facts
- The Great Wall of China stretches for more than 5,000 miles
- It is known as the largest military and man-made structure in the world
- Construction started around 220 BC and continued for around 1700 years
- Over a million people reportedly died working on it
- The wheelbarrow, much used during construction, was invented by the Chinese
- You cannot see it from space!
Take in the Great Wall on one of our Small Group Trip to China