Hike the Great Wall of China

Stretching from the Gobi desert to the Yellow Sea, the Great Wall of China is the largest man made structure on earth and is an amazing feat of engineering, labour and sacrifice. The original wall was begun 2000 years ago when China was unified under Emperor Qin Shi Huang to keep out marauding nomads. The construction used hundreds of thousands of political prisoners and an estimated 180 million cubic metres of packed earth.  

The Great Wall stretches across the country, but many of the best sections are accessible from Beijing. Restored sections, such as Mutianyu, Jinshanling or Huangyaguan, make for a good day trip where you can do as much or as little walking as you wish. For a more adventurous experience, full day or multi-day hikes can be arranged, with some of the best being the hike from Gubeikou to Jinshanling and on to Erchu, or the steep trek from Jiankou to Mutianyu. There are several decent hotels located close to the Great Wall, or the more daring can opt to camp on the Wall itself. Not as comfortable but the sunrise is worth it!

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