Why the Great Wall of China was built? Definitely not to keep the rabbits out!
This city has been headline news for reasons varying from the greatest architectural achievements and fantastic Olympic organisation to deserved criticism of its air pollution and acts towards suppression of it’s people’s rights. The latter though is the direct outcome of the country’s political system – communism, with the Communist party holding an absolute monopoly on the political and economical life in China.
Beijing translates as “Northern capital” from Chinese, and it is indeed located in the north-west of the country, only about 700 km from the border with Mongolia. It is merely due to its location that today Beijing attracts millions of people wishing to have a look at the Great Wall of China . Attracting tourists obviously had not been the reason for the Wall construction . This ancient fortification miracle appeared to protect settled agricultural Chinese society from the furious Mongolian tribes traversing steppes north of Gobi desert. Although the Great Wall is some of the most impressive human architectural undertaking, we know from the history it hadn’t really stopped Genghis Khan and his army from taking over China and a few dozen other small and big states.
Even if you are totally out of focus with history, you will love seeing this magnificent engineering feat, stretching for thousands of kilometres on the top of the mountain range and making you agree to the metaphor used to describe it – “The Dragon’s Back”!
Once the speechless moment has passed you should enjoy the walk on the wall, up its many stairs and look through the small tower windows, imagining you were the 12th century guard.
If you are travelling on Ruski Huski with Vodkatrain, you will be one of the few privileged witnesses of the snow-coated Wall. Winter travel to China has many advantages. Given the population of the country and volume of its internal tourism, peak summer months can be very crowded. Winter brings with it the opportunity to enjoy the mightiness of the Wall or vastness of the Forbidden City mostly to yourself and your fellow travellers and that is an undoubted advantage!
Beijing is closely located to a few sections of the Great Wall. Badalin section is only an hour drive from the city, it offers wonderful scenery, high mountains, although its proximity to the city makes it the most popular weekend destination for Beijiners and short-term city visitors. For more genuine Great Wall experience it makes sense to go a little further, to the part called Mutianyu. After an ordeal of one thousand three hundred steps of climbing to the Wall you will get a breathtaking view of the Inner Mongolia province of China (as opposed to Inner Mongolia, which is a part of China, country Mongolia is also known as Outer Mongolia). Sliding down with the toboggan is an experience that shouldn’t be missed!
If time permits and you are up to some challenging experience you may as well consider going to Jinshanling section of the Great Wall. It is a fair way out of the city (125 km) and you will have to commit to a walk on the Wall for 10 km to reach the next part called Simatai where from you can head back to the city. The rewards to this hardships are great – stunning scenery, very few people and some of the best preserved parts of the Great Wall.
Share your experience with us! What part of the Wall have you been to? What was it like? We are keen to hear your stories!
Vodkatrain online Travellers Feedback form is available now! We would be grateful for your comments, feedback, ideas and suggestions, as it is the best way for us to make sure our clients keep getting the experience of their lifetime! Thank you in advance!