Great Wall of China Tour Guide:
Meandering through hills and valleys, past towns and cities, the 20,000 long Great Wall of China is China’s greatest architectural landmark and a major tourist attraction. The only manmade thing to be visible from the moon, the Great Wall of China inspires awe in all who see it, be it from earth or from space: walk it… trek it… climb it… experience it.
Built continuously over the centuries, from the 3rd Century BC to the 17th Century AD (wow!) by successive Chinese empires to protect their respective kingdoms from nomadic invasions, the Great Wall of China was in bits and pieces until the reign of the first Chinese Emperor, Qin Shi Huang. Having unified all states, Qin Shi Huang decided to link the various walls and the Great Wall of China came into being in c. 220 B.C. By the end of the Ming Dynasty, it had become the world’s greatest military structure, beginning from Shanhaiguan in the east and ending at Jiayuguan in the west, bypassing 10 cities including Tianjin, Beijing, Inner Mongolia, Gansu and Qinghai.
Located about 60 kilometres from Beijing city centre, the Juyongguan Great Wall is the closest and most scenic section of the Great Wall. Less touristy and less crowded than the section in Badaling, the Juyongguan Great Wall of China section is nestled in a valley and snakes its way across mountain slopes like a sleeping dragon’s ridged back and tail.
Exquisitely beautiful and scenic, this section of the wall boasts features such as the Cloud Platform, a white marble towering platform that once hosted stone towers and temples from previous dynasties. Now, only statues of four heavenly deities and inscriptions of sutra scriptures on the archway of the platform are visible. All along the wall walkway, lush greenery with vibrantly coloured flowers abound, making the trek up and down an amazingly scenic highlight of your Beijing holiday.
Note: You can also visit the Badaling Great Wall of China section, which is the most preserved and intact section of the Great Wall. It is also the most crowded with tourists and locals flocking the steps at any time of the day, despite its location about 70 kilometres from the Beijing city centre, further away that Juyongguan.