Some do it as a challenge whilst others just want to walk in the footsteps of history. Hiking along the Great Wall of China is one of the world’s most iconic walks and passes magnificent scenery as well as a glimpse into Chinese culture. Here’s why everyone should walk the Great Wall of China at least once in their lives.
Walk through the dynasties
If 2000 years of history is not enough, one of the most fascinating aspects of walking the wall is that sections were constructed during different Chinese dynasties. As a walk through time this journey takes a lot of beating. Originally the wall was constructed of mud and wood but bricks were soon used to compress the structure and provide a rigid foundation. At the popular Badaling section the bricks date from the Ming Dynasty. The oldest sections were constructed by Qin Shi Huang (260-210 B.C.) from the Qin Dynasty. He is famed for building the Terracotta Warriors and for unifying China. Walk the wall and it really will feel as though you are stepping through the pages of a history book.
Get away from the crowds
If you thought the Great Wall of China was crowded it is true that the sections near Beijing see the most tourists. But walk on some sections and you could be alone with your thoughts and reflections. For a steep challenging hike the Jiankou section is the best whilst at Wohushan (Gubeiko) the wall is rugged against a wild and scenic backdrop. Leave the crowds behind and enjoy the open spaces and the wall as it stretches towards the horizon.
The wall is as long as you want it to be
Hiking along the Great Wall of China can be a single section on a day trip or a major trek of several days. If each brick was unravelled the length would circumnavigate the globe. The wonderful thing about the Great Wall is that achieving a section is within the grasp of most visitors and such an achievement.
The Scenery will take your breath away
The mesmerising views from the watch towers and the Great Wall are a major reason for making that special hike. They are jaw-dropping and photographers will gaze in awe at the colour and contrast in the scenery. Some of the best places are at Jinshanling where the light makes excellent photographic conditions. It is just the place to linger a while and reflect on the thousands of people in history who have been to the Great Wall of China.
Why not start training and prepare for that classic hike along the Great Wall of China. Whether you choose a section or the entire length you’ll have walked in a momentous place from history.
Have you read the series on the 2014 Great Wall Hike organised by TravelledPaths? Subscribe to our newsletter if you wish to be kept informed of future trips like this.
Day 1 – The Great Wall of China Hike (HuangHuaCheng)
Day 2 – The Great Wall of China Hike (Jiankou)
Day 3 – The Great Wall of China Hike (Jiankou to Mutianyu)
Day 4 – The Great Wall of China Hike (Gubeikou to Jinshanling)
Day 5 – The Great Wall of China Hike (Jinshanling to West Simatai)
See the video we have created from the images we captured during this journey