Great Wall of China
History and Facts of the Great Wall
Extending about 5,500 miles, it took years to complete the building of this structure and more than a million people died. Over time, three Walls were built, though little remains of the original two. The first wall was built around 700 B.C., the second wall between 200 B.C. and 220 A.D., and the third was a rebuilding of the original walls, between 1368 and 1644 A.D. The creation of the Great Wall effectively united China.
There are several popular Great Wall Tours, offered at different times throughout the year. Since the Wall is thousands of miles long, none travel the length of the wall. However, many day trips offered of the Great Wall include the opportunity to explore nearby towns and gain a larger perspective of China.
Some cities where day tours are offered of the wall, complete with a meal and a guide for under $100 per person, include:
Badaling: Visitors experience mountain scenery surrounded by life-size statues of animals and people, and visit the Ding mausoleum.
Jinshanling and Simatai: Here, visitors can see watchtowers on a less-crowded, partially-restored section of the wall.
Juyongguan: This portion of the wall has been a pass through the mountains to Beijing for centuries. It connects with the Badaling portion of the wall.
A visit to China isn't complete without a stop at the Great Wall. The view offers perspectives of China, with the Wall snaking over rivers and through mountains further than the eye can see.