The Great Wall is an amazing engineering feat with nothing else comparing to it in the world. Winding through 13,000 miles, the most popular parts of the wall are very close to Běijīng.
The Great Wall does not run continuously, but instead is broken up into parts where there are natural defenses, such as steep mountains. The main part of the wall runs for over 2,000 miles continuously, holding the record as the longest in the world.
It began to officially be built in 221 B.C., with most of the remaining wall built between the 1300’s and the 1600’s by the Ming dynasty.
Mùtiányù is one of the most famous parts of the Great Wall with 26 watchtowers from the Ming dynasty and amazing views of the surrounding scenery. The Ming dynasty built this part of the Great Wall on top of building remains from the Northern Qi dynasty.
Making up 3 kilometers of the wall, visitors who love to hike can trek from Mùtiányù to Huánghuā.
Jīnshānlǐng is an area of the Great Wall that is located throughout the ancient town of Gǔběikǒu. This town was the main gateway to get from northeastern China to Běijīng.
The wall runs along the town and some parts even come into the town, which gives great starting points for hiking the Great Wall. Parts of the wall in this area are from the Northern Qi dynasty, which was around 550 A.D. These areas are not restored, but there are dirt walking paths running alongside.
The Jiànkòu area along the Great Wall has some stunning hikes that are unlike any other. Starting in a village, it is a 40-minute walk straight up to where the trail forks off in two directions. No matter which direction you choose, amazing views await you of the wall hugging the mountains.
Sīmǎtái is an area of the wall built during the Ming dynasty. This is an exciting portion to visit with the steep rising and falling of the Great Wall as it winds through the mountains, giving visitors great views of the surrounding landscape.
As the only part of the Great Wall that can be seen at night, Sīmǎtái will give visitors a completely unique experience for those willing to brave the tough hike, with various ancient weapons and cannons along the way.