Surely in your trip to China one of the visits that you have more interest in doing is the Great Wall, one of the great tourist icons of that country.
You should know that in the long stretch of the Great Wall of China there are numerous places where you can visit, but the most common are those located near Beijing .
Now, when planning your trip to China it is important that you anticipate what the sector to visit of the Great Wall of China will be .
Thus, from the most touristy and popular Badaling , which is 80 kilometers from the Chinese capital and which is accessed by a highway, to the farthest of Simatai , which is preserved in a more original state, 140 kilometers from Beijing
Another added point is that you want to take the opportunity to hike along the Great Wall and decide to dedicate two days to the visit, for which you also have options.
History Great Wall of China
Started to build 2,000 years ago, the Great Wall of China stretches for 6,700 kilometers, from east to west in the north of China, by mountains and deserts.
Its origins go back to the era in which various states that were in what is now the Chinese territory were building their own fortifications to defend themselves from each other.
Until in 221 BC, the Qin emperor absorbed several states and created the first unified kingdom in China .
With the aim of defending itself from the Huns, it ordered to unite with new walls the original fortifications, construction that lasted until the sixteenth century, giving rise to what we now know as the Great Wall .
The Great Wall of China eventually extended from the Korean border to the Gobi desert , although only 30 percent of it is currently preserved.
In 1987 it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco .
Sectors of the Great Wall to visit from Beijing
Below, I detail the main characteristics of the most visited sectors from Beijing.
Great Wall in Badaling
It is the sector most visited by tourists who go to the Great Wall of Chinafrom Beijing .
Just 80 kilometers from the Chinese capital, in Badaling you find the best preserved section of the wall . which was built by the year 1500.
The walls in Badaling are about seven meters high, and in some sections, up to six meters in width.
It is the sector with the reputation of being the most comfortable to visit, whose journey will take you at least two or three hours.
Of course, in high tourist season such as the summer months, the visit will be made surrounded by hundreds of tourists who will compete in climbing faster than you the steep slopes and stairs.
Great Wall in Mutianyu
The sector of Mutianyu is located 70 kilometers from Beijing and the wall has greater slopes than in Badaling , so traveling it requires a good physical preparation.
With 22 watchtowers, its origin dates back to the 6th century, although the current fortification was built between 1400 and 1600.
The advantage of Mutianyu is that you will find far fewer tourists than in Badaling , besides that in your tour of the wall you will see yourself surrounded by lush forest areas.
Great Wall in Simatai
Simatai is the sector of the Great Wall that is farthest from Beijing,
To go to Simatai, you must travel 140 kilometers, but in your favor there is what is considered the most interesting sector of the Great Wall .
Most of its sections are unrestored, and have become a true relic of this impressive monument.
Great Wall in Jinshanling
Also somewhat far from Beijing (120 kilometers), Jinshanling is another stretch of the wall that is waiting to be restored.
Its main characteristic is that the wall is wriggling around the contour of the mountains.
If you choose to go to this sector of Jinshanling you have the possibility of trekking to the Simatai sector , excursion that you can hire in the same hotel where you are staying.
To make this excursion, at 8 in the morning you will be sought at the hotel to travel to Jinshanling in a two-hour road trip.
In Jinshanling you can choose to go up the cable car to the wall , at the top of the mountain.
From there you start the trekking route of about 10 kilometers from the east section of Jinshanling to the western section of Simatai , which will take you between four and five hours.
Finally, after descending to Lake Mandarin Duck on a zip line , you will be dropped off again at 6 o’clock in the afternoon.