Wednesday Wonders – The Great Wall of China

Welcome to my next post for my Wonder Lesch blog on the many Wonders of the World. As we go through the list of wonders of the world, we get to my personal favorite, this monumental structure is one of the places in the world that I love the most, so join me while I tell you all you want to know about the Great Wall of China, along with many other things to do in Beijing.

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is one of the most outstanding creations of this world. A fun fact, the Great Wall is known as the only human-made structure visible from space. It is an old Chinese fortification that was built, and re-built, between the 5th and the 16th century, and its main purpose was to protect the northern border of the Chinese Empire from attacks from the Xiongnu nomads of Manchuria and Mongolia. Currently it stands at about 13,173 miles, or 21,200 kilometers in length spanning the current Korean border all the way to the Gobi desert. Today only about 30% of the original structure remains, its dimensions are truly out of this world. It averages 20 feet in height and 15 feet in width, which makes for an amazing place to visit and walk.

Before it was deemed as one of the new wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China was awarded the World Heritage Site status by the UNESCO in 1987, so it has always been a big tourist attraction with world renown, which is why the local touristic industry is so well developed and has a big number of amenities that you can enjoy when visiting the site.

Landscape of the Jiayu Pass or Jiayuguan after snowfall in Jiayuguan city, China.

Due to its enormous length, its winding road over the country and the steep mountains makes for some great views. It has an impressive variety of landscapes from the beaches of Qinhuangdao, to the mountain range around Beijing, to a desert corridor between the high hills in the Jiayu Pass.

Nowadays, one of the main tourist entrances is by train, where a part of the wall was rebuilt to the north of Beijing, in a section called Badaling that divides the dense forest and makes for a spectacular place to walk, take pictures and observe wildlife. Badaling is the section of the Great Wall that has seen the highest amount of restoration, making it the best option if you want to see the wall restored to its previous glory, the only inconvenience with the Badaling section over other sections is that, in tourist season, the amount of people may be overwhelming. So I would recommend visiting this Chinese wonder in the winter months to avoid the crowds and to maximize the chances of get a cheap flight to China.

If your plan is to visit the Great Wall of China you might want to plan your vacations around Beijing, there you can book your hotel and after exploring the Great Wall, you will also want to leave a day or two to wander around the Chinese capital.

Since Beijing is one of the most visited cities in the world, you will have no shortage of things to do. Some of the other outstanding places that are definitely worth visiting are the Forbidden City (top photo), the Summer Palace (bottom left photo), and the Temple of Heaven (bottom right photo). If you are planning a trip, make sure not to leave China before visiting these beauties. The architecture, the history, the beauty, oh my.

In the end a trip to the Great Wall of China monument means much more than just visiting a wall, it is an adventure where you will get experience a whole different culture, from their gastronomy to their architecture, it is definitely something unique and is 100% worth experiencing.

Thank you for reading all the way through. Let me know if you have already visited China before, your experience is valuable to enrich my Wednesday Wonders blog posts, and if you haven’t visited, through some research and planning you can book an affordable flight to Beijing and visit all of the amazing attractions in this post. Below are guidebooks to help you get started. Stop wondering, start adventuring.

Next week my Wednesday Wonders post will be about the Zigguart of Ur by special request. Do you have a request for Wonder Lesch? What Wonder do you want to experience next?

Fodor’s Essential China travel guide is packed with customizable itineraries with top recommendations, detailed maps of China, and exclusive tips from locals.

This guide showcases the best places China’s capital city has to offer. Eight easy-to-follow itineraries explore the city’s most interesting sights, such as contemporary art galleries and buzzing night markets. 

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  • JoeRover

    Those pictures are amazing. Did you do them?

  • Richard Witzer

    This is an amazing article, great use of material as well. I actually have been to China and walked the great wall. As a fan of Chinese culture this was a real highlight.

  • jentowkaniuk

    I visited the Great Wall in 1992 and stayed in Beijing for 7 days. It was crazy how steep the stairs were on one section of the wall. I can’t imagine that horses traveled those steps to deliver supplies to different areas of the wall. It was an incredible experience and one I’ll never forget.