Susann recently blogged here about the 7 New Natural Wonders of the World, and it got me thinking about the Great Wall of China, which is commonly referred to as one of the 7 Wonders of the Medieval World.
The Great Wall of China, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is truly an extraordinary creation. Like many things in China, the immensity of the project are hard to comprehend actually. The Wall extends for more than 6,400 kilometres, and was built by tens or even hundreds of millions of people, between the 5th century BC, up until the 16th century.
Various sections were built by the Ruling Dynasty of the time for practical purposes; to protect and defend the northern borders of the country. It's been said the Wall at times has been protected by over a million soldiers at a time.
One of my favourite aspects of the Great Wall of China visit is the opportunity to experience the Wall as you wish. You can visit it in popular tourist areas like Badaling, located just a short bus ride from the city centre of Beijing. This is a busy area of the Wall, filled with various amenities and you will be joined by hundreds or thousands of other visitors in the day. Or you can visit more remote sections, pack a lunch and do a small or long hike. The variations are unlimited really.
Some areas have been very well preserved, while others have been left to erode naturally. I was most surprised by how steep the Wall is in some sections, and any walk you take will probably involve navigating a significant incline or two. (Wear your best walking shoes.)
I won't spoil the experience for those who've never been; it's a world site you truly have to see to beleive.