Great Wall Overview

Great Wall



The Great Wall of China is the longest structure ever built. It is about 4,000 miles long, and it was built entirely by hand. About 1, 200 - 1, 500 miles of the Great Wall were built during the reign of Emperor Shi Huangdi (Qin Dynasty). The Great Wall crosses northern China from the east coast to the central part of China.


The Great Wall Marathon started from 1999.   It has gradually become well known in China and the outside world.  1,748 people ran on the Great Wall in 2010, thousands of people are spectators, including families with small children.


History of the Great Wall Marathon

1999    2000    2001    2002    2003    2004    2005    2006    2007    2008    2009    2010    2011


Great Wall Marathon + China tour packages

5 days - Great Wall Marathon + Beijing tours
11 days - Great Wall Marathon and Classic China tour
12 days - Great Wall Marathon with Yangtze Cruise
16 days - Great Wall Marathon with Tibet Tour


Know more

The genesis of the Great Wall dates to the Warring Sttes period from 475 to 221 BC, when Chinese feudal kingdoms built earthen ramparts to defend against nomadic invaders. It was under the fierce emperor Qin Shihuang, who unified China in 221 BC that the Great Wall really began to take shape. He conscripted some 300,000 laborers to work for ten years on joining the various pre-existing sections into a single fortified wall. The suffering of the workers who toiled in freezing winters and scorching summers became legendary. As dynasty came into being and passed into history, the Great Wall was continuously repaired and extended.


The sections of the Great Wall near Beijing were renovated during the Ming dynasty, whose leaders spent a century strengthening and extending the Wall to the Yellow Sea. The previous ramparts, which were made of stones , packed earth and wood, were covered by Ming builders with bricks. They built crenellations to protect archers, widened the Wall so it could accommodate five horses abreast, and added many watchtowers. A system of beacons lit from tower to tower ensured that enemy troop movements were swiftly relayed to headquarters.


Despite such defensive features, the Great Wall failed in its purpose of keeping out invaders. It was breached several times, notably by the armies of Genghis Khan in 1215 and by Manchu troops in 1644. Conversely, the Great Wall was a tremendous success in forging a sense of nationhood since it marked the physical boundary between China and abroad, and the psychological boundary between civilization and chaos. Scaling forbidding landscapes of mountains and deserts, the Great Wall was also a triumph of the emperor's will over nature.


Must see


Different sections of Great Wall
Badaling Great Wall    Mutianyu Great Wall    
Huangyaguan Great Wall    Jinshanling Great Wall   
Simatai Great Wall
    Juyongguan Great Wall     
Jiayuguan Great Wall
    Overhanging Great Wall    
Gubeikou Great Wall


There are three major sections of the Great Wall open to tourists near Beijing: Badaling, Mutianyu and Simatai. All three are built on steep terrain so it's a good idea to wear comfortable shoes and bring water. This advice holds especially true when gong to the Simatai section or to the "Wild Wall" sections that haven't been restored. Many ex-pats enjoy hiking along the "Wild Wall" but it's not for the faint of heart: climbing conditions can be arduous and there are no signposts, so hikers will need a good map or a guide.


Badaling Section: Only 70km away by superhighway, Badaling is the closest section of the Great Wall to Beijing and can be visited in half a day. Moreover, its proximity to the Ming Tombs means both sites can be seen in single outing.


Mutianyu Section: It is located some 90km north of Beijing, and like Badaling, is a recently renovated section that's very popular. Once on top, the view of the Wall undulating down wooded canyons and up mountain ridges are breathtaking.


Simatai Section: It is a dramatic testimony to Ming engineering skills with one section as steep as 85 degrees. Only partially restored, Simatai allows athletic visitors who climb past the first watchtowers to see the Wall in its wild, crumbling state.



beijing University
The 150-hectare campus was once part of the imperial parklands. Shaoyuan, in the southwest corner of the campus, landscaped in the southern Chinese style, was built in late Ming Dynasty.
Beijing Dajue Temple
Dajue Temple is best known for its Yulan trees, planted almost 300 years ago. The finest being the magnolias.