The Great Wall of China is a sight that’s common on travel bucket lists and is undoubtedly one of the ‘must see’ wonders of the world. We have just returned from our journey along the Great Wall and it’s fair to say it was a truly spectacular adventure spent in marvellous company! You can view all our pictures here and on our Facebook page!
The Great Wall of Chine is the world’s longest wall and biggest ancient architecture, at 13,170.7 miles, and has a fascinating history behind it.
If this sight is something you want to tick off your own bucket list, you can join us at The Big Journey Company in our ‘Essential Sights of China’ tour – a 12 day magnificent journey exploring the incredible sights the country has to offer.
This comprehensive tour of China visits Beijing’s Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. We will marvel at the thousands of sculpted warriors of the Terracotta Army and of course enjoy a full day at the Great Wall. A 3 day river cruise up the Yangtze River including a visit to the Three Gorges Dam before we return to the city and enjoy all Shanghai has to offer before the world’s fastest train - the Maglev - takes us to the airport for either your return flight or onwards to Hong Kong to enjoy a 3 night tour extension.
Though you might’ve heard a lot about the Great Wall, there are a few facts you might not know.
1) It can’t be seen from the moon
American illustrator Robert Ripley claimed in his cartoon feature Believe It Or Not! The Great Wall was “The mightiest work of man – the only one that would be visible to the human eye from the Moon.” Despite many arguments for and against this claim, during the first Chinese space flight in 2003, astronaut Yang Liwei said he couldn’t see anything of it from orbit.
2) The Wall is not as old as you might think
The Wall is widely thought to date back 2,000 years to just after 221 BC. But its maximum age is about 500 years.
3) There is more than one Wall
The Wall is a “them” rather than “it”. Many sections are in bits and in many places, the Wall doubles, triples even quadruples itself. And all of these bits overlap each other in time. The sections you see around Beijing have ancient precedents, some of which run directly beneath the Wall.
4) It never stopped an invasion
The Wall was easily overrun or avoided by northern tribes. In 1449, the Mongols inflicted a defeat on the Ming south of the Wall, and it was only during a period of peace (1571–1644) that it was completed. However, it fell to the Manchus in 1644 when a local Ming general opened the far eastern gate, Shanhaiguan, to the invaders.
5) The Wall does not contain corpses
Many ancient rumours spoke of labourers being buried in the Wall. However, no bones have ever been found in the Wall and there is no evidence, written or archaeological, that there ever has been.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our blog about the wonder of the world that is The Great Wall of China. We hope you can join us on an inspiring and truly unforgettable experience enjoying everything China has to offer!