The Truth About Great Wall of China


Spend just five minutes standing on the Great Wall of China and you'll realize exactly why this Chinese landmark is considered to be one of the seven world wonders. Despite spanning more than 6,000 kilometers, the Great Wall of China isn't actually visible from space as many believe. Due to the fact the great wall is only about 30 feet thick and its color closes matches that of the surrounding earth, seeing this structure from space with the naked eye isn't likely.

Regardless of the fact that this Great Wall doesn't completely like up to its reputation, it's still an amazing engineering feat. The construction of the Great Wall of China took place over several centuries and through several dynasties. The great wall, as we know it today, is actually the combined result of several smaller walls which were built for protection throughout the years.

In the beginning, sections of the wall were built from stone and wood. Later, brick was incorporated into the construction of the wall because it was easier to work with and stronger. It's estimated that, throughout the years, more than 1 million Chinese died in the construction of the Great Wall.

The Great Wall Today
As of 2004, approximately 2/3 of the Great wall has been destroyed by a combination of weather, developers and tourism. Visiting the wall today, you'll find that sections closest to touristy areas have been well preserved. Today tourists can walk and hike various sections of the Great Wall, although they are encouraged to take safety precautions due to the age and condition of different segments of the wall. The Great Wall is so accessible that a Marathon race is conducted every year which spans a 26 mile portion of the wall.

Before your visit to the Great Wall of China, consider the following tips:
* Weather is an important issue to consider. Extreme weather and temperatures are common in both the winter and summer months. Be prepared.
* Many tourists take for granted the easy access. Show respect and care for your surroundings when visiting the wall.
* Be cautious when hiking on the Wall. As certain sections are less preserved than others, areas of the wall require care and caution when navigating.

Whether you go it alone or travel on an organized tour, the Great Wall of China is well worth the journey. It's not often that visitors are permitted to experience ancient structures up close. Put a trip to the Great Wall of China on your to-do list.

Enid Glasgow is a travel writer who enjoys traveling to remote destinations. She enjoys traveling with Big Five Tours, providers of Galapagos cruises and luxury tours to China.

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