He who has not climbed the
Great Wall is not a true man.

                                     ———Mao
Zedong

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The Great Wall of China is
the greatest triumph of ancient Chinese engineering and one of the world’s
most famous structures. 

It was originally built more
than 2,000 years ago to ward off Hun intruders from the north. Today, the wall
is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

The wall is
made up of many sections built over time by the different ruling dynasties. The
best preserved are just outside of Beijing, with many Steppes clients visiting
the Mutianyu or Jinshanling sections of the Great Wall.

 

1.Famed for
its Ming-era guard towers and excellent views, the 3km-long section of wall at Mùtiányù, was built and restored in the
early Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) on the remnants of a Wall originally built in
the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577). Reconstruction took place under the
supervision of Xu Da, one of the founding generals of the Ming Dynasty, who was
responsible for building a Wall from Shanhaiguan in the east to as far as
Mutianyu.

  

The
Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China offers an alternative Great Wall
experience to the popular Badaling section. This segment of China’s ancient
engineering marvel features an optional cable car ride, or an opportunity to
climb more than 1,400 steps to the top. The Mutianyu Great Wall is much steeper
than the Badaling section, and offers a more challenging climb. This section is
also older than Badaling, and features outer and inner parapets and three
watchtowers.

While not
as ‘pristine’ as other parts, it’s best for older travelers, families with
small children, those who don’t love sheer drops and those short on time.

 

 Travel
to the restored Mutianyu section and climb the Ming Dynasty watchtowers for
incredible views of the Great Wall and the surrounding countryside. You can
descend the wall by toboggan or take in the aerial view by cable car (at an
additional cost). You’ll then enjoy a traditional Chinese lunch and finish your
day back in Beijing.

 

From the
gargantuan ticket office at Mùtiányù, shuttle buses (¥15) run the 3km to the
main entrance, from where three or four stepped pathways lead up to the wall
itself. There’s also a cable
car, a chairlift, called a ‘ropeway’ on the signs
here, and a toboggan
ride, making this ideal for those who can’t manage too many steps, or who have
kids in tow.

No matter
what you think it’ll be like the Great Wall will still blow you away.