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Great Wall of China Tourist Attraction

Aug 22, 2008
Now if you have traveled to China for a vacation holiday or on a business trip, people will inevitably ask you whether you have visited The Great Wall of China? Why is this tourist attraction in China so attractive? It is because if you have not gone sightseeing at the Great Wall of China, then your China vacation is missing out a great deal. Here is why.

The Great Wall of China is an integral feature of the geography of Northern China and has captured the imaginations of people throughout its long and distinguished history or some people may wish to think of as its notorious history. The Chinese call this magnificent wall Wan Li Chang Cheng when literally translate means Wall of Ten Thousand Li. A Li is a Chinese measurement of distance such as a mile or kilometer.

The Great Wall of China saw its first piecemeal construction from the fifth century BC down to the 16th century AD as a strategic deterrence against raids, plunders and even invasions from northern nomadic tribes of which the Chinese at that time regarded as hostile barbarians.

When the Chinese were unified under Emperor Qin Shi Huang or Shi Huangdi in 221 BC, the first emperor of China started the construction of the Great Wall to protect China's northern border towns and villages against the Huns, Xiong Nu tribesman. The words Xiong Nu when directly translated from Chinese literally means Fierce Fury. You can imagine how the Chinese was so fearful of this tribe by labeling it with such a name.

The Xiong Nus were finally driven to the far flung corners of the Gobi desert after 3 Chinese military search and destroy expeditions. Even then, the walls failed to curb the invasion of China by the Mongols (Yuan Dynasty) and the Manchurians (Ching Dynasty).

Historical records showed that as many as 300,000 men working for ten years on the first phase of the wall's construction. Stories of hardship and thousands of tragic death suffered by the conscripted laborers are passed down to show that Shi Huangdi was a hated tyrant.

Constructed mostly with bricks and masonry, the wall was built by Chinese rulers of 10 dynasties and the length of the wall, meandering through mountains and valleys totaled an incredible 25,000 km or almost 16,000 miles long.

Since the 1950s, five parts of the wall have been restored and like most tourists, I visited the wall from the Badaling section one winter afternoon in Nankou Pass after a visit to the Ming Tombs. I was awestruck with the wall structure as well as the fantastically stunning winter scenery and landscape.

The second most popular access to the Great Wall is through Mutianyu, northeast of Beijing in Huairou County. The advantage of visiting the Great Wall of China from this point is that it is less crowded than the Badaling access. Is it any wonder then that tourists visiting China usually include a sightseeing trip to the majestic Great Wall of China?
About the Author
Chris Chew owns a travel website with descriptions of famous tourist attractions all over Asia at Tourist Attractions In Beijing and Thailand Tourist Attractions
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