If you have to think about a structure which would be more than 21,000 kms long what would first come to your mind? There are no prizes for guessing that the answer would be the Great Wall of China which was being built 2300 years ago and it still remains to a major attraction for billions of tourists from the whole world that travel to China. There is a myth attached to it that the great wall is the only man made structure which is visible from the space, there are counter theories about it which negates the whole things.
The history behind the making of the wall
It was during 221 BCE when Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of unified China decided to build a wall that would stretch across the boundaries of China. The main purpose of building the Great Wall of China was primarily to protect the land from the different raids of the various nomadic tribes like the Mongols, the Xiongnus or the Turics who used to travel to China with the purpose of loot.
It is believed that even before Emperor Qin had built the great wall, individual empires in China had smaller sections of walls as a mode of defense against attacks from internal or external emperors. Like he had unified all of China into one strong empire, Emperor Qin played an instrumental role in unifying all these small walls into a the giant structure which the future was to reckon to be the largest man made structure in the world, the Great Wall of China. Following the footsteps of their predecessors, the later emperors specially the emperors of the Ming dynasty maintained the wall and even rebuilt it at sections to make it even more invulnerable.
How to plan the visit?
It is a matter of worry that if you have to visit the Great Wall of China¸ which points you should start from. It is after all a structure which is 21,196 kms long! The best departure point for visiting the Great Wall of China is from Beijing. During your travel to China you would find that there are a number of tours that are being conducted to visit different parts of the wall. Single day, half day, multi day tours are there which you need to select depending on your budget. There are many tour operators who offer multi day tours claiming that they will make you visit the whole length of the great wall, but many parts of this massive structure is in a state of despair and you may not want to shell out extra bucks to travel through the whole length.
Some tips for first timers
The best time to visit the Great Wall during your travel to China is during the summers and if you actually plan to travel to China during the summers plan your visit early in the morning. Badaling is the most visited section of the wall and it is ideal for those who want to touch history by paying a visit to the famous Great Wall of China. Weekends at the wall is exceptionally crowded and hence should be avoided especially during the summer time.
Simatai is one of the steepest points of the walls that offer stunning views from the height. In case you plan to visit the wall at the Simatai section, do not forget to carry your own food, water and drinks as everything out there is highly priced.