The Great Wall of China | Beijing | Badalin | Tourism | Guide|

The Great Wall of China

Declared as the World’s Heritage site, the stone fortification of the Great Wall of China clearly marks the Chinese territory on the world map. Constructed in 220–206 BC by Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, the wall has undergone constant construction to keep intruders at bay.

The Great Wall at Badaling, in winter, picture taken on a quiet day of 2004.

The Great Wall expands over a total area of 8,851.8 km (5,500.3 mi). It was originally built from hammered soil, wood and stones. Later, bricks were profoundly used in its construction during the imperial Ming Dynasty.


Around the 8th century BC, the Chinese had familiarised and mastered the technique of wall construction during the Autumn and Spring seasons. All through the Warring States Period expanding from 5th Century to 221 BC several states constructed widespread defences to protect their own territories and borders from invasions. The walls were built to endure the assault of small arms like spears and swords. These walls were built by hammering the soil and gravel between board frames.
In 221 BC Qin Shi Huang unified China and established the Qin Dynasty. Determined to impress centralized rule and avert the revival of feudal lords, he ordered the wall to be destructed at sections which portioned his empire form the erstwhile state borders. However, to defend the kingdom from invasions by the Xiongnu tribe on the northern borders, he ordered to construct a new wall to unite the standing barricades and the empire’s new frontiers. With the downfall of the Qin Dynasty, the majestic wall suffered indifference.

This is the “Badaling section”. It is the most popular with tourists and can be crowded.

Later, the Sui, Han and all the Northern dynasties to protect their civilizations against northern invaders repaired, re-constructed and expanded the sections of the Great Wall.
During the rule of Ming Dynasty in the 14th century, the notion of Great Wall was invigorated. The only possible way to keep the nomadic intrusion at bay was the construction of the wall alongside the northern Chinese border. Recognizing the Mongolian control of the Ordos Desert, the wall was built towards the southern edge of the desert.
However, with the collapsing of the Ming Dynasty the Manchus tribe was eventually able to cross the magnificent barricade in 1644. Soon they established their control over the Chinese empire and established the Qing Dynasty.

The first news of the imperial wall can be read in the journals of North African traveller Ibn Battuta in 1346, when he visited the Guangzhou district. He reported that 60 days of travel was required from the city of Zeitun (Quanzhou) to reach the wall.

This is also Badaling, in 2011.

In early 16th century the legendary accounts of the Great Wall began to circulate in Europe, and after a century they started witnessing the awe-inspiring defence structure.


In 2009, a bonus 290 km of wall stretch was discovered. It was constructed during the golden period of Ming Dynasty. The new discovery expands across the Jiayuguan in western Gansu province to the Hushan mountains in the northern province of Liaoning. These sections were submerged by sandstorms blowing through centuries.
Subsequently, the ancient wall has eroded, and only a few sections remain today.

Prominent Areas:

The following sections of the wall were restored and attract several thousands of visitors daily. Some even fall in the Beijing municipality area.

Badaling – North Pass of Juyongguan bypass is guarded by several Chinese soldiers to protect Beijing from invaders. Constructed from bricks and stone, it measures 7.8 meters high and 5 meters wide. This is the closest and most popular part of The Great Wall from Beijing. However, if you want to see an authentic part, you

This is the Great Wall at Simantai. That part is not restored and original.


West Pass of Jiayuguan bypass is a fort near the western edges of the Great Wall.

Pass of Shanhaiguan is yet another fort on the eastern edges of the Great Wall.

Mutianyu Great Wall is erected on the south-eastern side of Jinshanling. It winds an approximate 2.25 kilometres, connecting the northwest and southeast all along the lofty and, rocky mountains. It connects the Juyongguan and Gubeikou passes in the west and east corners, respectively.

This is my ticket of Paul Oakenfold playing on the Great Wall at Jinshanling in 2004.

Probably the only rave on the Great Wall. It was a rainy night to remember.


The most striking section of the Ming Great Wall is the extremely steep slope that runs 11 kilometres long, and measure 5- 8 meters in height, and 6 meters transversely at

the bottom, and 5 meters crossways the top. It contains Wangjinglou, one of the Jinshanling’s 67 watchtowers, and measures 3,220 ft above sea level.
Liao Tian Ling measures25 km (approximately three stories high) is erected on the western side of the wall and in length. It appears silver in colour because of the distinct stones used from the Shan Xi mines. However, due to erosion and decay the silver part of the wall is difficult to see, today

Simantai has not been restored. It’s a little further but if you want to see something authentic, it’s worth it.

This is Simantai, an authentic part of the Great Wall. The person sitting in the stairs is my godmother!


How To Get There:

Take a bus ride from Beijing to Badaling or use the train from Qinglong Qiao or Badaling train stations.   
You can hire a taxi for the day but that will be more expensive.

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