Beholding a sight as mesmerizing as the Great Wall Of China is a remarkable experience in itself. The amazing engineering marvel that spans over 21,000 km is the longest man-made architecture on the earth. The wall, located on the northern frontier of China, covers the country from east to west and is a major attraction among travelers, and adventurers.
Listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO, the Great Wall Of China overlooks deserts, grasslands, mountains, plateaus, and indigenous wildlife to leave its visitors mesmerized. No wonder the average footfall per day recorded during the peak season goes up to 70,000!
History & facts
When and by whom was The Great Wall of China built?
Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China built it in the 2nd century B.C. Over the period of 2300 years the gigantic structure has undergone several reconstructions, and enhancements – a majority of them were done by the Ming dynasty.
Interesting facts about The Great Wall of China
It starts from Hushan in the east to Jiayuguan Pass in the west. From there, its path sets over steep mountains and rustic paths making way through Liaoning, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Gansu and Qinghai provinces.
A glimpse of The Great Wall of China running through the nine major provinces:
Why scale The Great Wall?
Because, the never ending stretch of The Great Wall, holding its ground across deep valleys, and riding along steep mountain peaks has a lot to offer apart from mesmerizing sights and nature’s escapades. The Great Wall of China offers plenty of adventurous activities for adrenaline junkies and makes for an ideal location to experience extreme adventure.
The most adventurous things to do at The Great Wall of China
1. Paragliding: Sailing over the great wonder
Of all the popular hotspots of The Great Wall, Simatai is the most challenging location for paragliding. The fact that the height from take-off to landing zone is 300 meters makes it the most sought after extreme adventure among enthusiasts. 45-degree slope and challenging location make it a must-try activity at Simatai Great Wall.
After gliding into the valley, you could either hike back up to the wall or take a tour of the countryside while finding your way back.
Where: Simatai great wall, 120 km, 3-hour drive from Beijing
Adventure freaks have also pulled off breathtaking adventurous activities like base jumping and parachuting off The Great Wall of China, which is a benchmark for all the extreme adventurers out there.
2. Biking: Tame The Great Wall in style
Experience the thrill of mountain biking as you bike across the narrow and deadly alleys of The Great Wall of China. Even scary, the deep valleys on both sides are good enough to send a tingling sensation across your body. The steep and queered stretch of Simatai Great Wall offers lots of adventurous activities among which biking is one the most challenging one.
Ranging from 2 days to 15 days, the biking trips come in different packages depending on your availability.
Where: Simatai Great Wall area
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3. The Great Wall Marathon: Pure test of your endurance
That’s exactly how the run of a lifetime looks like! If you are planning to take up the extreme challenge, then head to the Tianjin section where The Great Wall Marathon is organized in May every year. The 42.1 km race requires a whole new level of endurance, stamina, and lots of precision, the traits of a devoted adventurer.
Steep ascents and more than 5000 steps along the route make it one of the most challenging marathons on the Earth.
Where: Tianjin Great Wall, Northeastern China
4. Trekking: When paths don’t give on you
The Great Wall of China is huge and picturesque. What most of us don’t know is that a major portion of it is wild, and remote, which makes it a different proposition altogether. Out of all the popular hiking trails spanning from 1 day to 12 days, the extreme 7 days Beijing Great Wall Odyssey is considered as the toughest trek.
The trek requires optimum fitness and a 5-6 hours rigorous trekking daily. It is dotted with uneven upslopes, almost vertical stairs, and some of the most daunting trails. The difficulty level is extremely high and that’s why the extreme Great Wall Odyssey feeds the soul of every discerning adventurer who dares to complete it.
Route of Great Wall Odyssey: Unrestored Badaling-Stone Gorge Pass-Huanghuacheng-Xishuiyu-Jiankou-Mutianyu-Gubeikou-Jinshanling-Huangyaguan-Qianganjian
Other popular 7-day Great Wall treks are:
- Old dragon’s head, where the wall meets the sea
- Seven-day Epic ‘Wild Wall’ Odyssey
Where: Beijing area Great Wall
Jiankou section is considered as the most dangerous section during the course of the great wall because of all the rough patches and difficult ascent.
Best time to visit the Great Wall of China
Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are considered as the best seasons to visit the Great Wall of China. These are the months when the weather is cool and fresh. Summer and winters are extreme, thus not an ideal time to visit or try any of the majestic man-made architectures.
How to reach
The Great Wall Of China is massive and comprise of multiple viewpoints. But those of the most recommended ones lie close to Beijing and are among the most visited.
Some of the popular view points near to Beijing are:
Jinshanling– 130 km
Simatai– 120 km
Jiankou– 50 km
Mutianyu– 73 km
Badaling– 60 km
Public transport buses and cabs make for efficient commutating to these viewpoints.
- Leave early in the morning to avoid peak traffic and catch a glimpse of the lovely sunrise.
- Carry proper adventure gears for the best experience.
- Camping on the wall is prohibited and there are no campsites nearby, which means camping would be done in wild.
- If you are entering a wild section, make sure that you come prepared with sufficient food and water.
- There are plenty of food stalls at the great wall. Don’t forget to try local Chinese food.
The massive structure and strenuous location of The Great Wall of China make it one of the most challenging places to take extreme adventure activities. Do you have it in you to push for the maximum?
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