Updated: Feb 13
The Great Wall of China is our 4th sighting of the 7 New Wonders of the World.
The feeling of walking towards a structure as awesome as The Great Wall of China is enough to make the hairs on your neck stand on end. It’s almost unimaginable to think it stretches over 21,000km through 9 provinces.
We booked a day trip through the Royal Grand Hotel Beijing. A jovial man named Tom arrived in the early morning to take us on a guided tour. He was fluent in English and had good banter for the one and a half hour drive from Beijing. Once there he arranged the tickets (205 ¥uan/U$30) and accompanied us inside, giving clear directions of what was on our agenda.
After a short walk, we arrived at the cable car to access The Wall. We had some initial nerves about the openness of the cable car but all that slipped away when the forest came into view. Then, ‘The Wall’ appeared to emerge from a huge green cloud.
Tom presented heaps of history as we transported ourselves back in time to when the Mongols invaded China. This was one of the most devastating episodes in history, covering most of Eurasia. And even before that there were tribes possibly from the Huns invasion but apparently The Wall didn’t stop any of the advancement, just slowed them down a little.
Next on the agenda was the toboggan back down to base. For the non thrill seeker, you can always take the cable car again.
If you like to go fast and the slide is quiet, it might take 4 minutes but there were a few others there on this day so took approximately 6 minutes.
Something you might not have heard of is The Great Green Wall. Being determined conservationists, it’s always awesome to witness such a vast area of trees, housing an abundance of wildlife. Surrounding The Wall as far as the eye can see is lush green woods.
Before 1978, China had to endure sometimes devastating effects of the Gobi desert winds blowing topsoil off thousands of crops, ruining livelihoods and creating food shortages. Some will say this is due to over population and a need for cultivation like a vicious circle. This is inevitable but now we must see past this and save the earth 🌏
The power of the Gobi desert was just too immense to stop in its tracks so the Ministry of Forestry came up with the idea of using trees on the biggest scale you can imagine to try to hold back the Gobi.
Decades later you’d be fooled into thinking this was all natural as the trees and plants no longer grow in rows but flourish and spread to protect the cities and clean the air. The residents are no longer choked by dust plumes the length of China but are defended by the natural green belt that was artificially created.
More than half a million square kilometres and 88 billion trees have been planted to date and more good news! Carbon emissions will drop and land will flourish back to its former glory and greener jobs will be produced for the poorest population.
Over time, this lush forest has attracted so much wildlife. It houses an ecosystem to rival any rainforest. We came across countless yellow banded millipedes on our walk along the wall.
Unfortunately no wild bears🐻 or boars🐗…this time💚
That was one whirlwind of a day. What felt like 2 hours was actually 7! Included in the ticket was a tea sampling consultation. The guy was super funny, a real comedian and we would highly recommend this to finish off the tour. Heaven for us ‘cuppa’ girls from England❤️and of course we purchased some green tea🍵
Have you come across anywhere like this? We’d love to know your experiences❤️