Tag Archives: Great Wall
March 7, 2011

POTD: Beginning the Great Wall climb

The above photo is of the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall. Located approximately 60 kilometers from Beijing, the Juyong Pass section, which was first built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), played a vital role in the city’s defenses.

If you find yourself in Beijing, then a visit to the Great Wall is a must. I would also recommend wearing comfortable clothing, as the climb can be quite strenuous. (My guide, however, climbed to the top while wearing fashionable sandals – not quite the best shoes for the 1,700 uneven, slippery steps to the top of the mountain, but whatever). If you have a choice between the Badaling and Juyongguan section, you might want to choose the Juyongguan section, as there are typically less tourists there than Badaling.

The Great Wall is far older than the Ming Dynasty, and can trace its origins to 221 BC, during the Qin Dynasty. The Great Wall was originally built out of rammed earth, wood, stone, but upon the ascension of the Ming Dynasty, stronger materials such as brick, tiles, lime, and stone were used when constructing the wall. This particular section, along with Badaling, has been renovated extensively. The majority of the wall is actually in disrepair due to erosion, vandalism, removal of portions of the wall for city/town development, and the use of wall materials for construction.

August 31, 2010

China: Climbing the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall

After sampling the firearms of the People’s Liberation Army, I was off to climb the Great Wall of China.

I visited the Juyong Pass section which was first built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Located approximately 60 kilometers from Beijing, it played a vital role in the city’s defenses. I would have liked to have visited a remote, unrenovated section of the wall, but unfortunately my time in Beijing was limited.

When we arrived at Juyongguan, my guide asked me if I wanted to walk the easy part of the wall, or climb the “hard” part that snakes up Jinju Mountain. Still jet-lagged and stuffed full of greasy Chinese food from lunch, I of course chose the “hard” climb. It did not disappoint. There are 1,700 uneven, slippery steps to the top of the mountain – nearly twice the amount contained in the Washington Monument. Thankfully, the unbearable heat and smog from the previous day had been replaced by cool temperatures and a slight drizzle. I’m not sure where my sudden burst of energy came from (the greasy lunch, perhaps?) but I climbed the wall rather quickly. In fact, I totally smoked by guide (it didn’t help that she was wearing completely impractical shoes). At one point I stopped to wait for her, and when she caught up she was incredulous.

“Lindsay, I climb this several times a week, and yet you are much faster. Do you have many mountains where you live?”

“Well, not where I live now, but where I grew up, yeah.”

The start of the climb. This stone is inscribed with the famous quote by Mao Zedong: “If we fail to reach the Great Wall we are not men.”

Getting higher

View from a watchtower

American pose at the top of the Great Wall

Locks of love on the Great Wall

More photos here.

January 12, 2010

China photos

Prior to heading to North Korea, I spent a few days in Beijing. Here are photos from my visits to Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall (Juyongguan section), and the China North International Shooting Range. Separate posts for each of those once I finish writing about North Korea in five years or so.