Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Over time, this discontinuous array of fortifications and ramparts came to be known as Wan
Li Changcheng (literally, “Long Wall of Ten Thousand Li”, li being a Chinese measure of
distance roughly equal to 500m), or “the Great Wall” to English-speakers. Today, this great
monument to state paranoia is big business - the restored sections are besieged daily by ram-
paging hordes of tourists - and is touted by the government as a source of national pride. Its
image adorns all manner of products, from wine to cigarettes, and is even used - surely rather
inappropriately - on visa stickers.
For all this, even the most-visited section at Badaling , constantly overrun by Chinese and
foreign tourists, is still easily one of China's most spectacular sights. The section at Mu-
tianyu is somewhat less crowded; distant Simatai much less so, and far more beautiful. To
see the wall in its crumbling glory, head out to Jingshanling , Jiankou or Huanghua , as yet
largely untouched by development. For other trips to unreconstructed sections, check out or contact China Culture Center ( ).
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