May 2017

Films that inspire you to travel to China II.

The Great Wall is now released worldwide. When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within The Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of our world.

I have been to many parts of the Great Wall in China. Badaling, Juyongguan Pass and Mutianyu Great Wall near Beijing, Great Wall Tower and Hanging Great Wall in Jiayuguan Gansu Pronvice. Or the parts that my guests or friends have been to, Huangyaguan Pass, Jinshanlin, Huanghuacheng, or Simatai Great Wall. But I am still curious which part of the Great Wall in this film.

The answer is nowhere. This film was simply shot in a film studio in Qingdao China, not from any part of the real Great Wall. But even though, The Great Wall still made me want to explore the Great Wall again, the real one I mean. Maybe Matt Damon made an effort on that.

The Great Wall
The Great Wall, the most recognizable symbol of China, number one of the seven great wonders of the world. Originally conceived by Emperor Qin Shi Huang (c. 259-210 B.C.) in the third century B.C. as a means of preventing incursions from barbarian nomads into the Chinese Empire, the wall is one of the most extensive construction projects ever completed.

The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan Pass in the east, to Jianyuguan Pass in the west. It passes through 8 provinces, antonomous regions and municipalities. The existing Ming Walls are measured approximate 8850 km. The following parts are among the most popular ones that you can go visit.

In Qinhuangdao, Hebei 河北秦皇岛
Shanhaiguan Pass Great Wall 山海关长城

Shanhaiguan Pass was the most important pass of the Great Wall of Ming Dynasty, protecting the widest corridor between China and its strongest rival neighbors, the Manchu. It has been known as the “First Pass Under Heaven” since ancient times. It is a major pass of the Great Wall, with strategic importance at its east coast beginning. ‘Old Dragon’s Head’ is where the wall itself meets “the Pacific Ocean” at the Bohai Gulf.

Near Beijing 北京
Badaling Great Wall 八达岭长城

Located 70 km north of Beijing city, once was a very important pass to protect Beijing City on the north side, with the name of “the Key to the North Gate of Beijing city“. This section of wall is the first section opened to tourists (in 1957) after reconstructed. Cable car available.

Juyongguan Pass Great Wall 居庸关长城
60 km from Beijing city, situated in a valley surrounded by mountains on two sides, close to the Badaling Great Wall. Juyongguan Pass Great Wall is one of the three most Magnificent Passes along the Great Wall of China, together with Jiayuguan Pass and Shanhaiguan Pass. There are also temples and towers can be seen here.

Jiankou Wild Great Wall 箭扣长城
A wild Great Wall, located 73 km north of Beijing. It is one of the most photographed sections due to its precipitous mountains, unique construction style, and attractive scenery.

Mutianyu Great Wall 慕田峪长城
Located 70 km northeast of central Beijing. It is connected with Jiankou in the west and Lianhuachi in the east. As one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. Cable car available.

Gubeikou Wild Great Wall 古北口长城
Located 130 km northeast of Beijing. The Gubeikou Great Wall has never been reconstructed. Hence, it is somewhat dilapidated but retains its original beauty. This section is recommended for hiking, to east 10 km, you will reach Jinshanling Great Wall, then 10 km further to Simatai Great Wall. Scenaries along the wall are breathtaking. The best season for hiking the Great Wall is from March to October. Could be hot during the day time in June, July and August.

Jingshanlin Great Wall 金山岭长城
Located 130 km northeast of Beijing. It connects the Simatai Great Wall in the east, and Gubeikou in the west. Jinshanling Great Wall has been restored for easier climb. It has complete defensive system including barrier walls, battlement walls, watchtowers, gun emplacements, shooting holes, horse blocking walls, and branch cities. It’s a good place to see the Sunrise and sunset.

Simatai Great Wall 司马台长城
The Simatai section of the Great Wall is one of the few sections to retain the original appearance of the Great Wall, about 120 km from Beijing. It is often described with the following five words: perilous, dense, diverse, artful, and peculiar.

Huanghuacheng Great wall- “Lakeside Great Wall” 黄花城水长城
Located 60 km from Central Beijing, Huanghuacheng Great wall is surrounded by mountains with verdant vegetation, lots of flowers, and other seasonal beauty. It divided by reservoirs, and some parts are even immersed in the water, which is a very unique characteristic, distinguishing it from other sections of the Great Wall. You will take boat to visit Great Wall.

Tianjin 天津
Huangyaguan Great Wall, Tianjin 黄崖关长城

150 km from downtown Tianjin. It is an ideal for people would like to have some exercises and at the same time appreciate the great views of tis steepness and splendor. There are few visitors here. The Great Wall Marathon is held on Huangyaguan’s Great Wall each May.

Great Wall Marathon, Huangyaguan Tianjin 长城马拉松黄崖关 天津
The Great Wall Marathon is widely considered one of the world’s most challenging marathons. Despite the arduous course on the iconic Great Wall of China, runners will be rewarded by the breathtaking surroundings and views. As the route leads participants through the lower valley and into the villages, on lookers will be cheering and the festive atmosphere is a real energy boost!

In Jiayuguan, Guansu 甘肃嘉峪关
Jiayuguan Pass Great Wall 嘉峪关长城

Jiayuguan Pass is the first pass at the west of the Great Wall of China. It is also the most magnificent and best-preserved pass among the total over one thousand passes along the Great Wall of China. Jiayuguan Pass is well-known as “the Impregnable Pass under the Heaven”.

The First Fire Tower of the Great Wall 长城第一墩
This is a lonely earth mound standing at the edge of a cliff, with the wide Taolai River flowing at its feet. It is hard to believe that this unremarkable mound was actually one of the most vital beacon towers of the Great Wall, built in the Ming Dynasty. As the western most beacon tower, it is called the First Fire Tower of the Great Wall, or the First Pier.

The Overhanging Great Wall 悬臂长城
The Overhanging Great Wall is an extended part of the Jiayuguan Pass military defense system, protecting water resources and acting as a northern lookout point. When I was there in 1999, only the ruin remained. Now, the whole wall has been reconstructed. When viewed from afar, the wall looks like a magnificent painting hanging over the cliff, which is how it got its name.

Got inspired? He who doesn’t reach the Great Wall is not a true man. Contact us today, we can asssist you with the Great Wall Exploration in China. Here is the one near Beijing.
please click here.