Updated Guide to the Great Wall of China 2019

Jul 12, 2019 | China, ESCAPE

Culture & Travel 

The Great Wall of China, 長城 | David Petit

The Great Wall of China is not only one of the most breathtaking sights in the world. Here is an updated guide to this heritage site before you visit including where to pee!

Your visit to China would not be complete without visiting the Great Wall. This vast structure was first made in 771 BC and spans more than 5,500 miles. Before you visit this site, here are a couple of facts you should know.

There is an Ongoing Tourist Cap

Starting on May 28, 2019, the country’s tourism office put a limit on the number of people allowed to visit The Great Wall’s Badaling section. This is the part which gets the greatest foot traffic with over 80,000 visitors per day.

This cap is an effort to solve the large crowd problem of the area which makes it feel claustrophobic. Now, only 65,000 tickets will be released per day.

Great Wall of China - Warrick Wynne

Great Wall of China | Warrick Wynne

The Great Wall is not Consistent

While many people think that the Great Wall of China is just one very long wall, it is not! It is actually a defensive network made up of many walls which were built in different periods. Despite this, it is the longest man-made structure in the world.

 Even though it is called a wall, the reality is more complicated than that. The Great Wall of China is actually made up of comprehensive structures used to block enemies, with beacon towers and watchtowers for easier communication. It also has fortresses and barracks for the soldiers.

Parts of the Wall are Under Renovation

Parts of the Jiankou Great Wall located in the northern Huairou District will be renovated by the National Cultural Administration. The renovation will cover more than 2,700 meters which include 17 towers. It is set to start in August 2019 and will be completed on August the following year. On 2020 to 2021, another part of the wall will be renovated.

Jiankou - Mutianyu Section of the Wall - Kaboem

Jiankou – Mutianyu Section of the Wall | Kaboem

How Can You “Take Care of Your Business” In The Great Wall?

Exploring the hiking trails of the Great Wall is an adventure everyone needs to experience. But how can you exactly find a toilet in what seems to be a never-ending wall?

The answer? You can’t. This is why it is recommended to go to the bathroom before you make way to the main entrance in Gubeikou or Jinshanling. Trust us, you will be happy you forced yourself to do your business. However, expect that there will be no western style bathrooms, only “squatty potties.”

 If you do feel the call of nature while on your hike, do not hold it in. The last thing you want is to develop a bladder infection. It is actually permitted to use the side of the path as a restroom since there are no toilet facilities for miles. Just make sure to stay away from Poison Oak leaves.

Along the Great Wall of China - ChrisUK

Along the Great Wall of China | ChrisUK

Around 30% of the Site has Disappeared

Because of human damage and natural erosion, approximately 2,000 kilometers of the Great Wall is gone. This totals to around 30% of the Ming Great Wall. To keep this from happening, the Chinese government has made various efforts to protect the site and continue its maintenance and renovation.

The End at Great Wall of China

The End at Great Wall of China | Prashanth Raghavan

As responsible tourists, it is advised not to take bricks home (you’d be surprised at how many individuals do this), and avoid graffiti and littering. The government also recommends planting trees along the slopes.

It Cannot Be Seen from Space

While studying astronomy, you may have been told that the Great Wall is so huge it can be seen from space. Unfortunately, it is not true. This myth actually originated because of a book by William Stukeley.

Can’t Wait to Visit the Great Wall of China?

Now that you know more about the great wall of China, you are finally ready for an adventure of a lifetime. When visiting this world wonder, don’t forget to embrace its long and rich history.

BTS Walks Louis Vuitton FW21 Show in Korea

It seems BTS did not only take k-pop by storm but also fashion. The K-pop group walked Louis Vuitton’s FW21 runway as their global ambassadors. The pop icons graced the show in a fashion film directed by Jeon Go-woon.

Giant Whale Washes up on Indonesian Beach

A giant 23-meter (75-foot) whale briefly washed up near a beach in Indonesia but it was unclear how the enormous marine mammal died, a conservation official said Wednesday.

Dolphins, Turtles Killed by Fire-Ravaged Ship

Dozens of turtles and dolphins were killed by intense heat and chemical poisoning from a container ship that burned for almost two weeks off Sri Lanka, authorities said Thursday.

Unemployed Thais Relies on Free Food as Pandemic Hits Hard

Long lines of unemployed relying on free food across Bangkok, scrambles for cash handouts and fishing in fetid canals — Thais are getting increasingly desperate as the pandemic destroys the economy and the government struggles to respond.

The Underground ‘Parthenon’ Protecting Tokyo from Floods

It has been called Japan’s underground “Parthenon”, a cavernous complex charged with protecting Tokyo and surrounding areas from catastrophic flooding — a risk experts warn is growing as climate change advances.

Taiwan Bans Large Events after Small Coronavirus Outbreak

Taiwan on Tuesday banned large gatherings after a cluster of local infections prompted authorities to raise the coronavirus alert level in a place with one of the world’s best pandemic responses.

Prepared for Prison: Hong Kong Media ‘Rebel’ Tycoon Jimmy Lai Express No Regrets

Millionaire media tycoon Jimmy Lai knows his support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests could soon land him behind bars, but the proudly self-described “troublemaker” says he has no regrets.

Wuhan is Now a Ghost Town Under Quarantine

Wuhan residents called for help and shared worries of food shortages Thursday, with streets in the virus-hit central Chinese city left deserted after it was put on lockdown.

Thailand to Become Asia’s Energy Trading Hub

Thailand is prioritizing energy trading in line with ASEAN’s increased volume of renewable energy generation. Soon, the country will have the first-ever Southeast Asian electricity super grid which supplies energy to its neighboring countries.

South Korean Olympic Champion Seeks Heavier Sentence for Sex-Assault Coach

South Korean double Olympic champion skater Shim Suk-hee is seeking a heavier sentence for her former coach, her lawyer said Friday, after he was jailed for more than a decade for sexually assaulting her over several years.

Hong Kong Media Tycoon Lai Arrested over Speedboat Fugitives

Hong Kong police have arrested Jimmy Lai on suspicion of trying to help a fugitive flee the city, his own newspaper reported Wednesday, as authorities stack up criminal cases against the outspoken media tycoon.

From Manhattan to Hiroshima: the Race for the Atom Bomb

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki capped six years of top-secret work by scientists from Europe and North America. Here is an overview of how that process unfolded.

Indonesia Opens First Subway In Jakarta: Commences Extension Project

Indonesia has finally opened its first subway station on Sunday in Jakarta, with the aim of relieving the gridlocked capital from worsening traffic congestion. Meanwhile, Indonesian President Joko Widodo spearheaded a groundbreaking ceremony marking the beginning of the subway extension project.

Hybrid Leader Toyota Turns on Electrics

Toyota, which pioneered hybrid cars, unveiled Monday plans for its first global line-up of battery electric vehicles as other carmakers have pulled ahead in electrification.

Beyond Mulan: Behind the Scenes of Hollywood’s Reckless History in Chinese Cinema

Grave reviews, angered audiences, and counterproductivity; the new Mulan movie has Chinese audiences disappointed once again. But this sentiment is nothing new, and has a very obvious and menacing reason, that goes back years.

Rare Indian Female Break Dancer Competes for World Title

Long before breakdance girl Johanna Rodrigues began improvising routines combining Indian classical dance with headstands and backflips in a quest to “redefine femininity”, she found inspiration at home in her widowed mother.

Luxury Brand Dior Adding to China’s Apology List

Luxury brand Dior has become the latest company to apologise to China over a perceived insult to national sovereignty, saying Thursday it “cherishes the feelings of the Chinese people”.

Indian Sari Pioneer Satya Paul Dies at 78

Indian fashion designer Satya Paul, whose eponymous brand breathed life into the traditional sari, modernizing the garment with funky prints, has died at 78, his family said.

Sakura Selfies: Tokyo Enjoys Cherry Blossoms Despite Virus Warning

People in Tokyo flocked to admire cherry blossoms in full bloom at parks, shrines and rivers on Friday, despite coronavirus warnings against holding traditional parties under the delicate flowers.

Resource-Starved Singapore Turns Sewage into Ultra-Clean Water

Giant pumps whir deep underground at a plant in Singapore that helps transform sewage into water so clean it is fit for human consumption while reducing ocean pollution.

Peng Liyuan: More than Just China’s First Lady

From Rags to Riches, learn how Peng Liyuan turn from a sonstress to become China’s First Lady.

Cambodians Condemn Photo-Editing Job on Genocide Victims

Cambodians who lost family during the Khmer Rouge genocide Sunday slammed an Irish artist’s decision to digitally add smiles to old black and white pictures of victims killed by the regime.

Top Religions in Asia

How Asia Became the Birthplace of the World’s Culturally Diverse Religions

Hong Kong Teen Jailed for China Flag Insult

A Hong Kong teenager was ordered to spend four months in prison on Tuesday for insulting China’s national flag and unlawful assembly as Beijing increasingly targets prominent activists from the financial hub.

Nearly One Billion Confined to Homes as Virus Toll Nears 13,000

Nearly one billion people around the world were confined to their homes Saturday as US states implemented stay-at-home orders similar to those in Europe, and as deaths from the global coronavirus pandemic surged towards 13,000.

Tech Giant Tencent Duped by Fake Lao Gan Ma

Chinese tech giant Tencent has been fooled by impostors posing as representatives of the country’s most famous chili sauce brand, police said, in a saga that nearly pitched the two famous brands against each other in court.

China Tech Stampede into Electric Cars Sparks Auto Sector Buzz

Thought Big Tech was taking over your life through smartphones? It may be coming for your car next as Chinese firms lead a stampede into auto manufacturing in their battle for more consumers.

Indian Muslim Artisan Fights Virus Slowdown with Hindu Idols

Since the coronavirus pandemic clobbered his pottery business, one Muslim artisan from India’s largest slum has turned to a Hindu god to revive his fortunes by making environmentally friendly Ganesha idols for an upcoming festival.

Operation Empty Plate: China’s Campaign on Food Waste

Chinese diners are being told to order less food as part of a campaign by President Xi Jinping to tackle waste and embrace thrift.

The Biggest South Asian Film Festival Kicks off Online

Seven of the leading South Asian film festivals join hands to launch a one of a kind 15-day digital event that will showcase amazing stories on diaspora, family, and the LGBTQ community, among others.

Scary Urban Legends from Japan

Will the slit-mouthed woman pay you a visit tonight, too?

Flipping the Script: China School Reforms Spark Mongolian Writing Revival

In a classroom in Mongolia’s capital, students pass over the Soviet-era Cyrillic alphabet they grew up with and turn their copybooks sideways to practice the traditional, vertical Mongolian script that dates back to the empire of Genghis Khan.

Indonesian Women Take on Plastic Waste Brick by Brick

Alarmed by the mountains of plastic waste leaching into Indonesia’s waters, two best friends are taking on the environmental menace by turning crisp bags and shampoo packets into paving bricks.

$12M Seized from Ex-Officials as Cash Crunch Hits Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s central bank said Wednesday that the Taliban had seized more than $12 million in cash and gold from the homes of former government officials, as a financial crunch threatens the Islamists’ rule one month after they took back power.

China Disinfects and Lock Away Banknotes to Stop Virus Spread

China is disinfecting and isolating used banknotes as part of efforts to stop the spread of the new coronavirus that has killed more than 1,500 people, officials said Saturday.

China Star Wu Lei ‘Turns Down Premier League’ to Stay at Espanyol

Wu Lei contemplated “giving up and returning to China” after testing positive for coronavirus in March and says he turned down offers from Germany and England to remain at Espanyol.

Pop Star Rina Sawayama ‘Not British Enough’ for UK Awards

British-Japanese superstar Rina Sawayama became vocal about her frustration concerning her ineligibility for two major music awards in the UK despite calling the country her home for the past 25 years.

Dogecoin: ‘Joke’ Virtual Currency Touted by Elon Musk

Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency originally created as a joke, has grabbed the headlines thanks to repeated interest from tech billionaire Elon Musk — and despite doubts in the financial community.

UV Books Sterilizers Allows Library Goers to Feel Safe Again

Before COVID-19, going to the library to read a good book was considered one of life’s greatest pleasures. But due to the emergence of the virus, many library-goers have become paranoid to borrow books. To remedy this, Japan rolled out UV book sanitizers.

Japan Awaits Wedding News as Royal Sweetheart Returns

Japanese romantics and royal-watchers held their breath for a wedding announcement as Princess Mako’s boyfriend returned to Tokyo on Monday, following years of public controversy over their marriage.

The Truth About Japan’s Geishas

Geishas help preserve a 300 year old tradition – but they are tagged as prostitutes in modern times.

China Using UV Light to Speed Up Disinfection of Virus Germs

Ultraviolet light is being beamed through public buses and lifts in China to wipe out any possible germs as part of efforts to clear the country of the deadly coronavirus epidemic.

Exclusive: Ahtisa Manalo Opens Up about Fame, Cats, and Her Wish for Uninterrupted Sleep

Interview: At twenty-one years old, Ahtisa Manalo is one of the Philippines’ youngest and most influential beauty queens. The multi-hyphenated beauty shares her love for beaches, her cats, and most importantly, clocking in extra sleep. 

Hong Kong in Record Meth Bust as Pandemic Forces Gangs to Evolve

Hong Kong authorities announced a record seizure of over half a ton of methamphetamine on Monday, saying the coronavirus pandemic had led smugglers to riskier bulk shipments in place of traditional drug mules.

Scared but Desperate, Thai Sex Workers Forced to the Street

A shutdown to contain the coronavirus has killed Thailand’s party scene and forced sex workers like Pim out of bars and onto desolate streets. She’s scared but desperately needs customers to pay her rent.

Asian Pop-Up Cinema Kicks off Season 11 with Streaming and Drive-In Experience

Asian Pop-Up Cinema proves their strong dedication to movie buffs despite the pandemic by launching a new initiative for their 5th anniversary. The festival’s season 11 boasts a new way of showcasing their impressive 22-movie lineup.

Recycled Products are the First Winners of Olympic 2020

The 2020 Olympics has declared that the Games are going to center on global sustainability with all its resources and infrastructure revolving around recycle products, green and clean methods that benefit the environment.

Japan Towns Offer Masks as Reward for Tax Donation

Japanese towns offer popular local specialities from wagyu beef to tuna as gifts to citizens who donate money in a special tax scheme, but the coronavirus pandemic has made masks this year’s must-have item.

Taiwan Blacksmith Turns Artillery Shells into Kitchen Knives

In a contemporary twist on beating swords into ploughshares, Taiwanese blacksmith Wu Tseng-dong has forged a career fashioning kitchen knives from Chinese artillery shells once fired at his home.

World’s First: Lab-Grown Chicken to Go on Sale in Singapore

Lab-grown chicken will soon be available in restaurants in Singapore after the country became the first to green-light meat created without slaughtering any animals.

Pakistan Opens First Metro Line after Years of Delays

Pakistan’s first metro line began operations Monday in the eastern city of Lahore following years of delays, in a country severely lacking public transport or modern infrastructure.