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.

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