WALK THE GREAT WALL

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Travel Secrets -

You know… Bei­jing, China

With time and 10 mil­lion vis­i­tors a year erod­ing its Great Wall, China took ac­tion. The restora­tion of Bei­jing’s Si­matai sec­tion, in ad­di­tion to Badal­ing and Mu­tianyu, may help pro­tect these pop­u­lar sec­tions from the crowds, but in flat­ten­ing watch­tow­ers and smoothing over cracks, many ar­gue it has pri­ori­tised num­bers over the tex­ture of his­tory.

But what about… Ji­ayuguan, Gansu Prov­ince

Yet for those who don’t fancy be­ing just an­other brick in the Wall, there are still qui­eter, wilder parts of the wall to be found, even near to Bei­jing. Parts of Jiankou ( just 2.5 hours away by car) are still far enough re­moved to avoid crowds, while Wild Wall tours (wild­wall.com) seek out re­mote sec­tions with an ex­pert in tow.

But few trav­ellers make it to the wall’s west­ern­most point, out in Gansu Prov­ince’s Ji­ayuguan. Here, on the cusp of the Gobi Desert, you can gaze out from its huge, re­stored fort be­fore head­ing to ru­ined strate­gic posts and up the snaking wall it­self, inch­ing across the tan moun­tain­sides some 10km away. It’s quite un­like any view of the wall you’ll find else­where, and in 2019 you can even com­bine it as a stop on the lux­u­ri­ous Golden Ea­gle train route from Lhasa, Ti­bet, as you hur­tle there across the world’s high­est rail­way. ⊲

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