An enduring symbol of Chinese civilisation and genius, the UNESCO protected Great Wall was built as a defensive structure to protect China against marauding invaders from the north. Although the present wall dates mainly from the Ming dynasty, some 20 states and dynasties were involved in its immense construction over a period of 2,000 years and followed different routes and building extensions as required. Snaking some 6,700km across barren hills, deserts, mountains and plateaus, the now partially ruinous Great Wall stretches east to west in northern China. At one time perhaps nearly 9,700km long, the wall was garrisoned by nearly 1 million soldiers and featured over 1,000 fortified passes and 10,000 beacon towers. A modern-day visit offers a healthy, if steep and vertiginous walk with breathtaking views of the Chinese countryside.
The Ming Tombs are a group of mausoleums of some thirteen Ming emperors, their empresses and concubines, representing China’s finest example of imperial tomb architecture. There are three tombs usually open including that of Ding Ling, the longest reigning Ming emperor and the only burial chamber to have been fully excavated; that of Chang Ling, perhaps the largest and most impressive of all; and also that of Zhao Ling. During excavations of Ding Ling’s tomb in the 1950s, archaeologists were stunned to discover treasures of the emperor whose rule began the downfall of the Ming Dynasty.
Great Wall & Ming Tombs is near Beijing. Listed below are some of our Holidays with Beijing
About 100km northwest of Lijiang in Yunnan province is where the Yangtze River’s upper reaches, the Jingsha Jiang, channel with ...