When you are standing on The Great Wall of China, wonderment is a complete understatement. Spanning over 13,000 miles, this ancient fortification winds across the land with complete disregard for natural obstacles and the dramatic landscape. Mountains, valleys, cherry blossoms, cliffs, clouds of mist and even snow all serve as natural accents to this once northern barrier of Mongols.
A very visible historic and cultural marker, it is a perennial top global tourist destination. The part of the Wall that most people see has actually been refurbished and renovated to support commercial tourism (read: cable cars, tee shirts and group tour flags). However, for the more adventurous travelers, parts known as the “Wild Wall” still exist. Getting there requires the road less traveled and an appreciation for sections of the original wall now deteriorated into complete mounds of rubble from weather exposure and looters throughout the ages .
Fair disclaimer when venturing off the beaten path: enter at your own risk and carry cash for local “entrance” fees. The “wild” and variable nature of the wall is no joke and not for the faint of heart.