One of the oldest and best-preserved sections of the Great Wall of China is located about two hours outside Beijing. Construction began at Mutianyu in the sixth century BC and much of it was rebuilt in the mid-1500s.
Leaders from each of China’s six kingdoms built sections of the wall, totaling more than 15 thousand miles, to protect their people from foreign invaders. Work on the wall ended in the late 1400s.
After ascending the mountainside in a cable car or gondola, visitors can spend hours climbing the steps between watch towers and reading the historical information placards written in both Chinese and English.
Mutianyu is one of the steepest sections of the wall. Fortunately, there are handrails to steady your climb. Be sure to pack a water bottle and fill it in the visitors center. Planning a visit at off-peak times of the year can provide an incredible experience, absent of crowds.
Most people descend the mountain on a toboggan system built by a a German company. Zipping down a metal slide, you steering your cart by pulling a hand brake and leaning into sharp curves.
This section of the Great Wall was visited by former First Lady Michelle Obama in March 2014. By chance during my visit, I actually rode in the same cart used by Mrs. Obama. A special decal had been placed on the seat, reading, “Michelle Lavaughn Robinson Obama take the car to 2014.3.23.”
Lane Luckie, a news anchor and reporter for KLTV in Tyler, Texas, is traveling to Asia to explore the current issues related to the important bilateral relationship between the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China. Click here to learn more about his special assignment.
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of KLTV/KTRE-TV or Raycom Media. They are solely the opinion of the author. All content © Copyright 2018 Lane Luckie