THE TRAVEL Braam set a world record in 2006 when he ran the whole length of the Great Wall of China in a single try. This amounted to jogging 43 kilometers per day (more than a marathon per day) six days a week for almost a hundred days. It was physically impossible, according to experts. The wall is made up of stone blocks that can be as large as a truck and weigh hundreds of pounds. It's estimated that it would take years even if you had a team of millions of workers available, which means that the wall must have been built by someone else also! All around the world there are old walls, some of them dating back thousands of years. But only in China do they reach such a size and complexity level. Many parts of these ancient fortifications are still standing today.
The wall was built over many centuries by several different governments to protect their territories from invasion by foreign armies. It began as a defensive line against the Xiongnu people, who were one of the first ethnic groups to live along the northern part of the Old Silk Road. The name "Xiongnu" means "man-eaters" and refers to the fact that they ate humans as a delicacy. They used horses for war and carts for trade.
In 220 AD, the Han dynasty took control of the area that now includes China. They built on top of the work done by their predecessors and expanded the wall into its current form.
The above equation shows how tough it is to walk the Great Wall of China. A one-and-a-half-year journey along the Wonderful Wall is a great test of physical strength and fortitude. Ordinary folks will struggle to make the journey. Only those who are determined to see everything that the wall has to offer should consider making the trip.
The wall was built by men over many years, using mostly stone and some wood. It stretches for thousands of miles from Beijing in the north to Guangzhou in the south, covering all parts of the country where it is not submerged by water.
The wall's history goes back more than 2,000 years, when it was first built to protect China from invasion. Over time, it became more of a symbol of imperial power and prestige than an actual defense mechanism. The last section was completed in 2009, after which time it was opened to the public.
You can learn more about the wall at any of its many museums or memorial sites. Or you can simply walk among its remnants and imagine what it must have been like when it was new.
The main path of the Great Wall of China extends over 5,500 miles from Hushan to Jiayuguan—tackling this massive monument on foot is a difficult task! It would take between 15 and 18 months to walk the Ming section of the Great Wall of China from end to finish. The job could be done more quickly if you were a Chinese worker who followed the wall in order to make money.
In fact, the labor force used to build the Great Wall was large enough that some estimates say that up to 20 percent of the population may have been involved at any given time.
The wall was built during the 14th century under the reign of Emperor Yongle (1360-1425). At its greatest extent, the wall crossed 1,500 miles of land with an overall height of more than 13 feet. It was made of stone and covered with plaster. There are two types of walls: the main part made of stone and the lesser part made of wood. The wall was designed not only to protect against invaders but also as a form of social control by preventing people from fleeing the country without permission.
It took about 10 years to build the first 100 miles of the wall and another five years to complete it all the way to its terminus in Beijing. However, building it went beyond just one person or group of people; instead, it was an organized government project that employed many workers from across China.
The Great Wall stretches for a total of 21,196 kilometers. It takes over 30 million steps to ascend the whole length of the Great Wall. But don't worry, most visitors just spend around 3 hours hiking about 4-6 kilometers, or roughly 5,000 stairs. That's more than enough time to climb it.
The original wall was built during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) to protect against attacks from northern tribes such as the Mongols. It took hundreds of thousands of workers decades to build. The wall was recently reopened to the public after being closed for maintenance for several years.
But the real challenge is finding the right path. The wall has been rebuilt and expanded many times over the centuries since it was first constructed. Some parts were made of stone, others used wood or clay. Each section was designed by different people with different ideas about how to defend against attack.
At its highest point, the wall stands up to 15 meters high and is thick enough for 10 cars to pass each other on their sides without touching. It varies in width from 50 meters to three miles.
The majority of the wall is made of brick or stone but there are also some sections that are made of wood or clay. The wall has been reconstructed several times over the centuries since it was first built, so it's no wonder that there are now several paths up it.
Dong Yaohui, a Chinese electrical engineer, completed the full Great Wall trek with his two partners in 1985. The entire voyage took 508 days, beginning in Shanhaiguan and ending in Jiayuguan. A portion of the wall has been restored or rebuilt since it was originally constructed.
Check out this article by Scientific American.