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Great Wall Of China: One Of World’s True Wonders
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It is not one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but the Great Wall of China is, nevertheless, one of the great wonders of the world attracting millions of tourists to the country each year.
There are many amazing facts, and an equal number of amazing myths, to ask about if one is on a Great Wall tour, and all the questions have contributed to the success of the Great Wall of China tours over the years and decades. In fact, Beijing tour package operators have remained a steady source of income for the Chinese government.
The history of the Great Wall of China is so rich with history that one is highly recommended to use one of the Beijing tours, although a private guide or even a Lonely Planet book would be better than nothing.
One of the main questions tourists often ask when they are on a Beijing tour is how long the wall is. That, actually, is one of the questions to which there is no definitive answer. One of the most repeated answers is that the wall is 5,500 miles (about 8,800 Kilometers) but many “China observers” quickly add that many parts of the wall were destroyed, built, and re-built over the course of thousands of years. They would argue the true length of the constructed wall is more than 13,000 miles (21,000 Kilometers).
Another interesting question is when the wall was built in the first place and why. History books say the construction of the wall started in the 7th Century BC by feudal lords who wanted to protect their land from Mongolian and Manchu enemies.
Much of the wall is built over mountainous terrain, with glutinous rice flour used as a key ingredient to bind the bricks together.
For years, tour operators in China have wished there was more diversity for the tourists they get. While there are no official statistics for revenue generated from Great Wall of China tours, the country as a whole received 26 million foreign visitors in 2014, of whom 20 million stayed at least overnight, thus raising the possibility that many visited the wall. Overall, China’s revenue from foreign tourists in 2014 was around $35 billion.
As China continues to gradually open up its doors to the world, especially to the West, it is not an unattainable wish that Beijing tours and Great Wall tours will show a sharp increase.
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