Chinese Great Wall:
The world’s greatest example of human will and ingenuity (and irrationality). Stretching from China’s east coast to the deserts of western China, the Great Well was built some 2,200 years ago to resist marauding tribes from the north.
Most of the wall that one can see today was erected in the Ming Dynasty about 600 years ago.What to expect: Pick one section and expect to spend at least a day exploring it.
Badaling and Mutianyu, both restored sections, are stunning to look at, but can be overwhelmed with crowds. Instead, the Wall at the non-restored (or “wild”) sections, such as Huanghua or Jiankou, remains the way the sentries left it.
Visitors may well have entire sections to themselves.A driver for the day to most sections near Beijing costs about RMB 650 (US$100). Insider tips: For a unique experience, consider camping on the wall. Several outfits organize overnight stays, where travelers can either sleep in a watchtower or in tents at the edge of the wall.
For hard-core athletes, the Great Wall Marathon is staged every May near Tianjin. China Adventure Tours runs hikes ranging from one to 24 days (RMB 480-27,000 per person).
Mountain Biking Asia leads a five-day, 40-kilometer trek in Hebei province (from RMB 12,685 per person).