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Awarded ‘50 Tours of a Lifetime’ by National Geographic Traveler Magazine.
The Great Wall is among the most recognizable structures on the planet, so it's no surprise that is has long been a staple of China tours. The wall is so long that you have to pick and choose which sections to visit, but when you're narrowing down the selection, be sure to include Jiankou.
Located about 45 miles north of Beijing, this portion of the wall dates back to around 1368 and has some of the best scenery in China. While the beautiful views are certainly a highlight, Jiankou's most appealing aspect is that it has relatively few tourists compared to other sections of the Great Wall, so you won't have to battle crowds along the way.
The hike along Jiankou is certainly a challenge, but it makes for some added adventure during your tour of China. The entire journey takes about five hours and has many locations along the way that are among the most breathtaking stops along the entire wall.
One of the most famous sections of Jiankou is The Nine-Eye Tower. This well-known landmark was used as a command post during ancient times and is comprised of three layers. The tower gets its name from the nine holes on each of its side, giving it the unique appearance of eyes looking over the scenery below.
Jiankou is also home to one of the most challenging sections of the Great Wall known as The Sky Stair. The walkway can get as steep as 80 degrees in some places, and while it is undoubtedly not for the faint of heart, it leads to one of the most fulfilling views in the world.
It's not often you can get away from the crowds during a tour of China, but given the challenging hikes on Jiankou, you can get do just that.
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