You can see the Great Wall from space?!

September 19, 2013 — 4 Comments

Did you know you can see the Great Wall of China from space??  Apparently, it looks something like this:

Great Wall of China from Space

The more I think about it, the less impressive that is since now we can a license plate from outer space (but not read it).  Anyway, that’s not the point of this post.  The point of this post is we made it all of the way to China – all of the way to Beijing in fact – and we didn’t see the Great Wall of China!!

That’s right, it’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world, and probably the biggest tourist attraction in China, and we missed it!!  How did we miss the Great Wall of China you may ask… ok, it was my fault.

I attribute it to “trip fatigue” has we’d been traveling for six months by the time we got to China, and we’d had a hard last month traveling through Myanmar, India, and Nepal.  After stops in Hong Kong, Yangshuo, Guilin, and Xi’An, we were also exhausted from our China travels so we slowed down in Beijing.

Also, China was our last stop before heading to Vienna, Austria to meet with friends so we were excited about that.  We had booked our flight to leave on Sept 6th so we had four nights in Beijing.  On the first three days we made it to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Olympic Park, and a few other small things.

I had completed research on the best part of the wall to climb and how to get there, but each day we decided to put it off another day due to the weather or just not wanting to go yet.  After all, the part of the wall I researched would require a 10km trek to get over it!  The wall looked awesome and was supposed to be the most picturesque section of the whole thing.

So there we were on Thursday night, on our third night, and planning out our next day.  That afternoon we decided to head to the market where we could get all sorts of cheap Chinese made knock-offs and maybe even a pair of jeans.  As we headed to the elevator, I was discussing with Jocelyn about out trip to the Great Wall the next day and all of the sudden something flashed in my head – maybe our flight leaves at 2am on Friday instead of 2am Saturday.  It couldn’t be, how could I make such a big mistake?!?!

I hurriedly grabbed my phone from my pocket… and indeed, our flight left at 2am Friday morning, meaning we wouldn’t be able to see the Great Wall!!  We instantly headed back to our room to research if there was a way to see it at night.  It was around 3:30 pm at this point, so we had a little time.  I found a few sites that talked about night viewing of the Great Wall, but when I contacted the travel agency they said they no longer do it.  We could’ve paid a couple of hundred to take a taxi to a spot of the wall that’s lit up, but it would’ve rushed things too much since we still had to go to the market and pack.

I was really bummed as the Great Wall is something I’ve wanted to see most of my life, but sometimes that’s how things work out!  Luckily, our hotel in Beijing is called the “Sheraton Great Wall”, so I took a picture in front of it since that’s the closest we got to the Great Wall of China!

Sheraton Great Wall, Beijing

The closest we got to the Great Wall of China…

On a side note, we did see some other great walls – one in India and a great wall around Xi’An.  Although neither were the Great Wall of China, we’ll be ok :).

Wall surrounding Xi'An, China

A view from the side of the great wall surrounding the city of Xi’An

Wall surrounding Xi'An, China

Sun setting over the great wall of Xi’An

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4 responses to You can see the Great Wall from space?!

  1. As much as I would love to see the Great Wall, it feels a bit touristy to me. I would probably do more of what you did while putting it off.

    There is so much history and culture in china I could probably take an entire 9month trip just for that country.

    • Jon – that’s exactly how I’m justifying it my mind… it’s one of those things all tourists do, so we were cool by not doing it 🙂

      Also, agree on China. They were incredibly advanced even 2,000 years ago; the museums were fascinating as well

  2. My husband visited China with a friend a number of years ago. They were impressed by the Wall, of course, but didn’t climb it because it’s quite a hike to reach it. Quite an architectural wonder — a 324-mile fortress. I find the aerial view amazing.

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