Once known as the "wild wall" for the extent to which nature had reclaimed it, the Great Wall at Huanghua (Huánghuā Chángchéng, 黄花长城) was partly renovated in 2005. However, it's still a long way from becoming anything like the super-touristy Badaling and, as such, Huanghua makes a great alternative Great Wall hike for those willing to do a bit of climbing.
Like other sections of the Great Wall near Beijing, Huanghua snakes along mountain ridges, rising and falling with the peaks. On the site's western end, the wall meets a lake, and on its eastern side, a reservoir. Many of the wall's rising sections are composed of slick, flat stones without steps, while others feature steep, crumbling steps, making caution the order of the day.
This section of the Great Wall, built by a Ming Dynasty general, was initially reported to be poorly constructed and over-funded. Furious, the emperor had the general beheaded. Later, reports to the contrary—in fact praising the construction—left egg on the emperor's face, but they came too late to help the poor general. Returned to imperial favor, he was given a proper tomb burial and a stele to honor him.
Only a 70 km (44 mi) drive from Beijing, Badaling (Bādálǐng, 八达岭) is the most visited section of the Great Wall. Constructed during the Ming Dynasty, Badaling..
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