Attraction of the week

Xiling Mountain (Xilǐng Xuěshān, 西岭雪山)—also referred to as "Xiling Snow Mountain," "Xiling Snow-Capped Mountain" or just "Xiling Xueshan"—is a pleasant get-away just about two hours by...

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Sometimes referred to as "Western Badaling" for its resemblance to a section of the Great Wall near Beijing, this part of the Great Wall, about 9 kilometers out from Jiayuguan Fort, was originally built in 1539, through some reconstruction and refurbishment, including the addition of stairs, occurred in 1987.  Hiking up to the top, which can be very demanding due to the 45 degree inclination you're pitted against on the way up, is worthwhile. You'll be rewarded with sweeping views encompassing the Jiayuguan oasis, forlorn..

Once considered the end of the "civilized" world, Jiayuguan Fort (Jiāyùguān Chénglóu, 嘉峪关城楼) was Imperial China's westernmost stronghold at the end of the Great Wall. Beyond the fort's walls; primal fears in the forms of elemental demons and barbarian armies waited to ambush disgraced officials and exhiled poets cast out through the Gate of Conciliation (Róuyuǎn Lóu, 柔远楼). On the opposite side of the fort, the Gate of Enlightenment (Guānghuá  Lóu, 光化楼), where law-abiding citizens of the empire could come and go..

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