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My historic trip to the Great Wall of China

By Frederic Byumvuhore (People's Daily Online)    17:46, August 21, 2019

The Badaling section of the Great Wall. (Photo/Xinhua)

At school, I learned about the historical Great Wall of China, which is the world’s longest defensive fortification. I never dreamt I would get to see this wonder with my own eyes, but fortunately, I had the opportunity to go this year.

As someone from a land of thousand Hills, Rwanda, I was curious to explore the uniqueness of China, one of the world’s superpowers. During my time here so far, I have seen many amazing things, especially in cultural preservation, tourism, technology, infrastructure and economy, but the Great Wall may top them all.

Just how many people travel to the Great Wall each day shows how popular a landmark it is to visitors from all over the world. Some visitors come in groups, with the leader carrying a flag so they can be spotted in the crowds.

In April, I visited the Badaling section of the Ming Wall, which is the best-preserved and most visited section, as part of a group of 49 journalists from Asia Pacific and African countries.

When we arrived, we met different people from all walks of life. Taking selfies was the most popular activity among Chinese tourists. It did not necessarily mean that those in the pictures knew each other; all that mattered was that they were visitors at the same place.

It costs 40 yuan to enter this section of the wall in peak season and 35 yuan in low season, while students pay half price.

Generally, the number of visitors to the Badaling section of the Great Wall is capped at around 16 million every year, according to figures.

The wall is made up of a series of forts in a variety of elaborate designs. There are several scenic spots on the Great Wall that are easy to get to, and Badaling is the most famous.

Today, the Great Wall is recognized as one of the most impressive architectural feats in human history, and in 1987, UNESCO designated the Great Wall a World Heritage site.

Frederic Byumvuhore is a reporter with The New Times Rwanda and is currently participating in the China Africa Press Center 2019 program in Beijing 

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