Hiking along a Dragon’s spine

There was only us on the isolated Great Wall of China. An orange morning sun had just risen up from the thick mist and the air was still slightly chilly after an autumn night.

Since the early days the Great Wall of China in Gubeikou has been one of the most important Chinese military defence base. The first part of the wall was built in 550's, and throughout history there have been up to 130 significant battles.
The hiking trail on top of the wall is 13 kilometres long and the hike from one end to the other takes a little less than four hours.
The beaten and crumbling wall feels like it’s straight out of the Ming Dynasty era. Such an authentic historic charm this unrestored wall has. Only the army soldiers guarding the wall are missing from sight.

Mysterious watchtowers rise at intervals along the wall. During our hike we were peeking curiously out from towers’ windows and admiring the opening scenery.
In addition to wonderful landscapes hiking along the Great Wall of China, it’s mostly climbing up and down. Along the way, we saw some dangerous staircase steps and scary collapsed walls.

We were not surprised at all when we heard that this rugged wall has always been called the Coiling Dragon Mountain. Hiking on this dragon’s spine has been one of the most memorable hiking experiences during our “forever vacation” (“IKILOMALLA”) journey.