After the fall of Emperor Qin, the wall went into disrepair. During the late Ming Dynasty, emperors continued to build and fortify the wall. Much of the wall that exists today was built during the Ming Dynasty.
In recent history, the Great Wall has emerged as the symbol of China, both physically and psychologically. The wall symbolizes the barrier between China and the outside world. From the time Mao Zedong declared the People's Republic of China in 1949, the country remained completely closed to foreigners. It was not until 1972 that the United States reestablished relations with China, when President Nixon made an official visit to Beijing.
On most Chow Fun tours, we visit the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall because it is one of the best preserved sections. Additionally, due to the fact that it's a little farther from the center of Beijing than other sections, Mutianyu is far less crowded.
According to the locals, 不到长城非好汉 (bú dào Chángchéng fēi hǎohàn) which means "He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man". The saying is attributed to Mao Zedong and is understood to have a deeper meaning: In order to achieve one's goals, one must overcome difficulties. Indeed, getting to the Great Wall from the United States requires many difficulties including planning the trip, procuring a visa, changing money and taking a very long plane ride for starters. Even for the Chinese, getting to the wall requires a lot of travel and is a kind of pilgrimage for those who come from far away cities and villages.
The Great Wall of China should be on your Bucket List. If you go with Chow Fun Tours, the journey will not disappoint!