Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Like the Pyramids, the building of the Great Wall was a magnificent accomplishment that took hundreds of thousands, if not millions of men to achieve. That’s a little something for you to keep in mind while you’re on your Great Wall tour.

The gigantic undertaking of building The Great Wall required a large quantity of manpower in the building site and the logistics department. The manpower mainly came from three sources: garrison soldiers, drafted civilians and starving masses, and exiled prisoners. 

A     Soldiers: From The Great Wall of Emperor of Ying Zheng to the grandest one built during the Ming Dynasty, soldiers were the main constructive body. The Great Wall of Emperor Ying Zheng was built over nine years by the 300,000 troops that has been directed by General Meng Tian and beaten off Xiongnu. The well-kept site in Guyang County of Inner Mongolia proves that but for troops the construction in grand ravines and canyons would be impossible. The Han Great Wall was built mostly by garrison soldiers. In a poem written by Chen Lin, one of the seven famous poets in the last years during the Jian An Period of the Eastern Han Dynasty, there is a lien that reads, “True men would rather die in the dust than build The Great Wall in gloom”, which expressed the soldiers’ emotion of the time. The Great Wall of Northern Qi was also built by garrison soldiers. In order to pacify them the regime even married widows in the rear area to them. The boundary moat from the southwest and the northwest of Jinxiu to Taizhou along Linhuang was built by 30,000 soldiers in successive years. The Ming Dynasty provides the best example. During the period The Great Wall construction was a most important duty of the garrison soldier. Each period of construction would involve a large number of soldiers.

B.      Civilians: In all ages civilians were called up in large quantities for construction on The Great Wall, always amounting to tens of thousands, or even a million at a time. During Emperor Ying Zheng’s reign, besides the 300,000 thousand troops that were maneuvered, more than 500,000 civilians were also mobilized. During the Northern Wei Dynasty, for building the defensive line in the frontier, 100,000 civilians were called up from Sizhou, Youzhou, Dingzhou, and Jizhou prefectures. The Northern Qi Great Wall from Xiakou to Hengzhou involved 1,800 civilians. The Sui Great Wall from Yulin in the west to Zihe in the east in today’s Inner Mongolia was constructed by more than 1,000 civilians. During the moat construction in Linhuang of Jinxiu in 1198, besides soldiers and civilians, starving masses were also aroused.

C.      Prisoners: Exiled prisoners were a frequent supplement to The Great Wall construction. During the Qin and Han dynasties, there was a penalty called “rampart construction” that would send prisoners to the construction site for four years. It was stipulated when Emperor Ying Zheng ordered to burn books that those who failed to burn the banned books within thirty days would be shaved bald, ringed around the neck and banished to the frontier to build The Great Wall. At this time a penalty of this kind was heavy. At the frontier the prisoners had to prepare for combats in the daytime and to build The Great Wall at night. Among the laborers constructing The Great Wall, quite a number of people were prisoners. Shuntian Imperial Inspector Yang Zhao recorded in 1571 Memorandum on Armament of Frontier Strategic Towns that prisoners from all prefectures were sent to build The Great Wall, whose working time would be converted into their prison term; when the prison term was completed with enough amount of labor, they would be released.

To learn more about the Great Wall of China please go to http://www.greatwalladventure.com/greatwall.htm

Sunday, March 29, 2015


The Great Wall was not built overnight! Before you go on your Great Wall tour learn about how and why this monumental achievement was created.

All warfare must be carried out in a certain space. It is the carrier of the war. Therefore, to make full use of the advantageous topographical conditions can ensure complete victory to a great extent. Manmade defense works are adjustment and addition to the natural terrain. The Great Wall was such a defense work. By constructing a strong, continuous and lofty defense work of wall and making use of natural barriers, the ancient people could effectively hold back invasion. At the beginning of conceiving the construction of The Great Wall, the rough location was the first thing to be decided. The concrete selection of location was not written in historical records, but two points should have been taken into consideration. One was to satisfy the Courts’ policies strategically. The other was to maximally protect oneself and destroy the enemy tactically. Here we will dwell on the latter consideration. On deciding the location of the Great Wall, the designer had to take into consideration the enemy’s topographical conditions. The most important defensive strongholds of The Great Wall were first decided, and then walls and moats connecting them were further fixed. The construction of The Great Wall organically integrated the manmade defense works into a natural barrier; hence a military line of defense specializing in both offense and defense came into being.

Whether or not the advantageous topographical conditions are fully used is vital to the final victory of a war. It was also a crucial point that could not be neglected by the construction commander of The Great Wall. During the construction of The Great Wall throughout the ages, it was a general guiding principle that “advantageous topographical conditions and natural barriers must be used for reasonable designing and construction of strategic passes”, which was a conclusion of The Great Wall in Historical Records, and was quoted again and again in all remarks on The Great Wall construction. The important principle was summarized in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods. When Meng Tian was sent by Emperor Ying Zheng to build The Great Wall, it was formally defined and recorded in Historical Records by Sima Qian. The principle denotes that advantageous topographical conditions should be rationally chosen and measure should be suited to local conditions in the designing and construction. The locations, dimensions, building materials of The Great Wall must be wisely decided according to the local strategic importance and topographical conditions. Natural barriers such as big rivers and deep valleys were together used with the manmade Great Wall. The complementary use of such helped to improve the combat capability on the one hand, and to save manpower and material resources on the other. The location selection of certain aspects of The Great Wall clearly reflects the principle. It has been found from investigations of The Great Wall sites that examples of smart use of topographical conditions. Construction of the wall at Badaling, for example, is along the back of a mountain ridge. Since the ridge is like a very high wall, construction on it can be even unbreakable. At the same time, cliffs were also used to improve the defensive capability. In some places the Great Wall seems to be very steep from the outside, but relatively smooth on the inside. The outside was used for defending against the enemy and the inside was used for defenders to pass through.

In the places where the outer cliff could play an effective defensive role, the construction would be a little trimming or an addition of some simple low walls. In the most precipitous place where the enemy was impossible to come up directly and wall construction was unnecessary, methods of using “cliff walls” and “ridge cleaving walls” were adopted. The location selection of the Great Wall in all ages involved many such methods, the aim of which was the same, i.e., to effectively keep back the enemy. 

To learn more about the Great Wall of China please go to http://greatwalladventure.com/great-wall-in-beijing.htm

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Best Discount Hotels and Hostels in China!

Thanks to our partnership with eLong.com, China's best online discount hotel reservation network powered by Expedia, we are able to access to the lowest discount price reservation system. There are hundreds of hotel search sites on the Internet for China hotels, but GWAC offers the ultimate and personalized solution for your accommodation. Unlike other hotel booking services, your reservation with GWAC is taken care of by humans instead of machines, so we know how to find the most satisfied lodging facilities for you.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Disney Targets Early 2016 Opening for Shanghai Disney

Recent articles in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported a target date of the first half of 2016 for Shanghai Disney’s grand opening. The $5.4 billion park, Disney’s first on mainland China, will include not only the theme park but also a massive 495,000 sq. ft. shopping and dining development called Disneytown, two hotel properties, plus a lake and a lush 11-acre green space that will serve as a venue for cultural celebrations and festivals.

To learn about our Shanghai package deals please go to http://www.greatwalladventure.com/Chin…/tour-shanghaishi.htm

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Yonghegong Lama Temple

Yonghegong Lama Temple, located in the northeast of Beijing's city center, is also known as the "Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple.'' Construction of the Temple began in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty. Originally, it served as the official residence for court eunuchs but it was converted into the court of Prince Yong (Yin Zhen), after Yongzheng's ascension as Emperor. After Yong Zheng's ascension to the Imperial throne, half of the complex was converted into a Tibetan monastery. The Qianlong Emperor, Yongzheng's successor, granted the temple the status of and imperial palace by having its turquoise tiles replaced with yellow tiles (yellow tiles were traditionally reserved for emperors). In 1744, it became a residence for Tibetan Buddhist monks from Mongolia and Tibet, becoming the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist Temple in China outside of Tibet.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

For 1,062 years beginning in the 11th century B.C., Xi'an was the capital of 13 dynasties including the Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Eastern Han, Sui, and Tang. The continuous dynastic occupation kept the city beautiful and magnificent. More than two hundred and seventy palaces and temples were built during its heyday, such as the "Three Han Palaces" in the Han dynasty, namely Changle, Weiyang, Jianzhang Palaces, and numerous other palaces and watch towers. The most well known among these is the Tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuang, with the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses. Xi'an is also the starting point of the ancient Silk Road.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saving the world is now possible with the Great Wall!

Chinese blockbuster director Zhang Yimou is no stranger to casting Hollywood A-listers in his projects since wooing Christian Bale for his 2011 epic The Flowers of War. While that film made huge bank in China, it failed to make the desired impact overseas. Zhang is hoping that his latest opus, The Great Wall, will do better internationally, packing it with stars from home and abroad.

Matt Damon and Andy Lau head an all-star cast that also includes Willem Dafoe and Games of Thrones scene-stealer Pedro Pascal. Set in the 15th Century, The Great Wall is the story of an elite force of soldiers who must defend the titular battlement - and the Earth - from an attack by giant mythical creatures.

After seeing the Great Wall up close and personal you'll then get to see it on the silver screen!