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Walking on another part of the Great Wall of China


This post forms part of my series of visits to different parts of the Great Wall of China; this part of the wall is called Jiaoshan (Jiao Mountain) meaning ‘Horn Peak’ because the large steep peak of the mountain looks like the horn of a dragon.

This part of the wall zigzags in northern China from Laolongtou (Old Dragon’s Head) at Shanghaiguan which juts out into the Bohai Sea all the way to the desert in western China. Jiaoshan is the first mountain the wall crawls along, so it is known as the ‘the first mountain of the Great Wall’.


A little bit of history about this part of the wall – (obtained from various sources) it was built during the reign of the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), is about 1.5 kilometres long and made of locally quarried rocks and bricks.  The external side of the wall is precipitous making it difficult to attack, while the internal side is low and convenient for climbing and fighting.  This mountain and wall overlooked the most vulnerable part of the border between Manchuria and North China so was of the highest strategic significance in the Ming Dynasty.

This map shows the key forts on the wall built during the Ming Dynasty.


(source: http://www.chinahighlights.com)

I recall visiting Jiaoshan with a group of colleagues from the Australian Embassy in Beijing one Sunday in summer – it was very warm but I was glad I had the opportunity as this part of the wall was amazing and I also had the chance to see a young Chinese couple having their wedding photos taken in the park with the wall as a backdrop.




We took the cable car to the top of the mountain and  walked along the old ruins.  This part of the wall is incredibly steep without side walls so for someone like me it’s rather daunting.

Another fabulous day on the Great Wall of China!!