If there are two things that go well together in the world of travel, its bucket lists and the Great Wall of China. Who doesn’t dream of seeing the epic, historic wonder up close, and grabbing that iconic selfie at the same time? Well, what if we told you that a whole new section of wall has just been discovered, so said selfie doesn’t have to take place in the crowded section of it near Beijing?
Yes, it’s not a theoretical situation, it’s an actual one – and, even better, this wall has nothing to do with U.S. politics. If you head to southern China you can now visit a part of the lesser known Southern Great Wall that was recently uncovered. This wall resembles the Great Wall, and stretches over 11 miles across Yuanling county. To find it, you have to travel close to the capital city of Hunan province, Changsha, to check it out. Stylistically it’s pretty similar to the Ming-era wall of northern China (i.e. featuring gates, sentry posts and watchtowers) but it’s worth seeing in itself because it’s about 550 years old, as stated by Lonely Planet.
According to archaeologists, this ‘new’ wall was used to both mark boundaries between Ming-era settlements and to fortify areas against invading ethnic minorities. Whatever the significance, it’s something you won’t want to miss. And if you’re wondering what else there is to explore in Southern China, the answer is a ton. For starters visit Shanghai, the country’s biggest city, a hub of skyscrapers, nightlife, street eats, and fast-paced activity. Out in the countryside down south, Yangshuo should be your go-to destination, a small town filled with dramatic mountain scenery, sitting on the banks of the Li River. Sweet.
Ready to stop reading about the Great Wall and actually see it? Check out Intrepid’s 21-day trip from Beijing to Hong Kong.