November 2, 2013

Epworth Great Wall Challenge 2013

A group of 16 people from Australia trekked the Great Wall of China to raise money to help cancer patients at Epworth Hospital in October 2013. The group walked 10 sections of the Great Wall for 6 days, namely Huangyaguan, Gubeikou, Jinshanling, Simatai West, Jiankou, Mutianyu, Huanghuacheng, Xishuiyu, Old Badaling and Shixiaguan. Scott Bulger, executive director at Epworth Medical Foundation, invited 4 gentlemen and 10 ladies to attend the event, as well as his daughter, Meghan Hadley. It’s a real challenge to walk the Great Wall, one of the Seven Wonders in the world. Some parts of the Wall were really steep and struggling. It was warm even hot on the first and windy and cold on last day. Luckily the weather was beautiful and people enjoyed the changing scenery at different sections of the Wall. They completed a distance of 45 km on mountainous areas and celebrated with Great Wall wine at the end. The group also did a 2-day sightseeing in the city, including Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. They celebrated the challenge and achievement at a imperial garden restaurant on 27 October 2013.
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July 26, 2013

Film for EUROSPORT on the Great Wall of China

A crew of 3 people from Eurosport shot a film on the Great Wall of China with the assistance from Great Wall Hiking on July 25th, 2013. Luckily it was a beautiful day in summer time in which the weather can be changed overnight. Gary, founder at Great Wall Hiking, escorted the crew to Jiankou Great Wall, an increasingly popular section of the Great Wall. Jiankou used to be the most remote and isolated section of the Wall around Beijing, and now is attracting more advanced hikers and keen photographers. The crew started the film at 10am and could not finish until 4pm, 6 hours on the Wall for only 3-km walking. It’s always not an easy task for film, let alone walking on the wild part of the Great Wall. Eventually we completed the film and the crew was exhausted. Everyone agreed that it was a fantastic film experience on the Great Wall. The film will be presented in a month.
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January 1, 2013

Beijing, Shanghai start 72-hour visa-free transit policy

Visitors from 45 countries can now benefit from a 72-hour visa-free stay policy in Beijing and Shanghai, a move that could attract more transit visitors. Visitors holding third country visas and plane tickets can now apply for a transit without visa at Beijing Capital International Airport. Foreign visitors are not permitted to leave Beijing to other Chinese cities during the 72 hours, and have to depart from the capital city. The 45 approved nations are as following: 31 European nations: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland,  Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovak Republic, Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Cyprus, Republic of Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdoms. 6 American nations: United States of America, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile. 2 Oceania nations: Australia, New Zealand. 6 Asian nations: Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Qatar, United Arab Emirates. Restrictions of the 72-hour visa-free transit policy: 1. This regulation does not apply to passengers who travel on a single return flight (e.g., London – Beijing – London), which means the next destination and original departure can not be the same. They need to apply for a
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December 17, 2012

Press Trip – Great Wall of China Charity Trek 2013

We are looking for charities, non-profit organisations or individuals who are planning to trek the Great Wall of China for fundraising events. The 8-day itinerary includes 5-day trek on the Great Wall and a visit to Forbidden City. We will walk on the original and remote sections of the Great Wall near Beijing. Trip will begin on 8th May and finish on 15th May, 2013. Anyone who are working in charities or non-profit organisations in UK or Australia are welcomed to join this press trip. We will cover ground cost here in Beijing for successful participants, and participants need to pay their own international flights to Beijing. Please find detailed itinerary and trip note at  http://www.greatwallhiking.com/press-trip.html.
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December 2, 2012

Beijing approves 72-hour visa waiver for tourists

Foreign tourists from 45 countries will be able to enjoy a 72-hour visa-free stay in Beijing from Jan 1, the city government announced Wednesday morning. The policy is aimed at making Beijing more accessible to the world and is expected to attract more overseas travelers. However, visitors without a visa will not be allowed to travel outside the capital once they arrive. Doing so will be deemed illegal entry, the government said. Source: China Daily
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November 4, 2012

Two Japanese tourists died on the Great Wall in China snowstorms

SHIJIAZHUANG, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — Two Japanese tourists were killed and one remained missing after being trapped in a snow-covered mountain in north China’s Hebei Province, local authorities said late Sunday night. Two Japanese women, aged 62 and 68, were confirmed dead and a 76-year-old Japanese man remained missing, the Huailai county’s publicity department said in a statement. Another Japanese tourist, 59, and a Chinese man, who works for a Japanese tourist agency, were under treatment at a village clinic as roads out of the mountain were still closed. The four Japanese tourists and two Chinese tourists climbed a mountain from the Beijing side to tour a section of the Great Wall Saturday morning.The six were trapped in snowstorms after reaching a mountainous region in Huailai county in the neighboring province of Hebei, according to the statement. More than 150 people battled waist-deep snow to search for tourists after learning from a Chinese tourist who came down the mountain to seek police help. Heavy snows hit many places in north China, including Beijing and Hebei, over the weekends.
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October 24, 2012

The Great Wall conservation faces conundrum

China’s most treasured tourist site in need of repair Just how great is the Great Wall? People who visit the Great Wall at Badaling in Beijing often mistake it as the only section of the wall that is open to tourists, or even representative of the whole span of the Great Wall. However, this architectural wonder spreads over tens of thousands of kilometers through China’s countryside. Built over 2,000 years ago, the Great Wall was constructed by dozens of dynasties in history including the Warring Period (475BC-221BC), the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), the Tang Dynasty (618-907), until finally, the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The wall stretches 21,196 kilometers and snakes through 403 counties in 15 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. Unlike the maintained Great Wall at Badaling in Beijing, the focus of most tourists, other sections of the wall have been corroding from the effects of nature and negligence. Disappearing sections Getting to the Great Wall section at Changcheng town, Wuqi county in northwest Shaanxi Province is not easy. Lured by the idea that this area of the Great Wall was built during the Ming Dynasty and is the beginning of the Great Wall within Shaanxi Province, adventurous tourists often venture here.
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October 22, 2012

Great Wall documentary starts shooting

Hailed as the eighth wonder of the world, the Great Wall is a symbol of Chinese civilization and a source of National pride. The huge dragon shaped defence work has been shrouded in mystery for so long because it was such an impossible task for Chinese ancestors to build two thousand years ago. And it has witnessed so many wars and events over the course of Chinese history. To shed more light on the Chinese wonder, a documentary about the history and legends of the wall has just begun shooting. The documentary feature produced by CCTV, called “Great Wall, China’s Story” has started shooting at Shanhaiguan, the east end of the ancient defence work. The production aims at discussing the Great Wall, from both the spacial and historical sphere. With the help of up-to-date video technology, and the latest results in academic research, a more real and thorough account of the Wall is expected to be presented to the audience. The documentary series is planned to have 12 episodes each with 50 minutes. It’s expected to be aired in 2014. Source: CNTV
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