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Last day in China--a great trip

Today is our last day in China. This trip went so fast, and we saw and did so much. This really is the way to experience China. Our guide, Lui Li, made this trip so easy. She did an excellent job making this the best experience possible from selecting activities to ordering us the best food. If you are coming to China for the first time, I'd highly recommend hiring a local guide. We've also had local guides in each city we visited. Kathy Chen, our Beijing guide, really know everything about this city. Each local guide has a college degree in history and the languages they speak. All in all, a great experience.

Driving out to the Great Wall now. It is a perfect day for hiking--25 C and sunny. Below is some history of the wall from Kathy.

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The Great Wall was built in 7th century BC. Built different sections, and in 221 BC, a kingdom defeated the others and unified China. At this point, all the sections were linked up. Additional construction during Quin dynasty. Ming dynasty was the last dynasty to rebuild the wall. Most of what we see is from Ming dynasty (600 yrs ago). Workers were forced to build the wall. Service usually lasted 1 month to 1 year until individual laborer died. Workers who dies were buried near mountain areas. Wall made of stone, bricks, and mixtures of. Wall also has arms towers and beacon towers that communicated signals via torches and gunshots. There will additional beacon towers on the way to Forbidden City to convey messages to the Emperors.

Invaders wanted to enter China because it was a rich country in ancient times. Over 600 km are open to the public today. The section we are climbing