Shanhaiguan: Into the Sea

This is the sixth post about a recent business trip I took to northeast Hebei province

Sizeable stretches of the Great Wall work their way through Hebei, with notable sections like Jinshanling and Simatai drawing large crowds of tourists. While these ranges in the ancient wall provide stunning views of the ancient structure as it works its way over rolling mountains, an equally great section of the wall can be found in Shanhaiguan, just north of Qinhuangdao.

The Shanhaiguan section is the wall’s easternmost reach — it’s beginning, or end – where is meets the sea. Coined Old Dragon’s Head (laolongtou), the wall looks like a dragon drinking from or about to dive into the sea. The original wall is long gone, destroyed during China’s tumultuous history in the earlier half of the twentieth century, but reconstruction efforts in the 1980s have returned Old Dragon’s Head to its former glory. A few of the original stones were used in the reconstruction – the remaining stones were carted off by locals to be used in building their own homes.

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