Our first stop on our China travels was the capital city of Beijing. The city itself was a little underwhelming. There is almost a constant smog lying over the city and it's not surprising with the amount of people that live there. With a country of over 1 billion it's understandable that the major cities in particular are going to be polluted. But I wasn't prepared for just how dusty and stark the city was.
However Beijing is a must on any tourist route as it's home to the Great Wall of China! And it's nothing short of a phenomenal sight. We were blown away by the sheer size and expanse of this incredible feat of engineering. We only visited one small section (a 2 hour walk) of the wall, so we can't even begin to fathom just how big the entire thing is.
Words can't really describe the feeling when you reach the top of the wall and walk along it. There's so much to take in, it's overwhelming. To think that construction began around 200bc is also hard to get your head around. It really is one of the world's if not the greatest piece of engineering. Although unfortunately the wall never quite served it's purpose… Taking thousands of years to complete, China was still invaded by Mongolia in 1279 and later by Europeans who simply landed by boat. And by time the Japanese invaded aeroplanes had been invented so the wall became obsolete.
However it is now one of the most popular landmarks in the World, bringing China a wealth of tourism.