I've climbed the Great Wall in different sections near Beijing, but today was the first time to go to the western most part of the wall in Jiayuguan in Gansu province.
Built in 1539 during the Ming Dynasty, it is the frontier border that really kept the "barbarians" out -- the Xiongnu, Tibetans and Mongolians -- though the Mongols did set up the Yuan Dynasty in 1271 by Kublai Khan.
That made Jiayuguan a military strategic place along the Silk Road.
Here is the Jiayuguan overhanging wall section. Our tour guide challenged us to see who could get to the top and back so we did -- five of us women!
We climbed 401 steps to get to the top. When I was almost there, a little boy at the top of the watch tower shouted, "Ayi, jia you!" "Auntie add oil!" So cute.
He and some other men kept going onwards while we rested a bit, taking in the view before going back down.
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