Dos and don'ts at the Great Wall of China

By Mark Orwoll, International Editor, Travel + Leisure

updated 11:03 AM EDT, Fri June 8, 2012

Explore the Great Wall of China

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

(CNN) — One of the oldest existing man-made structures, more than 2,000 years old and a world-travel icon that ranks alongside the pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge — the Great Wall of China should be on every traveler’s bucket list.

To make the most of your visit, take some advice from these dos and don’ts.

DO choose a section of the wall that’s right for you.

Most travelers visit one of these sections from their hotel base in Beijing: Juyongguan (closest to Beijing but less interesting than most other sections); Badaling (close but crowded); Mutianyu (farther away but less crowded and set among gorgeous mountains); and Jinshanling and Simatai (farther away still, but perfect for adventurers). Note: Simatai is currently closed for site improvements.

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DON’T spend less than two or three hours exploring the wall. You’ll need at least that much time to get the true flavor of the centuries-old structure.

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Dos and don'ts at the Great Wall of China

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