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The Great Wall of China is a only couple of hours drive from Beijing, and the journey can also be made by rail. It's a popular day trip for Beijingers, who typically exceed the number of foreign visitors.

The Great Wall is also very popular with soldiers from the Red Army, possibly because they take the opportunity to see the wall while stationed at Beijing.

A typical day for tourists would be to visit the Great Wall in the morning and then do the nearby Ming Tombs in the afternoon. Our day was even more full as we also took in Guanling Reservoir on the way back. Our hosts were making sure we saw modern China as well as its antiquities.