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Aerial Tour over the Great Wall
日期:2019/3/28 访问:

By Li Fangwang | AOPA-China | Updated: 2019-03-28

The hum of the Robinson 44 filled our ears as we ascended above Badaling Airport,an airport located 70 km away from Beijing city center. Soon, we merged into the rugged wilderness. Below us was the Great Wall, China’s most famous landmark and one of the world’s most astonishing man-made sight. It snakes as far as my eyes could go, rising and falling along the mountains until disappearing into the horizon. 


What makes this section special and unique is that it has been left untouched for hundreds of years. Completely unrestored, the wall here zigzags up a craggy mountain pass. Hovering above the one of the watch towers, we could see some crumbling ramparts and steps covered by weeds,a sight both haunting and beautiful. . A hiking along these knife-like trails would take quite some courage and stamina.. For me, an aerial tour is just perfect. 

Then the copter banked, and over the intercom the pilot, an elegant lady who has flown helicopters for 7 years, reminded us that we were about to enter the beautifully restored sectionof Badaling Great Wall, which is said to be the only man-made sight visible from space. I looked at what appeared to be a set of curving, squiggly lines. But then, as I watched, the lines were gradually dotted with colors and started to come to life. Tourists in red, green and purple outfits crowded on this well-preserved section, waving towards us. They point their phones and cameras towards our helicopter. Somehow we became part of the scenery for their sight-seeing.


I have climbed the Great Wall on foot twice, with forgettable, strenuous experience. The steepness of the hike is always rewarded with the spectacular view at the end. However, when seen from a bird’s-eye perspective, the familiar landscape suddenly became completely new, with colors, patterns, and geographical features you’d never known to exist until you are way up in the air.  I suppose this is what the famous poet meant when Su Shi wrote “the true face of Lushan is lost to my sight, for it is right in this mountain that I reside.” 


Thanks to one of AOPA-China’s member companies, now the service is widely open to all AOPA members. We also expect the flightseeing trip in Ju Yongguan Great Wall and Mu Tianyu Great Wall which stands to be accessible in the months to come.