World's Most-Visited Tourist Attractions
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No. 26 Great Wall of China
Annual Visitors: 10,720,000 (Badaling and Mutianyu areas combined)
Once used as a wartime defense, the Great Wall winds “like a dragon tail” from eastern China to western, spanning some 5,500 miles. While much of what is visible today was built during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), construction began on various sections as far back as 770 B.C. Credit goes to the million slaves and prisoners of war who carried blocks of granite, bricks, stones, and dirt on their backs up to the top of the ridgelines. The Badaling section, closest to Beijing, draws the biggest crowds. Word has gotten out, inspiring some travelers to make the longer drive to the more serene Mutianyu section.
Source: National Tourism Administration of the People’s Republic of China and China Odyssey Tours