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I have visited the Great Wall of China nearly 20 times over my 6+ years in China. From hiking up its steep steps in the mountains north of Beijing to photographing the crumbling ruins in the country’s western desert regions, I have seen some beautiful sights.
This weekend however I saw perhaps the oddest scene I have witnessed in all my trips to the wall. A ship, run aground, having missed smashing into the wall by a matter of metres.
This scene is from the easternmost part of the Great Wall, at Laolongtou (Old Dragon’s Head) in Shanhaiguan, Hebei Provice, where the wall runs into the Bohai Sea. It’s obviously a very famous and well-visited part of the wall but it appears that someone took a wrong turn recently when trying to navigate this portion of coast in north-east China.
I wouldn’t of liked to have been the captain who realised that there was an imminent chance he was about to run into, and potentially destroy part of, perhaps the most iconic symbol of the whole nation.
According to local storeowners at the Lalongtou site, the ship ran aground in early November. As of yesterday, it hasn’t moved very far. Get there quick for a very unique Great Wall of China photo opportunity!