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1,000 Americans on the Great Wall of China

By Tim Barton on August 4, 2016

1,000 Americans on the Great Wall - Tim Barton of Travelink, American Express Travel Tim Barton - Vice President of Finance at Travelink, American Express Travel

On March 25, 2016, for the first time in history, 1,000 Americans gathered on the Great Wall of China. The China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), China National Tourist Office-U.S.A (CNTO), and three tour operators worked together to host this special event. Tourists, reporters, television crews, entertainers, dignitaries, and government officials alike, convened on the Great Wall to document this historic gathering.

I was in complete awe at the welcoming ceremony that took place. The Chinese wanted to celebrate the country's culture and did so remarkably. The ceremony was complete with a traditional scroll reading, musicians, and performers dressed in eye-catching Asian garments, banners and welcome signs, as well as special guests, Meryl Davis and Charlie White the United States' 2014 Olympic Ice Dancing champions.

Never having been to China before, this was one of the most overwhelming cultural immersion experiences I've had. China is quite simply a fascinating place to visit and should definitely be high on your "Live It" list. Their thousands of years of culture and history envelope all your senses ensuring your vacation will bring a lifetime of sharable memories with those you love.

Stretching approximately 13,170 miles, The Great Wall of China winds through deserts and grasslands, up mountains, and across plateaus. The Great Wall was originally built as a defensive fortification and went through numerous extensions and repairs throughout many dynasties. It did not become the "Great" wall until the Qin Dynasty, the first Emperor of China. The majority of the wall that still exists today is from the Ming Dynasty.

Though the Great Wall never effectively prevented invaders from entering China, it came to function as a psychological barrier between Chinese civilization and the rest of the world, remaining a powerful symbol of the country’s enduring strength even today.

As the Vice President of Finance, I don't travel as often as our travel advisor team does, but it was an honor to take part in this historic event and represent the city of Nashville, the state of Tennessee, and Travelink, American Express Travel. If you have an interest in visiting China, I encourage you to act upon that notion and start planning a trip with one of our experienced Travel Advisors who will be happy to ensure your cultural engagement with China lives up to your dreams for this magical and massive destination. In total, I spent two weeks in the country and toured several cities and major landmarks, I feel as though I barely made a dent with all the experiences still to be enjoyed. I look forward to planning a return and soaking up more of this beautiful culture.

Topics: Food + Culture