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How Much Did It Cost to Build the Great Wall of China?

A colossal monument, a wonder of the modern world, a feat of engineering – no matter how you choose to describe the Great Wall of China, it fires imagination and awe inspired wonder at how a wall of this size and scale was built at a time when heavy machinery was not in existence.

Constructed over two millennia, the population of Leeds working on its construction at one time and an overall weight equivalent to 8m elephants, you cannot help but admire the ingenuity, science and technology behind the Great Wall of China.

What Was the Real Cost?

Admired the world over, its construction came at a cost both in term of finances over the 2,000-year construction period, and in the lives of the military and civilians who built it.

In the modern day, it begs the question what is the true financial cost building the wall? Would it still be needed or has the world changed beyond recognition from the times that the wall was built 770BC to the 17th century?

Why Build Walls?

The wall was built for two reasons: to protect valuable trade routes from invasion, and to protect land and provinces of tribes and lords.

These reasons, in the 21st century, may not be as defunct as we thought they would be. But at what cost?

NCC Home Learning’s infographic on the true cost of the Great Wall of China highlights little known facts about the great wonder of the world, that is today a tourist attraction that once kept invaders out and protected valuable trade routes.

Kayaking and Paddle Boarding in South Carolina

Known for being the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, South Carolina has a rich history and an even richer scenery to view. There’s many things to love and adore about South Carolina; for example, a chain of tidal and barrier islands border its shores to create a beautiful landscape to take pictures of, and it has major lakes which cover over six hundred square miles.

That’s why South Carolina makes the list for one of the best states to go kayaking and paddle boarding. Below, you can find some of the best locations within South Carolina to enjoy the outdoors.

Charleston Outdoor Adventures

Perhaps one of the most fantastic things about this location is that Charleston Outdoor Activities provides both rental and guiding services to show visitors eco-tours that are absolutely to-die-for. The resort is equipped with naturalists who will provide you with the absolute best experience possible.

Not only this, but you’ll have the opportunity to experience the saltwater estuaries of South Carolina. For those of you who don’t know what an estuary is, it’s the area in a large river where the tide meets the stream.

If you’re going alone, or with a partner, then you can enjoy the beautiful sunset and sunrise on the water. With a two-hour full-moon kayak tour, there’s no way you can go wrong. If your into fishing, there are some excellent guided tours. Kayaks and paddles are provided and they even include fish finders so you are sure to have a good day of fishing.

Nature Adventures Outfitters

The very purpose of Nature Adventures Outfitters is to provide you with the best experience possible; in fact, it says so right on the home page. Here you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including, overnight camping expeditions, hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing!

You can spend your time exploring Shem Creek and Crab Bank Island. Not only this, but you have a high chance of running into some dolphins and shorebirds while you’re out on your adventure.

Adventure Carolina

In the winter, you can visit for some of the best winter activities in the region. In the summer, you can enjoy kayaking, camping, paddling, fishing, and much more. You can even plan birthday parties here; so, if you have a friend you prefers outdoor activities to staying in and eating cake, then feel free to bring them so that they can have the most memorable birthday possible. In the summer, you can also book a trip to have a tour of the spider lilies, which are known to bloom in the area.

South Carolina is an ideal location for anything to do with kayaking and paddle boating. This is, perhaps, because of the both large number of lakes to be found in the state and the amazing scenery to be observed while you’re out on the water. The above three locations will no doubt provide you with a great day on the water. So, what are you waiting for? Book your trip to South Carolina and enjoy kayaking and paddle boarding.

Top Reasons to Vacation in Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole offers a glimpse of Wyoming in times past with untouched wilderness, small settlements and plenty of wildlife.  There are lots of places to visit and things to do while the quality of Jackson Hole vacation rentals means there is somewhere perfect for everyone from couples to families and groups of friends.

A little history

Jackson Hole is the name of the valley that runs from the Gros Ventre Range and the Teton Mountain Range in Wyoming as well as for the main settlement within the valley.  ‘Hole’ was a term used by mountain men who first came to the area because the valley had steep slopes that were hard to climb and felt like entering a hole.

The first town of Jackson was named in 1893 by Margaret Simpson who received all mail to her home at the time because there was no post office.  She named it for David Edward ‘Davey’ Jackson, one of the first white men to overwinter in the area.  Today, the town known as Jackson Hole is to the south end of the valley while other settlements include Wilson, Teton Village, Moran Junction and Moose.

‘Last of the Old West’

One of the claims of Jackson Hole is that it is the ‘last of the Old West’ and it is a claim it can fulfil on.  The town square in Jackson Hole, for example, has wooden boardwalks rather than concrete sidewalks and has two classic Western watering holes – the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar with its saddle bar stool and the Silver Dollar Bar.  The latter is within the Wort Hotel where you can see over 2,000 Morgan Silver Dollars from the mint in Denver placed into the bar.  Scattered around the valley are several authentic dude ranches and the Jackson Hole Rodeo.

Top attractions

The rich history and landscape of the valley mean there is plenty to see and do.  The wildlife in the area is particular noteworthy with almost 500 animal species inhabiting the area including one of the last grizzly bear populations in the mainland US.  The Snake River has the highest number of bald eagles in the region and there are even large, free wandering elk and bison herds to see.

The Tetons and Grand Teton National Park

Top of many must-see lists when visiting the area is the Grand Teton National Park, a 484-square mile national park with a multi-use pathway system and various hiking trails.  The area includes the Snake River and The Tetons, a range of rugged, rocky mountains whose name comes from the Shoshone word ‘Teewinot’ or ‘so many pinnacles’.

Popular spots within the park include Jenny Lake, where there are kayak and canoe rentals, the Jenny Lake shuttle crossing the lake and plenty of hiking trails.  There is also the Craig Thomas Discovery Centre and Visitor Centre at the entrance near Moose.  This is the base for the park rangers and a great place to learn about the wildlife in the park.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park holds the record of being the first national park in the world and also to containing some 10,000 active thermal features, most famous of which is Old Faithful.  Most of the 3,500-square mile park is in Wyoming, with some areas in Idaho and Montana.  As well as seeing Old Faithful, visitors should see the Lower Falls, the biggest waterfall in the park at 308 feet.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has been voted nest ski resort in North America for the last five years and is considered the nearest experience to a European ski resort that the US has to offer.  It has the longest continuous vertical rise in the country and the Aerial Tram has become the unofficial mascot of the area – it covers 4139 vertical feet in just 12 minutes and can carry 100 passengers.

National Elk Refuge

The National Elk Refuge covers around 25,000 acres and is the best place to see thousands of wintering elk who gather there to rear their young.  You can watch the dominance fights but make sure you keep your distance!  There are also bison, coyotes and even some wolves seen in the park.  In summer, you can follow the trails to see the Miller House and enjoy the varied fauna that the area is famous for.

Annual events

As well as the many stunning places to visit around the Jackson Hole area, there are also a number of annual events that are worth checking out if you plan to vacation around the time.  The Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival takes place in September and is one of the top arts festivals in the West with works from acclaimed artists from around the world.

For sports fans, there is the Grand Teton Half-Marathon (June), the Jackson Hole Marathon (September) and the World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb (March).

Staying in Jackson Hole

One of the best things about staying in Jackson Hole is the variety of luxury villas and hotels that you can stay in.  Many of them have the look and feel of historic homesteads and lodges while there are also ultra-modern hotels.  Accommodation is available from two or four right up to larger groups of 14 and 16 so there is always something to suit your party size.

Conclusion

Jackson Hole offers the chance to Wyoming as it was in times past while still having the best of modern facilities.  Luxury rental accommodation is found alongside stunning national parks and there are also high-quality ski resorts for winter sports fans meaning there is something to suit all tastes in the area.

Top Ways to Keep the Children Occupied This Easter for Less

The Easter holidays are one of the longer breaks in the school year and often the weather isn’t always at its best.  This means that the children quickly get bored of their toys and games and restlessness sets in.  A great way to keep them occupied is to make things together with them and My Voucher Codes have created a great pack to help you enjoy the fun and easy crafts and activities that don’t break the bank.

Decorating the house for Easter

Decorating the house for Easter has become very popular in the way that Halloween and Christmas see our homes transformed.  Easter is about pastel colours, rabbits, chicks and, of course, Easter eggs.  Making your own colourful Easter eggs with the kids is one of the easier tasks to undertake and lets the children bring out their artistic side.

Prick two holes in an egg and use tape to stop them cracking.  Put a small straw into one hold and gently blow out the egg yolk and white through the bottom hole.  Give then a gentle rinse and they are ready for decoration.  The children can then paint them as they want and put them in a bowl to decorate the dining room table.

Easy games

Another set of great ideas in the Easter Hack Pack surrounds easy games you can play with the kids over the Easter weekend, especially the younger ones.

Treasure hunts are always popular and there’s no reason that you can’t hold your own around the house and garden.  Hide a set of little treats and make a map or a series of clues for the kids to follow to track down each treat.  Remember to include the same number of treats in each spot as children to avoid any arguments.

The egg and spoon race is a mainstay of Easter games and there’s no reason why you can’t hold your own.  Hard boil an egg for each child (and you can use them for salads afterwards if they survive in one piece).  Everyone gets an egg and a spoon and the idea is to run as quickly as possible to the finish line without dropping the egg.

Make your cash go further

Because Easter can be a costly time of the year, it also helps to remember those little tips that make your cash go further.  While the children will want an Easter egg for Easter Sunday, limit them to one each.  Then pop to the stores on Monday as you know there will be lots of discounts and multi-buy offers.  Then you can dish out eggs during the holidays to avoid chocolate overload or as part of your games.

Use websites to check out the best deals on Easter egg prices before you buy any.  Web sites such as MySupermarket and MyVoucherCodes will tell you what prices eggs are at the different shops and often offer vouchers for stores that helps with the cost.  You might even spot one for a luxury chocolate store to treat the adults as well as the kids!