So after travelling 314 miles along the Cheolli Jangseong (Thousand Unit Wall) we have now arrived at Geonan, one of the major military garrisons, in present day Gaizhou.
The Cheolli Jangseong was a formidable defence built at a time of relative peace between the Goguryo Dynasty and Tang Empire. Some believe that the building of the wall and subsequent dethroning of the King of Goguryo by Yong-Gae was a simple lust for power, where others felt they were important steps to strengthen Goguryo at a time when it was submitting to the Tang in the interests of maintaining peace.
Ancient records portray Yong-Gae as a brutal dictator who carried no less than 5 swords and who stood on his subject’s backs to mount his horse. The Tang claimed he had unnecessarily provoked them into war, but loyal supporters of Yong-Gae claim these reports are just jealous and bitter.
To this day historian’s opinions are divided on Yong-Gae. Whatever the truth, the newly strengthened Goguryo Dynasty caused the Silla Dynasty to side with the Tang Empire. They continued their assault on Goguryo for many years, finally succeeding in 668AD, two years after Yong-Gae’s death, and amidst a power struggle between his 3 sons.
To celebrate our arrival we will be performing a bonus exercise of 314 marine press ups before continuing along the coast to the Lushunkou District and the location of a prison.