Monday, July 19, 2010

The Great Wall of China

Finally... after the Ming Tombs, we headed to the Great Wall of China at Mu Tian Yu. We got there around 1pm, just in time for the hottest part of the day. Here is part 2 of the posts from the day that we visited the Great Wall!

This is the entrance to the Great Wall. Our tour included the admission tickets, otherwise we'd have to buy them at the ticket booth. Notice the guy in the light blue shirt, smoking his pipe?

Of course, a few of the guys from our group wanted to talk to that guy, so they asked me to talk to him in Chinese for them. Annie took a funny candid picture of this guy trying to sell me that pipe for $150 rmb.

They sold tickets to take a ski-lift like cable car up to the wall and then luge/tobaggan down, but it was $65 rmb for both ways (and $50rmb for just luging down). I can't believe that they've managed to commercialize the Great Wall, this looks like it could have been at a ski resort or state fair, but no its actually how many people get up to the Wall. The bottom part with the guard rails and bright flags is where the luge track is.

Anyways, a few of us (only 5 out of like 25 in our group) decided to be hardcore and hike up the steps instead of taking the lift. The steps just got steeper from here...

The view hiking up was really pretty, so much lush green countryside.

Almost 45 min later, we got to the top! This is the view from where the lift drops people off, they have a little shaded picnic table area up there.

The little picnic area comes complete with a scenic overlook point. I'm already getting sunburned, walking up under my umbrella didn't help that much...

See the guard tower in the middle of this photo? We climbed up to about there, then turned around because we had to be back at our tour bus by 3pm. But I think the people who took the luge back down had more time to climb further (since they weren't already exhausted from the steep hike up).

The steps along the Wall are uneven in height and depth, and a little crooked. I guess they didn't have the advanced technology back then to make everything level and equally spaced out. But that didn't stop Chris and Holly from getting a classic jump photo :)

We walked around one of the guard towers. I guess they installed the telephone poles and lines more recently..

We walked by a little drink stand and bought waterbottles for $10rmb, but they were totally worth it because they were half frozen. Bottles of water are usually about $2rmb at street stands, but of course they hike up prices at touristy places. Then we decided to take photos in this little doorway, and the lady who sold us the water bottles came up and put her hat on my head. Its one of those faux Red Guard hats, I think she was trying to sell it to me as a souvenir but I would never actually wear anything like that haha.

There are a lot of quality street signs in China that have been translated roughly into English by non-native English speakers... here is a good example. Evan and Annie were like what the heck is this?

You can't quite tell from this photo, but I guess the steps were really getting steep here, some of the steps were like over 1 foot to account for the steep slope.
In addition to the sign shown above, they even installed a railing to help people walk up and down safely.

I'm standing just 1 step above Annie in this photo, and I'm pretty sure that Annie is like at least 8 in taller than me... so the steps are really steep!

I liked this lady's hat. And how this photo shows how the steps suddenly drop off.

So we walked all the way back down to the bottom. And came out by another entrance to the Great Wall.

This entrance looked much more scenic, or at least this pond part was really nice.

And then of course there was a street of shops for all of the tourists. Reminds me of Chinatown, except we are actually in China!

So a few people bought souvenirs along the street like tshirts that said "I Climbed the Great Wall", and then we hopped back on the bus to head back downtown. Such a long day, my next post will be the last in this 3-post series about all the places we went with our tour bus.


Gillion said...

Have you tried dumplings and roast ducks? They are the famous and traditional Beijing dieshes. And also bird's nest soup? Its a delicacy in China.

Enjoy your days~~~


Jing said...

Thanks for checking out my blog! And yes, I have eaten all three of those dishes while in China :)

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