Great Wall

I had the opportunity to visit the Great Wall, and I must say it is a necessary stop for anyone traveling to China. I found the views to be breath-taking, or maybe that was the smog on that day? Anyway, it was beautiful nonetheless and I will definitely return to the Great Wall during my future visits to China.

My péngyǒu (朋友-friend) Greg and I met a couple of adventurous Brits, Lottie and Hayley, who joined us for our journey. It started off with about an hour and a half on a bus. We weren't quite certain which stop we needed to get off at, nor what to expect when we got there. We came to a bus stop with a lot of men standing around. One of them saw me and motioned to me that he wanted us to get off there. We weren't exactly sure why they wanted us to get off there, so we stayed on the bus. At the next bus stop, a man jumped onto the bus and motioned for us to get off. Greg talked to him for a moment and informed us that he was a driver who would take us to the Great Wall. Turns out, that at the previous bus stop, the men standing around were also drivers, ha! Good thing this guy got to us, we could have been on that bus for a while.

We negotiated a price with the driver, it ended up being 100 kuai. Not bad, roughly $16 for four people on a one-way, hour long ride. He took us on some winding roads that went through some agricultural areas that were being prepared for farming. We also went through a small village. Many villagers were walking on the main road or standing outside their homes talking with neighbors. I thought the village was a little rough looking and that it would be a difficult life to reside there.

 Not far from the village, we reached the Huanghua Great Wall. We could see the Great Wall stretching off into the distance on top of high ridges. It looked like a steep hike to the top, so we decided to get some food before embarking on the difficult climb. We ended choosing a little restaurant with outdoor seating. We needed to traverse a rickety bridge over some water to get there. We ate some typical Chinese dishes and then continued on to the wall.

We made our way to the entrance of the Great Wall, crossing a dam in the process, and paid 2 kuai to hike up a gravel path and climb a metal ladder, which if you fell off of, you had a 100% chance of being seriously injured while you roll down the steep rocky embankment. We scaled the ladder and made it to the top of the wall. From here on out we took our time to take in the scenery. We snapped photos, cracked jokes, and imagined what it was like for the people who built and worked on the wall.

This portion of the wall was not very touristy. We saw only 4-5 westerners here. Most of the visitors to this section were from China. This portion of the wall is around 500 years old and is host to beautiful summer-scenery when the yellow flowers bloom. Most people who come here are looking for a more rugged experience; good footwear is highly recommended.

When all was said and done, we made our way back to the road where our driver was waiting for us. We paid him another 100 kuai and we started our journey back to the bus stop to catch a ride back to Beijing. I think we all slept the whole way back, we were beat!

Take a peak at the photos to see some of the sights I took in!

坐公车 Zuò gōng chē to take a bus

Hotels, Restaurants and a few homes below the wall

Old boat frozen in the ice behind the dam

Hayley's attempt at using chopsticks

No comments:

Post a Comment