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The Great Wall at Badaling

February 17th, 2006
Angkor Musk At The Great Wall

So I climbed the Great Wall or at least part of it. I thought it would be an all day thing but when we got to the wall we were allowed just over two hours. There was some initial confusion among the non-Chinese speakers especially concerning whether you need to take the gondola, you don’t.

After going to the bathroom (5 Mao) and buying a bottle of tea (5 RMB). I decided to go in the least popular direction reasoning I would have less people in my photos. I set out at a brisk pace, stopping briefly to snap a photograph and fend off a Chinese hawker. I thought I’d eventually get far enough away from the entrance to not be bothered by souvenir sellers. However even at the very end of this section of the wall there were two guys who would not leave me alone.

Going back was easier. I had plenty of time to take photos and admire the view. I was lucky to get good weather. There is even blue in the sky, a rarity in modern day big city China.

It is really expensive to eat at the Great Wall so bring food with you. If you have a couple of friends it is better to hire a black cab than to come by tourist bus. You’ll have more time and maybe you could go to a portion of the wall a bit further from Beijing and thus less infested. The Great Wall at least close to Beijing is definitely touristy.

The Great Wall with Blue Sky behind

As if there was any doubt at least a dozen Chinese were late for the bus. All the non-Chinese were back at least 20 minutes early. I didn’t think the bus would leave on time but I had left my bag and thus my little baby tripod on-board and I wanted them back with a minimum of hassles. The bus staff counted the empty seats. They were basically all full on the way out. How long would we wait? At ten after they started the engine, two people had already ran and we may have left two tourists behind.

The drive back to the bus depot was excruciatingly long. I badly needed to use the bathroom. We are talking mind over matter. Adam Sandler would have been proud of me when I finally reached the depot.

It took me a while to clue in that it was Valentine’s Day. I tried to email my mom and wish her a happy birthday but I’m constantly having trouble accessing the internet.

This is my final obligation to the blogosphere. I’ve put up more than enough information on living and studying and China. I’m sure the GoogleBot will reward me with dominance over all sorts of keywords and phrases eventually.

While living in China I visited the following cities:

The Great Wall at Badaling

OK, so the last place wasn’t a city, but it still deserves extra attention and there is a blog posting about my trip there. Nanjing deserves an asterisk. I went there but there is no account online of my time there and no pictures because the SanDisk memory card I bought a few weeks earlier in Shanghai died. It took all my photos of Nanjing with it. The manufacturer now claims the card is a fake but I’ve decided to bad mouth them online. Isn’t that what blogs are for?

I lived in Beijing for over five months and studied at Tsinghua for much of that time. I even made my official exchange report available online. Of more interest, likely, are my accounts of visiting the following places in Beijing:

Updated with more Travelogs

I eventually returned to China, first to visit then to live and work in Shanghai. As a result I have a lot more photos I can add to my old posts and lots more travelogs and expat observations I can link to from this blog post, the best of which I collected into a Top 10 list.

The Great Wall at Badaling
Steep steps on the Great Wall
Steap Steps


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