Mutianyu and the Ming Tombs
Beijing Travel Blog› entry 60 of 79 › view all entries
July 24th, 2009 – by: princeza_9
Where I'm from, we've got mountains. Lots and lots of them. They're wonderful things called the Green Mountains. I miss them, not just because it's home, but because Beijing is so darn... flat. I think they're compensating with the ridiculous amount of high rises. Now, these mountains aren't towering natural monstrosities, I found them a bit stunted. But they were mountains. And as we wound our way through the maze of streets that led away from the traffic, hustle and bustle of downtown Beijing, we were getting closer and closer to something that no other mountain range outside of China can claim- the Great Wall.
We got there around 10:30 and were almost immediately bombarded with calls for us to buy T-shirts, stamps, ice cold water/ Coke and other stuff.
It was perfect Wall weather. The sun wasn't really out, so there wasn't that strong sunshine that burns my skin faster than a microwave oven (it also helps that I doused my exposed skin in SPF 30 sunblock with some help), the temperatures were around 80 degrees with a good breeze.
Hiking this part was a little easier than SiMaTai. Here, the stairs are intact and there are walls on each side of the path. Not always at the other section. The guard towers seemed pretty much the same, and the views here were equally, if not a bit more, amazing. There were vendors every so often hawking Snickers, water, beer and Coke. I decided to sit and take it easy for a few minutes when raindrops began falling, mostly on my shoulders. Luckily, it was only a few drops that didn't turn into a messy cascade that would turn uneven steps slippery.
So, how does one get down the mountain? No, we didn't climb. No, we didn't take the cablecar. We took a toboggan! Yes, we got on toboggans (push the handle forward to go, pull it back to stop) down a path with lots of turns. It was so much fun! More fun than the SiMaTai zipline.
After the Wall, we went to a Chinese joint for our tour-included lunch. I just wish we got to pick the dishes, but Nana chose them instead. I didn't care for the potato and eggplant dish, especially after I accidentally ate a piece of eggplant. I didn't touch the mushroom and Chinese cabbage dish.
It was about an hour drive through MOUNTAINS to get to the Ming Tombs since the two places are in separate counties. Along the way, we got an introduction to jade (we had to stop at a jade place for about 10 minutes). After that- Tombs. We didn't see them all since they're each so big, we only saw one. It was cool, but I'm not sure why so many people feel that it's a must-do.
From the Tombs we stopped at a teahouse for a free tea ceremony. I'd left that decision up to my two friends since I've been there and done that. The first tea we had was Jasmine tea.
Yes, I bought stuff. I got this cool mug that comes with tea strainer and lid, that when filled with hot water, changes color and picture. Then I also got a container of the Ginseng Oolong tea since I do like Oolong. And for free I got this clay baby that pees when hot water is poured on his head. Kinda cool, and it was fun to watch when the tealady demonstrated.
After the teahouse- home. All in all, it was a great, great day.
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