The Great Wall of China

Beijing Travel Blog

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The Great Wall.
We took a 3 hour ride to a less touristy area of the Great Wall called Simatai.  This was a recommendation from a friend that worked out well.  Finally we arrived only to discover that we were far, far, far away from the wall.  Fortunatly there was a 20 minute lift (think ski lift) that took us closer.  It was another 10 to 20 minute walk to the actual wall. 

The walk up is difficult becuase it's all uphill.  Be ready to go slow and bring some water.  Once there the impressiveness passes quickly.  While I felt accomplishment and awe, it really is just a wall...that you're standing on.  It's wide enough that you don't feel that you will fall off but you do have to be careful because even the areas that are restored are still at little dangerous.
Can you hear me now? I think the phone worked.
   I would not want to break an ankle up there.

As you approach the wall there are some hawkers who act as free guides and will hold your hand as you take steps.  No matter what you tell them they don't leave you alone so eventually you just accept that they are there.  Their angle is that as you exit they try and sell you an overpriced T-shirt, book or post cards. 

We had a beer on the wall which was a neat feeling.  I don't quite know how they get electricity up there for the fridge or the engraver that they use to create a quick plaque for you.  I really think that there was a long extension cord going all the way to the town at the bottom of the hill. 

After the long drive back we had to have Peking Duck.
Beer on top of the wall.
  Our guide told us that the government wants people to call it Beijing Duck now because Peking was the old name of the's now Beijing so they should change the name of the duck too.  Some places are doing this. 

We went to the Beijing Roast Duck Restaurant.  It was really nice and they gave us free wine and soda while we waited for a table.  Our guide said we only needed one duck for all 6 of us, but in hindsight I think 2 would have been better.  We got the duck and several other plates to eat and were all stuffed by the end of the meal.  The duck was great and I only hope I can find one as good at home.

With it being our last day together we couldn't seperate so early.  We headed off to the bars which were just down the street from the restaurant.  The bar had a "band"  There were two apparantly professional karaoke singers who tried as hard as they could to sing American songs.  We all sang along and told them how great they were.  We were the hit of the bar I think.  There was a couple from Lebonan that we met and they partied with us for several hours until finally we were so drunk that we had to leave. 

We said our farewells.  We leave tomorrow in the early afternoon.  Michelle and Lee leave later that day as well.  We decided to plan a 2009 Panama Canal Cruise.  I can't wait.
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The Great Wall.
The Great Wall.
Can you hear me now?

I think th…
Can you hear me now? I think t…
Beer on top of the wall.
Beer on top of the wall.
Our travel guide and the guide boo…
Our travel guide and the guide bo…
Professional Karaoke singers
Professional Karaoke singers
Beijing Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Going to Beijing isn't complete without tasting their roast duck. Formerly called Peking Duck it is now referred to as Beijing Duck, after the city. … read entire review
photo by: Eric