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The Unwritten Post

Beijing Travel Blog

 › entry 12 of 12 › view all entries

Well unfortunately I never did write the post for my final full day in Beijing.  But I'll try to recap it now, 1.5 years later.  In the morning I first stopped at one of the hutong food stalls to buy a couple of steamed buns for my lunch.  I took the local bus to Badaling, one of the sites of the great wall.  I had hoped to visit one of the less touristy wall sites, but it didn't work out that way.  If anyone is in Beijing and considering how to get to the wall, you should definitely take the local bus.  The tourist buses cost around $40 per passenger.  I believe the local buss was around $2.

I mentioned that it was really warm in Beijing on the previous day.  For that reason, I assumed that it would be warm up at the wall.  I didn't factor in the difference in elevation and the winds.  It was actuall freezing up there!  But despite that, I had a great time.  One other thing that I hadn't considered was that the Great Wall includes a lot of Great Stairs.  Parts of it are incredibly steep.  I hope to post some pictures here that show just how steep.  It is actually a little funny to see how that weeds out the average tourist.  When I got to the bus stop and entered the complex that grants access to the wall, the place was filled with hundreds, if not thousands, of tourists.  I headed North on the wall.  (At least I think it was North.)  About half way to the end I reached a peak that was partially enclosed, and I ducked behind some brick walls to eat my steamed buns.

Near the entrance.
  By this point, only about half of the tourists were still going.  Then I continued on to the end of the reconstructed wall.  Only a very small handful of people walked all the way to the end.  It was great to be there without the crowds.

The downside to the Badaling site is that it was reconstructed some time ago.  So you are not walking on the original wall.  If you go all the way to the end of the reconstructed part, you can see the remnants of the original wall, but you are not allowed to get down to them.  I would really have rather walked on the original construction, but it didn't work out for me.  I've heard from others that it is far more rugged, which makes sense.

So after I reached the end I walked back, which was mostly down hill.  Then, since I had some time before my return bus came, I went to the Starbucks.

  Yes, there is now a Starbucks at the Great Wall.  And before you judge me, just remember that I'd been without coffee for nearly all of the 2.5 weeks.  Plus, free toilet paper!  How can you say no to that?

When I got back to the hostel I believe I spent some time walking around the hutongs some more.  Then I had to pack up and prepare to fly home the next day.

So, that is a summary of my China trip.  I can't wait to go back.  I really would like to go to Guilin in the south.  If you read this whole thing, I hope you found it entertaining.  If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email.

Jen

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Near the entrance.
Near the entrance.
I forgot to mention the vendors.  …
I forgot to mention the vendors. …
I love this picture.  I just wish …
I love this picture. I just wish…
This is where the reconstructed pa…
This is where the reconstructed p…
See what I mean about the lack of …
See what I mean about the lack of…
My reward.
My reward.
912 km (567 miles) traveled
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photo by: Deats