Life In China: The Great Wall

Pretty touristy fare, but still amazing, I had to do a post on the Great Wall of China.  I don’t need to tell you any historical facts, as we all learned a bit about it in school, and if you really want to know more, it’s easy enough to search it on Google.  So I’ll just tell you about my experience.  So…The Great Wall of China is obviously extremely large, and you can’t see all of it, so you are likely to choose from one of many rather touristy locations along it’s 5,500 miles of built up stone.  Unless you are especially daring, and choose a completely unrestored portion, and basically go for a mountain climb, as Ashley Rose did upon her first visit.  This time around, my girlfriend, her good friend, Lindsay, who was visiting for a few weeks, and I decided to go a bit more pedestrian friendly, and went to an area called Mutianyu.  This I think was a good choice, as the vistas were spectacular, there weren’ too many people, and it still felt pretty legitimate, and true to it’s original form, except for the giant steel tobogan track which took you from the wall back down the mountain after you had your fill.  So no crazy climbing for us.  We took the cable cars up, and rode the spectacularly fun, German designed, metal carts back down.  The craziest part of the trip was probably getting there.  We were trying to keep it mad Chinese, so we rode the bus out there.  The bus system is so complex here, they even have ones that take you hours out of the city to just about where ever you need to go.  We rode the bus, and then got off, kind of in the middle of nowhere, and proceeded to be haggled by various drivers to take us to Mutianyu.  We chose one guy with a good price, and off we went.  We made a great choice!  He spoke a little bit of English, and worked with us on the rest.  Once we got to the wall, the even agreed to wait for us when we finished to take us back, and he didn’t rip us off.  The only iffy thing about him was his actual driving.  He was skillful and knew the roads well, but it was a wild ride.  Passing everyone in front of us by any means necessary.  Using the shoulder, or driving in the other lane towards oncoming traffic.  But I guess I’m still here today, so I shouldn’t complain to much!  And before we got in the car on the way home, he even helped us to get the legitimate cheap prices at the little market.  You can see him in a picture below helping out Lindsay and Ashley.  So if you ever go to Mutianyu…look for this dude.

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