Monday, February 9, 2009

The Great Wall of China

What is more splendid than visiting one of the seven wonders of the world, right in a fellow Asian country? You know they always say, you have not visited Beijing if you have not visited the Great Wall of China. So, here we were, about to be amazed by one of the greatest creation on earth. Joanne (our host) brought us to the entry point in Mu Tian Yu. The Great Wall is so incredibly long that there are many different entry points for visitors. According to Joanne, the one at Mu Tian Yu is the easiest route with the most facilities and refurbishment done. In other words, it is visitor-friendly.

That day was extremely cold, sub-zero Celcius. We were all clothed into plenty of layers, especially me. Look, with a beanie too! It was definitely not easy to move around with such thick jackets wrapping around me. We reached the starting point around 10am, after about 1 hour plus of car trip. There were rows of stalls at the foot of the hill selling souvenirs too.

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Joanne and witch


In order to reach the Great Wall, we had to take the cable car up. Luckily for us, it was not the peak season (due to the cold weather) so there was no queue at all for tickets.

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Towards cable car entrance

Look, even the cable car waiting room was empty! Judging from the massive size of the room dedicated just to people who wait, I would say this place must have been packed on peak periods!

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Cable car waiting room

And so we proceeded straight to the entrance, which was also empty.

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Cable car entrance

Look, there's our cable car!

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Our cable car!

After about 5 minutes, there we were. Encapsulated by the great wonder that was the longest wall in the world. It was absolutely stunning to see it with my own eyes what I'd only ever seen on TV. Of course if it was during the spring, the views would have been much nicer and green. During winter, everything just looked dead. But oh well, I was only interested in the wall. *LOL*

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The majestic Great Wall of China

Isn't it amazing how people from thousands of years ago managed to build such strong fort that could withstand the test of time?

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witch at the Great Wall

Some of the pictures I took during the visit:

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Such a long walk down...

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I wonder what were these for?

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Dog houses?

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I love this picture the best!

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Nice picture

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witch at the Great Wall again

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Impressive architecture.

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A work of wonder

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A fort

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The never-ending wall

We also took some silly pictures. This was one where we were making silly poses and I took the shadows of us. Could you guess which one was me?

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Guess which was me?

Ah, nice picture taken by Liew (Joanne's hubby).

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Us again

We set our eyes at one of the higher points of the wall, as was circled in the picture below. It looked like an easy target at first, but man, it was much harder than it looked.

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Our target

The climb up the stairs was never-ending! I was actually sweating even though the temperature was below 0C. And panting.

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Many many steps

Finally, when we were there, we were greeted by this sign board of No Admittance. Apparently, due to landslide, some parts of the wall were eroded and were dangerous for visitors.

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No entry

Look at what the rain and wind did to the part of the wall. In spite of that, we still went up past the signboard. Cheeky huh? Well, we only went up the first flight of stairs after the signboard, just to see the view from up there. Then it was all the way down again.

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Landslide

Thank god the way back was all going downhill. I definitely preferred going down than up, even though not all of us agreed. Some were saying that going downhill were hurting their knees! The visit to the Great Wall was absolutely fascinating. Hats off to the Chinese! I'm so proud of you. I mean us. *LOL*

6 comments:

MisSmall said...

Did you finish the walk? When my parents went, my mum finished and got the certificate thingy, but my dad gave up half way. Haha.

CY said...

wow, if i'm ever going to Beijing I'd so choose an off-season period. You practically have the great wall to yourself!

It was so crowded when my dad went!

khengsiong said...

Where is Mu Tian Yu? Last time I went to Jiayuguan 嘉峪关.

Going up was still OK. Coming down was tougher. More so as I had acrophobia. My legs were lembik when I reached the ground, hahaha...

J2Kfm said...

going up was tiring, i was panting as well, muttering to self to not stop as the time limit was rather .... unforgiving.
fortunately it wasnt so cold like yours.

going down was easier, but the almost 90 degrees slant was scary. somemore the higher parts no handle bars at the side, right?

iamthewitch said...

MisSmall: I'm not sure how was it considered as 'finishing' the walk... There was no one informing us about the certificate thingy! I guess maybe they only have that for certain routes? Not sure...

CY: Oh yea... definitely go during off-season. You can do whatever you want and no one's watching!

khengsiong: Haha... I'm not very familiar with the places in Beijing. Not really sure where yours was either... Anyway, most of my group that day also told me they preferred going up instead of coming down. So you're not alone :)

J2Kfm: There was a time limit? You went for a contest? Yea, some of the parts during descending were really scary! I had to turn around so that my body was facing the steps, much like climbing down a ladder.

foongpc said...

Very nice photos of The Great Wall! Good to go during non peak season. I'll just hate it if it's crowded and have to queue up for the cable cars!

I think going up is harder as you need the stamina, but going down hurt the knees, still to me, going down is easier. The steep part does sound scary!