Photos at the bottom of the blog, don’t forget to check them out.
This morning I was met at my hotel by the guide Alice. I was pretty happy to find out that it was going to be just me on the tour of the wall. We left the hotel at 8am to head for the Great Wall of China something I have always wanted to see. The part of the wall I was going to see was the Mutianyu which is where Michelle Obama was just yesterday I was told this is the best part to see as it has been restored quite well and less tourists tended to travel here. We drove for a good hour and a half before we arrived at a jade stone factory where they had an extensive range of products for sale.
I purchased a blue bracelet which looks pretty flash. All products were genuine jade stone. We also had a bit of information given to is about the products for sale and some of the stories behind some of the different sculptures. There were a lot of things worth some huge figures.
We then continued in the car for another 1 hour and arrived at the base of the Great Wall where there were hundreds of people trying to sell me a shirt or souvenir from the wall. My guide suggested I keep walking as they will hassle you massively for a sale.
We went up the huge mountain in a cable car which only took about 5 minutes. We then took the left hand side of the wall on for a bit of a walk. The views were amazing but viewing was only about 500m due to a large blanket of fog or from what I can see is pollution. I reckon we walked about 1km before my guide Alice was feeling a bit cooked so she suggest I go ahead on my own. So I passed my jacket to her and set off on what was to be the steepest climb of my life. The steps were a good 300/400mm in height which would be totally illegal in most other countries offering a walk to tourists. There were less people as I went on as it does become quite hard work. I was on a bit of a mission so I had a crack and my calf muscles were burning pretty bad but it was all well worth it when I got to the top which was probably another 1km along. By now the tourist were quite scarce. The wall also went back to an unpaved bush track. It was very natural and probably what the wall actually looks like now. So I was very glad that I went a bit further along. By now I was blowing a bit so I took a few photos and talked to some of the other people climbing the wall. They all wanted a photo with me as I passed most of them on the way up. On my way back down I met a Chinese couple who had a dog which must of walked up the mountain with them. So I picked it up and had a photo with the dog. Also some young kids who were probably about 5-6 years old who had also walked the whole way by themselves. There were a lot of tourists who were not dressed for the occasion with a lot in suit pants and shoes, I actually did not realise it would be so challenging so I was glad to be wearing shorts and t shirts as I had the previous days even though the temperature is only about 18. I trundled back down the mountain and met Alice again and we then walked back to the cable car and then down the mountain to where we met back up with our driver Mr Wong, we had to wait a few minutes for him and I suggested to Alice that maybe Mr Wong has taken a Wong turn but I am unsure if she understood my humour.
We drove for about half an hour where we stopped for lunch at a traditional Chinese restaurant. Alice and I had some nice food and I mastered the chop sticks which was a positive. After lunch I then was taken around a factory where they make pots, it takes them 5 days to make a product that sells for about $100.00. As a business person I can’t really see how they can make a very good profit. The work they were doing was so intricate so full credit to the workers for having such patience.
We then drove for another 1.5 hours and had some traditional Chinese tea, I was pretty much forced to buy some tea as the saleswomen was chasing me around the shop. I decided to buy some dried fruit tea which tasted quite nice. We drove for another 30 mins and we were back to my Hotel.
Today was a great day, I am going to do some research on how many people visit the Great Wall and how much money it must generate for the country. Certainly is a must see if you are going to Beijing
Thanks for reading my blog and I hope to do a few more in the near future please feel free to comment on the page..