The Great Wall
Trip Start Feb 25, 2008
2Trip End Feb 28, 2008
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The Great Wall Hiking Trip
I am not affiliated with the tour agent, but I recommend the tour
When we arrived at Jinshanling Great Wall, we were introduced to a native guide, but a few other ladies followed us in the beginning. I didn't know who they were at first, because they helped me take pictures on the way, but later I realized they were just venders. When I told them that I am Japanese, they looked delighted. Probably for Japanese were likely to buy suvenirs from them, particularly from kind venders who help us take a picture. They had some picture books and postcards, but I was not interested, although I was sorry about that. Eventually they were gone. From then on, all I did on the wall was to walk, climb, and take pictures. It was very hot on the wall. Even though I had bought new gloves in the shopping street, they were totally useless. At the border of Jinshanling and Simatai, I gave a Simatai entrance ticket to a ticket collector. Simatai wall part where we walked was shorter than Jinshanling part, but it had a suspension bridge and toboggan slide and I liked them. Then after a 3 hour walk from Jinshanling, I finally reached the goal at Simatai, where the tour bus was waiting. The hike on the wall was one of the best experiences I have ever had and I could recommend it to anybody healthy.
The Lying Dragon: The Great Wall of China
Restoring workers keep rhythm in their simple job to restore the wall
After the tour broke up at the Downtown B.P. hostel, I found something interesting near there. That was a massage parlor whose window menu had physical therapy. I am a physical therapist and so I felt like trying it on the spot. In fact, it was just a microwave over the whole body. It was comfortable after a long hike on the Great Wall, but not fun. Then I dropped by the dumpling shop again and dined in there.
After dinner, I went shopping in Wangfujing, where was a stall vending sticks of strange creatures like scorpioes, crickets, and chrysalises. In the beginning, I intended to eat them, but the creatures were still moving and so I got scared and gave up. Then I went into an accessory shop and at its entracne, I found a nice one for only 10 RMB. I liked it as a gift for a friend and I tried to buy it at the booth, but they took me to the second floor just to pay 10 RMB and then back to the booth to give me the accessory there. It was complicated, but a common Chinese shop system. I had to do the same thing in the shop next-door.
Then I walked up to Tiananmen to look for the bus terminal where I was supposed to take a bus to the airport
When I left the hostel, I got back 50 yuan deposite, which was really needed to take a taxi to the airport! Luckily, in a minute, I found a parked taxi in which the driver was sleeping. To tell a taxi driver my destination, I had a strip of paper on which I wrote "Capital Airport" in Chinese characters, because I knew some Chinese drivers didn't speak English. It was easy for me to write Chinese characters, because I am Japanese, and the strip was useful to make myself understood.