Beijing 2015: The Great Wall of China

4 Jan

“Are we really going to walk until the end of the wall?”

“Yes.”

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Armed with our faked eagerness and genuine curiosity of walking through  one of the world’s wonders, we found ourselves no longer walking but climbing the Great Wall of China…

It all started from Mcdonald’s where we met up with our private driver for the day. An hour and half later and 75 miles away from Beijing, we found an out of place development in the midst of pines and cypress trees.20150826_124122

The Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall of China is less visited by tourists versus the Badaling Section due to its lack of accessibility. It was definitely worth the private drive as it had less crowds. It also has the best fully-restored section of the Great Wall.20150826_100212

After purchasing our tickets, we got shuttled off from the parking lot to the bottom section of the wall. We opted for the bus ride versus the three kilometer warm-up for the Great Wall.20150826_102810

Besides the usual stalls selling souvenirs, we were pretty surprised to find a lot of establishments including fast food chains like Burger King. 20150826_101745

We decided to ascend to Tower 6 of the Great Wall through the lift.  With its open-style chair lift, it had the right mix of thrill and relaxation for us to get excited yet take in the landscape around.20150826_104332

Not to be overwhelmed by the fact that Mutianyu happens to be the longest restored section of the Great Wall, we were (supposedly) determined to finish the 3.4 mile stretch.20150826_105310

But the sun’s scorching heat and the wall’s challenging hike left us barely finishing the East section. Barely finishing meant taking a lot of water breaks, sitting breaks and..20150826_115609

 photo shoot breaks. Despite the challenge of going through sections where you literally have to pull yourself up with your hands to continue on, photos with views like these make the experience worth while.20150826_110448

This section was very thoughtful as it reminded its guests to be “beware of slippery”. Typical Engrish but I think we all know what it meant. 20150826_111010

My favorite part of the Great Wall was the descend. Not because the tiresome hike was over but because it was my first time to ride a “Toboggan”. The ride sleds through a 5,100 ft winding mountain path and descends an altitude of 100 ft. I enjoyed it too much that I went a bit too fast leaving the others far behind.

Beijing 2015: Great Wall Mutianyu from A Rono on Vimeo.

After going through one of the most challenging hikes, our hired driver knew we were famished. We were brought to one of the restaurants by the highway for some authentic Chinese food.

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So authentic that no one spoke English. So authentic that pointing at photos was our mode of ordering and conversation. 20150826_131340

So authentic that our utensils were packaged this way. 20150826_131922

With our fingers crossed, we were served with some soup which we think was “Fish Lips” soup. It tasted that way at least but we were only sure after we struggled to ask for some black vinegar.20150826_133112

The meal ain’t complete with out some Fresh Watercress sauteed in garlic. Yes, we love our vegetables.20150826_133108

The winner order for the meal were these shrimp covered in flour. Oily yummy protein. 20150826_133510

We had a wild-card order which was my special request of pancakes. We would’ve wanted to order more but the serving sizes were huge. Our guessing game for lunch was very satisfying and impressively cheap.
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The Great Wall of China definitely felt like an endless journey, but the good food was enough to recharge us for our next destination: Ming’s Tomb.

The Beijing 2015 Adventure

Come join me as I track back on the cultural and gastronomical adventure we had in the following blog posts…

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One Response to “Beijing 2015: The Great Wall of China”

  1. daebak January 5, 2016 at 11:49 am #

    I like that they wrote it “SN-
    OWY DAYS”

    instead of “SNOWY DAYS” as if there weren’t enough space.

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