The Great Wall

on Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Today we were visiting the great wall, we had booked to go to the secret wall. The main part where most people go is the restored section, but this section is apparently completely empty and has not been restored. It is a two and a half our journey to the wall. We arrive and the area is having lots of work done, with turn styles a ticket office and parking being built, so I am sure pretty soon it will be very touristy as well. We arrived and walked through along the stone path they were still building. Then we started climbing up, the wall is ridiculously steep and it was quite hard work climbing some parts. There was only other two people that we met that were not in our group, so we pretty much had the wall to ourselves. We walked about 10km along the wall, with some parts being very overgrown and almost completely collapsed. The wall really is one of the most amazing things you will see, stretching for miles and miles (I think in total it is about 4000miles). It goes up and down mountains as well and must have been an absolute nightmare to build, they don’t know how many people died building it, but it was a lot. Apparently a lot of the workers were criminals, but if the criminal would die during their sentence a member of their family would have to take their place and finish the length of the sentence. We stopped off at a local village to have some food and then made the two and a half hour return trip to Beijing.

In the evening I go to watch the kung fu show with some guys from the hostel, Tom is too tired and stays at the hostel. We are running late and have some trouble finding a cab driver who knows where he is going, so we end up arriving ten minutes late. We find the cheapest ticket is 180Y the same price the hostel charged for a tour including transport. Luckily we manage to get a student discount, so it works out at 126Y, which is still quite expensive, but not too bad. The show is great, with loads of cool displays, the highlight being the really young kung fu kids doing back flips using just their heads. After the show we decide to visit the birds nest stadium, because they have it all lit up at night. We hadn’t thought it through too much and ended up arriving at 10:30pm, the show was over and we had got the last tube, so we had to get back to the hostel, by taxi, which cost 45Y and just had some food and played a bit of poker, which I duly lost, again.