Sunday, November 6, 2011

DISCOVERING THE GREAT WALL

Badaling Great wall - taken while on the cable car
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site in China is this fascinating walls that transcend a thousand miles and is a witness to the culture and early civilization of the country.

Asian history is one of my favorite subjects back in high school and I have always admired the rich history and culture of Chinese civilization.  Having been granted the opportunity to visit Beijing made me more appreciate how this race preserved their culture despite the modernization and urbanization that inevitably unfolds them.  

It was winter time when we visited Beijing and for a traveler not used to mountaineering and hiking, this is the best time to visit the Great Wall of China...




Along with our new Vietnamese friends, we availed of a group tour to the Badaling Great Wall, one of the well-preserved walls of the Ming Dynasty and has gained tremendous popularity from tourists, due to accessibility and its breathtaking views.  As a short guide, the Ming Dynasty has been known as an era of construction and this portions of the great wall that has been preserved are remains from the said dynasty.  The sites of the Great Wall to choose from are: Badaling, Simatai, Jinshanling, Mutianyu, Gubeikou, Huanghuacheng and Jiankou (Arrow Nock).  The degree of climb difficulty and the endurance to undertake one is a major consideration as to which part of the wall would you like to visit.  For us...thanks to this cable car and our visit to this Great Wall became more hassle-free and relaxing without shedding too much perspiration.





Admission fee is: CNY 45 (April 1 to Oct 31) and CNY 40 (Nov. 1 to March 31).  As for the cable car, it costs CNY40 for a single trip and CNY60 for a round trip.  Opening hours vary depending on the weather, during summer it is open from 630AM until 7PM and on winter, from 7AM to 6PM.

Embarking from the cable car, we took a short walk and took a lot of pictures to create our own postcards.  There are portions of the wall which are steep and so the handrail on the sides become my trusted ally.  A lot of tourists visit this side of the Great Wall and so it becomes a rare opportunity that you would be able to get a solo picture with no other tourists instantly appearing before the lens of your camera.  



I highly recommend that you avail of tour guides when visiting the Great Wall of China as this is a bit far from Beijing City.  There are numerous tour guides offering their services in the city itself, even on the hotels where you are staying.  For us, we availed of the tours from Dreams Travel and Cafe.

Until the next visit...we'll try to visit other parts of the Great Wall of China as well.


surrounded by tourists





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