Exploring the great wall!
Updated: Oct 5
Late posting… visit and photos taken in April 2012 🙂
When you’re visiting Beijing, the Great Wall of China should be in your “must see” destination list. I was there April this year and the initial -weather forecast was good weather because it’s already spring time. Little did I know that it would also be rainy during spring? The weather in the morning was okay although by the time we reached Badaling Area it was all foggy with and a bit of rainfall here and there. The traffic made it a little worst so we arrived late. We had to ride the cable car going up since it’s still foggy and the walk going to the top would be more challenging because of the rain.
For first time tourists like me, Chinese locals recommended an easier slope to walk which is at Badaling Area. Badaling Great Wall is the most visited site because it is close to Beijing and also connected with the urban area by the expressway. This section of the Great Wall was firs open for tourists in 1957. The area is heavily restored, and it still looks magnificent even after more than five decades since it was opened for travellers.
I can just imagine how people actually hiked these mountains hundreds of years ago and built this enormous wall by hand to keep out the Mongolian people who were sometimes noted as barbaric invaders during the ancient times.
The Badaling Area shows the Great Wall as it would have looked originally, and it does not look new at all. It’s really made as though it came from centuries old, this maybe one more reason why travelers prefer Badaling Area. Going down, we rode the cable car, then walked the wall for about 2 hours back to where we started. Picture taking amidst the fog, looking through gaps and windows built in some walls.
There were directional signs which were difficult to understand (not all has English translation) although the presence of arrows was helpful to let you know which way to go. It was foggy all the way down and sight was not really best for photo ops and video shoots.
This man made structure is still exemplary as the walls were made amidst high slopes and mountains. The Chinese ancestors must have been strong and determined to finish the structure. A lot of hard work bringing all that’s necessary to build the walls. How could have they done it before, I’m not so sure. But what I’m sure of is that they have great perseverance and determination to pull it all through. I have all praises to those who were there making it all work, protecting pre-historic China, the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.
long way to walk, weather is good to us 🙂
Walk the walls!
Being an ancient military defense project, the Great Wall is a symbol of the proud China. It is a wall toward the city and country. It was built to protect Beijing on the north side. I have also learned that fire or smoke were used as signal during the ancient times, and it was said that the number of the fires or smoke columns represented the numbers of enemies trying to invade the walls. It would have been difficult for invaders to conquer the country as the walls stand strong and mighty from among its surroundings. The locals have a lot to thank for, because the Walls made it possible for them to exist. If their ancestors had not built the Great Wall, who knows what would have happen to their history!
Another “must see” in Badaling Area is the Great Wall Museum and the Great Wall National Theatre. The theatre would give you the chance to get a full view of the Great Wall of China. And in going out of the Great Wall vicinity there are sellers of small tokens, shirts and other Great Wall items which make a good souvenir. You can also find thrift / souvenir shops just after the Exit area of Badaling Great Wall.
As we went our way back to the city, then came heavy rains. Beijing is also known for its heavy traffic, and our experience with it proved to be just as it was – indeed a slow moving one going back to the city. Traffic took us almost two hours from Badaling Expressway to our hotel. Nevertheless, the trip was worth it – rains, fog and all!
so long… prepping for the walk down to where the van is.
I came to Beijing expecting a full load of rich culture and history, and there I was reliving the thoughts of how people in China cope during the times they made use of the Great Wall as their refuge from harm.
I promised myself – that I will be back there and visit the Great Wall of China Summer time!