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03 January 2008 @ 12:00 pm
Two weeks in China: day 3 {The Great Wall}  
The Great Wall of China... I can check one of the wonders of the world off of my list. <3 I can't really say how I felt standing on top of the wall, other than.. dwarfed. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to yell, filling the endless sky with my voice, or whether I really didn't dare to make a sound; to break the utter silence only existing miles away from civilization. Walking alone for a while at the top of the wall, I could just see in my mind the soldiers walking it in the past, using it as a real functional wall and not as some amazing feat of engineering as we see it today.

Most people don't know that the Great Wall is actually a series of pieces, rather than a single wall stretching across China. The pieces served to protect the Chinese empire from 5 BC and on from invasion by the Mongolians and other countries to the North. It's the largest structure built by humans in the world, both in terms of length, surface area, and mass.

The section that I went to was the Mutianyu Great Wall. It's about 90minutes by car from Beijing, and we took a van with some other tourists. I went with Greg's French friend Laura, and her Egyptian friend Noha. It was very multi-cultural. XD Because we decided to walk, and I am very bad with stairs (asthma?), we separated and caught up at various times during the day. It was REALLY cold on the wall, though after the climb it didn't feel so. The weather was clear at times and foggy at others, and I'd say that we spent several hours or so on top of the wall, exploring the various features. What I really liked was that there weren't many people. It was, in a way, awe-inspiring. =D

Laura took this picture of me on a camel at a tourist spot, XD. Gah, it was so retarded, but I couldn't resist! ^^;;

The Great Wall- Mutianyu.

Looking down the steep stairs while I tried to catch my breath halfway up to the wall from the village below..

Looking up, there's still so much more to go!

And finally I see it!!

Some rocks. XD

Looking out as I'm about to enter the wall itself. =D

The valley floor below, from the top of the wall.

And more wall off in the distance.

This is one of the battlements, where soldiers would stand watch between patrols. At it's peak, the wall was guarded by more than 2 million people! :O

From up close and personal, to far off in the distance..

There are many, many stairs..

I'll mostly let the pictures try to tell the tale of how I felt on top of the wall.. I think that they capture the spirit really well...

Why yes, I can shoot a cannon!

And just a testament to how short ancient people really were...

There was a man with a donkey, way up on the side of the wall..

This is China.

Could you enter here...?  Maybe in days long past, perhaps..

That night for dinner, I rejoined my friend Greg and his boyfriend Shi Lei. Shi Lei can't speak any english, nor me any Chinese, but I think we became pretty good friends by the end of the trip anyways. ^^

Shi Lei took the two of us to dinner at a really nice chinese place kind of in the middle of nowhere. There, I had..

Peking duck! In Peking! =DWooooow, was it tender and juicy and just... MELTS in your mouth <3

Cow.. intestine. ^^;; I had this several times, and it's pretty rubbery and strange. But it doesn't really have a taste it's own, so when it's dribbled in delicious sauces it's pretty good! ^^

Some really delicious wrap-things that we had to make ourselves! Mmm!

And, OMG.. I don't know the names of these, but they're mochi with red bean paste in the middle, covered with sesame seeds and fried. They have these at Chinese restaurants in America, but I've never really liked them. Nor do I like japanese bean paste. But THIS is SO MUCH BETTER!! I was in love and asking for them constantly at every restaurant from there on out! It wasn't chalky, it was just so much yuuuuum! <3

I think, really, that being on the Great Wall of China for the first time is something that I'm going to remember for the rest of my life. I will never, ever forget standing on the top of the wall, utterly alone and cold, and revolving around, the sky and landscape stretching out around me for miles. It was so quiet, and so wild.. so alone. I can't even really describe it, but I will always remember how it made me feel.  I think it was a life-changing experience, one that I hope to repeat, someday, with good friends.

Being there, I started to really feel that I am in China. China, the huuuuuuge country with such a long and wartorn, but strangely beautiful past. It was the beginning of something really great, in more ways than one. ^__^

Next: The Lama temple (Emperor's residence..).

Mewgokumew2 on January 3rd, 2008 03:10 am (UTC)
Man, them Chinese are CRAZY!

But in all seriousness, it's incredible what they could do!
sailorstarsun: feed me!sailorstarsun on January 3rd, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)
Wow.... .o_o Just.... WOW....

...And then I saw the picture of you in the little archway, and I laughed. X3

And then more wow.
Vivian: sixranalinde on January 3rd, 2008 03:39 am (UTC)
Wow, it must have felt incredible standing on that wall. *awes* Those are some really beautiful photos you took *__*

Aww, the camel looks so cute and fluffy, but also very big xD <3

Ooh, cow intestines. xD I've always enjoyed eating those since I was really young (although I had no idea what they were for quite a few years. Imagine my shock when I found out xD) However, I have never seen them so black before o.O (the ones I eat are always white looking xD)
Linstarrbeam on January 3rd, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)
pictures look good :)
Raynermundist on January 3rd, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
Sweet pics. They make me think of Huangshan Mountain with the way the wall bends and turns. I'll have to see the Great Wall and you'll have to see Huangshan Mountain.

Can't wait to see the rest of the pics and read about your little adventure.
Katrina: arashi by miyasaneveranangel604 on January 3rd, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
how absolutely beautiful. <3 but omg, that is so many stairs! you definitely captured the spirit of the great wall... I felt as though I were there too!

and now I want peking duck! XD
Jessraindancer_jess on January 3rd, 2008 05:08 am (UTC)
What beautiful pictures! I can almost feel cold wind just looking at them.
Mattlain_wired on January 3rd, 2008 05:33 am (UTC)
Awesome, those are some great pictures. It truly is breathtaking how impressive the wall is. Sounds like you got the full experience. When I went to Mutianyu, I was only there for about an hour or so since I froze and was there by myself so there was only so much walking I could do alone.

Did you end up taking the bobsled on the way down? That was a lot of fun.
Panda Warrior Versus The Worldwarrior_panda on January 3rd, 2008 07:30 am (UTC)
reading your perspective of the great wall while you were actually up there was really great. when im somewhere historic, i like to think about the people that walked through it in the past, as well. Like the time I walked around Dracula's castle in romania.

i didn't know it was made in sections.

i dont think my asthma could take the great wall. :-P
Shuu-chan ~ 秀ちゃんsilvanlumiere on January 3rd, 2008 07:32 am (UTC)
The pictures you've taken are really good!~~~ Especially those that show the extent of the great wall. It really makes me wonder just how many hundreds of thousands of people died to create that monstrous piece of wonder and how many fallen dynasties the wall had witnessed since its creation. Hopefully I'll be able to head there as well someday and see it myself. Pity I didn't have enough money when I was at Hong Kong to book a tour over to Beijing... *whimpers*
dees月二rourietosama on January 3rd, 2008 08:05 am (UTC)
lucky you can go to there :(

i'll move to china err... i mean hongkong on february \:D/

oh, now in there is winter season heh? *w*
Francesca {フランチェスカ}fantasy2004 on January 3rd, 2008 08:37 am (UTC)
wow wonderful pics, I'm glad you had fun there.
iridieiridie on January 3rd, 2008 10:25 am (UTC)
the great wall is definitely one of the places I want to see when I will visit my friend in china! it looks wonderful!
and the food looks so tasty!
kaollashiorikaollashiori on January 3rd, 2008 10:55 am (UTC)
*very awed* the great wall... amazing =O

lawl haha chinese food~ they have another version of that dango looking thing... they fry the bean paste and make them into pancakes... it's called dou4 sha1 wo1 bing3 (fried red bean cakes) ^_~

i dont know if they had / have it in china but you'll be able to get it from practically every chinese restuarant in singapore ;) if you like food, maybe you should come to singapore next!

looking forward to your next update!
jisforjeffy on January 3rd, 2008 11:57 am (UTC)
i really enjoyed this entry, especially when you were describing how you felt on the wall; i look forward to hearing about the Lama Temple! ^_^
Amiya: Jolin Tsai #3xamiyax on January 3rd, 2008 12:41 pm (UTC)
Hmm...the great wall, brings back memories *I didn't make it pass the first couple of steps* ^^"

Oh those sesame covered pastries...I really need to find some of those in America~
pipichan: bleachpipichan on January 3rd, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC)
the great wall looks awesome, I wish I can go there someday :0 I like chinese food in chinese take aways and restaurants here but the one you had in china seems to be much better, just look at the pictures! >_<
キモさ満々♡ 미친 외국인: COFFEE GOES IN COFFEE GOES INdilettantka on January 3rd, 2008 01:05 pm (UTC)
UNF the goma age-dango looks so good .. I MEAN THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA. 8D;; that's nice too.

Fantastic pictures!! I can't believe they're not full of tourists.
Eajoa on January 3rd, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, just reading and looking at that gave me chills! I want to go too, looks sooo gorgeous!!
Kira_Shadowkira_shadow on January 3rd, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
those sesame cakes at the very bottom are actually stolen from the vietnamese cuisine *gets murdered by chinese*

waah~ so awesome!
I really want to go there one day myself =X
*has her own travel guide too*
(if I take my sister for a trip around japan, then she'll have to take me to one around china...since those are our two countries of expertise respectively)

looks like you really had a great time =3
and looking at your pictures makes me hungry...maybe I'll make myself some kira-style peking duck tomorrow night ~
*knows how to* X3
Magbabysyusuke on January 3rd, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
Oh lovely pictures. I so wanna go there when I have the time... I'm still sving for my Korea trip though T.T
Idyllkaidyllka on January 4th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
So much stairs, niiiiiiice! Stairs are excellent for exercising! \(^___^)/ Ora likes stairs! XD
Great wall in the distans look awesome. When I look at it I just cannot imagine how they built it! It is so long and also it has preserved to our times.
They were really small (^o^)
These sesame balls looks yummy!
I like Your pictures, there is always so many of them.
~*split personality*~anomay on January 4th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC)
I used to have those "mochi" things during Chinese New Year all the time!

No idea what they're called in English, but you're supposed to roll them from the front of the house way to the back, and where-ever they go, they'll bring you loads of money and gold.

It was like bowling, except you use food instead of bowling ball.

I only rolled once as per Chinese tradition since I thought it was such a waste of good, edible food!
Bishies♥: Facinating|Satoumizu Tezukamikage_taichou on January 4th, 2008 10:34 am (UTC)
The great wall is so awesome \*___*/

ooh! We have those sesame coated balls here too 8D (it's the same as China's too~) I think it's called 'buchi' here or something XD~
超ちゃ人chochajin on January 4th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
WOAH! Such great photos!
I wanna visit that great wall some time as well. A friend of mine went there last year while on world-tour *envious*
*spazzes* THERE´S SNOW!!! I don´t know why, but I thought there would be no snow in China ... I´m sooo stupid - it makes sense, but for some reason I really thought there´s never snow in China XD <~ *dork*

And that food looks so yummie!
Some people told me that the food in China sucks, but China´s huge and I guess it totally depends on WHERE you are, nee? ^^

Looks like you REALLY had a great trip :D
long gone with her red shoes onredshoeson on January 7th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
Beautiful pics - congrats on The Great Wall Experience! :)
Chiakichiaki777 on January 8th, 2008 08:41 am (UTC)
Soooo many photos. XD But they're all very impressive ^o^
(Anonymous) on January 9th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
The beauty of the Great Wall and its surrounding scenery is just...unreal. And, that camel is too cute and seems so good-natured. Has such nice hair too. Hisano
nicky87nicky87 on January 14th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)
ooo so that's how the great wall looks like during winter^^ I climbed during early autumn... wasnt really that cold... also climbed a diff part of it... called pahtaling something like that but that part of the was was tedious XO as the size of the steps were all different... also happen to be the most painful climb for me cuz the next day my leg muscles were like O.O ouch XP (lack of exercise much) XD