A Travellerspoint blog

The Forbidden City and the Great Wall...

sunny 25 °C

Today was our second excursion around China and we started off in the main town around the corner from us to look at the Forbidden City.

It is HUGE! It genuinely is a city inside the city. There is some beautiful architecture and statues and the rooftops have such intricate detail on them that signifies different things. Our tour guide was so knowledgeable and patient with us when we needed to stop for some unplanned breakfast and just generally wandering off to look at stuff close-up!

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  • So after walking around the beautiful garden and outside of all the different buildings inside the city, we then headed out towards the Great Wall.

We stopped at a Silk Factory and saw how the silk quilts and gorgeous duvet covers are made right from the silk worm life cycle up to the actual production itself - it was really educational, and obviously then lead to a selling environment. The quilts were amazing and soft but without knowing the size of my bed at school, I didn't really want to buy anything, which was a shame as some of the covers were stunning. So instead I bought a little silk coin purse as I've been using a pocket in my bag so far which is getting a tad annoying!

After the Silk Factory we moved on, further towards the Wall, only to stop at a Jade manufacturer - granted they had some lovely pieces, but not being a massive Jade fan, I wasn't won over by the whole experience. However, this was also where we had lunch! Typical Chinese lunch, the same as the tour yesterday, but a bit nicer today. Instead of sharing the tour with 2 Australians, we had the genuine delight of a middle-aged German couple who kept buying us drinks!

We moved on from lunch to the Great Wall and finally arrived. Holy hell, that was a lot of steps!

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Advice to anyone going to the Great Wall:

  • take a good pair of shoes as the steps can be quite slippery and worn down and you can't always rely on the handrail.
  • old Chinese people will overtake you with such finesse and speed, it can be quite disheartening!
  • do some stretches before you embark on the incline as your legs give out half way, even against your will.
  • take bug spray, or apply bug repellent as they are hundreds of midgies and flying things that kept nose-diving into my cleavage and hair!
  • take it slow, if you thinking going up fast will help, it definitely doesn't and you want to die a lot faster than if you just take your time and half little stops every 10 or 20 steps.
  • of course, this advice may only be applicable to unfit, overweight individuals, such as myself!

But hey, I still did it, and here's proof:

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In your face Great Wall!

Plus I definitely left my mark for anyone else that may happen upon the same bit of wall I did:

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And of course, the Duck made an appearance at the Wall, how could he not!?

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Also saw these guys just chilling out with some Chinese Checkers!

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So tomorrow we leave for the school and a new adventure begins!
I'm still super sick, but the Chinese keep plying me with medicine and tea so hopefully I'll be feeling a bit better before school starts on Monday!
I'll update this with information about my apartment and put some pictures up, but probably not until Sunday as our train isn't until 17:41 and it takes at least 4 hours so I will be hanging on by a thread tomorrow night!

  • I really hope I can still walk tomorrow, I feel ok right now, but those steps really put a cross-trainer to shame!

Posted by Lady Mantle 06:51 Archived in China Tagged insects great_wall forbidden_city cold silk jade chinese_medicine chinese_games

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Comments

Loving the photos! Loving the whole look of china! Very very jealous! Keep safe and have fun, Xx

by cass

amazing pictures I am so jealous of your walking on the great wall- hope the train journey goes well and your new home is lovely xxxx

by mum

Nice blog, great pictures, get fit!! There are several thousand miles of wall, so an inkling as to where you desecrated it would be helpful to append to it when I get there . . . . . . . Love the duck, where did he come from? Have a safe journey to xingxiang or whatever it is called and good luck with your students. Dad xxx

by Monty Mantle

Hi Hanna really enjoying your virtual tour of China, am looking forward to hearing about the school and your apartment etc. How about a photo of you and your room mate, so I can imagine the pair of you together, you know me and visuals! love yia yia

by gillian collins

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