Archives For sightseeing

What could possibly go wrong when you are going to see one of the New Seven Wonders of the World? Well, how about rain! Yes, rain causes a few discomforts when you are visiting the Great Wall of China, like getting wet, walking on slippery stones, and not being able to use the toboggan slide coming down the mountain.

But there is good news! The crowds are smaller, it is cooler, and it gives a completely different perspective of the Great Wall. Would you like to see what I mean?

Taking the Good with the Bad

I have been to the Great Wall of China on perfectly clear days, and you can see all of the surrounding mountains and valleys below. To some, it may seem a little disappointing to go to the Great Wall when it is raining, but I appreciate the change the rain brings and the unique views it offers. I have read that the Mu Tian Yu section of the Great Wall is about 3425.2 feet above sea level, so you can understand that you are literally in the clouds.

Taking the Good with the Bad

Since the Great Wall of China is over 13,000 miles long, you can’t see all of it anyway, so I enjoy the eerie yet calm view on days when it rains. It is hard to believe that the section in the photograph above is over 2,000 years old!

Taking the Good with the Bad

When I am at the Great Wall, the view off in the distance reminds me of the beginning to the old television show MASH. If you can recall the scene as the helicopter flies in and you can see the rugged mountains in the background — well, to me, the two scenes are the same.

There are so many things you can’t control when you are traveling, so I encourage you to find the good side of what may alter your plans. Who knows, you may like the change better than your original plans!

I hope to see you on the Great Wall one day… rain or shine!

During a recent trip to China, I used trains as one of my main means of transportation. Some were to travel a long distance, some were in the subway, and some were just to move you from one area of the airport to another. All of the trains were full of signs, and I very much appreciated the ones that were also in English. Would you like to see some of the most interesting signs?

What Signs Really Communicate

The sign above was taken in my cabin of a night train, or sleeper train as they are also called. I just found it extremely ironic and slightly funny that there was a No Smoking sign placed in an ash tray. I think it was sending two completely different messages! By the way, people in China smoke more than people in the States, and there is a designated smoking area in the rear of each train car.

What Signs Really Communicate

The second picture I am sharing with you is from the train at the Beijing Capital Airport in Terminal Three. This train has automated doors, so the door sign is giving some wonderful advice! Sometimes these trains are quite crowded, and there is always someone arriving late trying to catch the door in time to ride the train.

There is no moral to this story, just some interesting sights I saw in China.

So when are you going to go to China?

 

 

Some don’t know this, but Beijing actually has two public airports. Everyone has heard of Beijing Capital Airport on the northeast side of town, which has the huge new terminal built to handle the influx of travelers for the 2008 Olympics. But did you know there was also another airport on the south side of Beijing?

Did You Know Beijing Has Two Airports?

The southern airport is called Nan Yuan Fei Jie Chong, and it was once a military airport. When I first started using that airport several years ago it had some amazing charm to it. One of the most interesting things about it was how a tractor with a flatbed trailer would haul the luggage, unloaded by hand, to a barn. The people would walk into the barn, and then the tractor would bring in the luggage. From there, you would exit into a parking lot, where you would argue and negotiate prices with a group of taxi drivers. Believe it or not, it really was a lot of fun going back and forth with those guys. It would always end with laughter, a couple of pats on the back, and a thumbs up.  Another interesting thing about this airport was how you would see old military plans parked around the airport.

Now this airport has undergone massive renovations, and unfortunately, it has lost some of the charm it once had. Your luggage now comes into the terminal on a conveyor belt, so no more barn and tractor. Also, most of the vintage military plans have been moved. Additionally, there is an orderly system of getting a taxi now, and you don’t have to negotiate with the taxi drivers.

The terminal itself is now much larger and more modern. There are several gates now where there was once only a couple, and there are many shops within the airport where there once were none that I remember. Ahhh, I guess this is progress!

Did You Know Beijing Has Two Airports?

One of the more interesting things that is still consistent with the updated facility is the loading process. You still exit the terminal’s gate, get on a bus, and drive on the tarmac where you board your plane via portable steps! It truly is an interesting process to enjoy!

Have you ever been to either of the airports in Beijing?

There are sights to see almost everywhere we look, even at an airport in a country where you have visited many times. If you have followed my blog posts, you will know that I not only encourage people to travel, but to have a camera ready when they do travel.

So, there I was standing in the security line at the airport when I noticed the most unique backpack I think I have ever seen being carried by an adult! It truly caught me by surprise, and since I am a dog lover, I liked it very much! Check it out below!

unexpected-sights-backpack

Another image that caught my eye not long after getting through the security line at the Beijing Capital Airport was for marketing. I think most of us know who Michael Phelps is, and apparently so do the people in China. After the scandal that rocked the Olympic Swimming Team, it is good to see that some are rewarded for not “messing things up!”

unexpected-sights-marketing-sign

Don’t forget, travel when and where you can, and have your camera ready.

I regret not capturing some of the sights I have seen, because I didn’t have a camera with me and ready to use. There have been many other mistakes I have made, so keep reading my blog posts and you can learn from my mistakes!

What’s the most interesting sight you’ve seen — that you missed a chance to get a picture of, because you didn’t have your camera ready?

During my last trip to China, the traffic was horrible as we came back from the area where the Great Wall is. Our driver was doing his best to dodge the busy intersections, so we took some streets I had never seen before. Below you can see one of the surprises I saw on that trip!

Have Your Camera Ready!

Can you imagine my surprise when I saw this military jet mounted outside this cluster of buildings? Thankfully I had my camera out and ready, and I was able to quickly take this photograph as we passed the jet.

Honestly, I have no idea why the jet was displayed in this area. It didn’t seem like we were near any military bases, and I know we weren’t close to the airport, so I was baffled. Additionally, the streets seemed very normal with ordinary street scenes as we passed.

I consider myself fortunate to have gotten this picture, even though it isn’t very clear. It isn’t every day that I get to see an aircraft like this! It would be my encouragement to everyone traveling to keep their cameras ready — because, like me, you never know what you might see!