Archives For Visiting China

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!

I know a recurring theme with my blog posts has to do with interesting and new sights I see while in China, and this post will be no different! I have seen so many unexpected and inexplicable things as I have traveled, so I consider myself fortunate, and I always enjoy encountering a new sight from time to time.

As I walked down one of the most heavily traveled thoroughfares running north and south in one of my favorite cities in China, I came across something I had never considered seeing on a busy street corner. To my surprise, an industrious young man had set up a couple of stools, and was doing pedicures for everyone to see!

Would You Like Some Traffic With Your Pedicure?

He had all of his supplies nicely arranged in his “office,” so I guess this wasn’t a spur of the moment idea for him. I have probably passed this street corner hundreds of times, and never seen him there. He decided he didn’t want me taking any additional pictures, but I can tell you he actually had a line of people waiting for him! If you look at the person in the background in the striped shirt, they appear to be in such a hurry for his services that they are already taking off their shoes!

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well along Qing Nian Da Jie! So if you ever want to let literally thousands of people watch you enjoy your pedicure, may I suggest visiting this busy street corner in China?

Do you think he has your color of toenail polish?


Curious Signs

November 1, 2016 — Leave a comment

During a recent trip to China, I came across something that really caught my eye. When I first started going to China, some of the English translations I would see on signs were pretty funny. I must give credit to the translators, because they have really improved in the last few years.

So there I was in the lobby of terminal 3 (the one that was constructed to handle the influx of travelers during the 2008 Olympic Games) of the Beijing Capital Airport, which is HUGE, and I saw the sign below.

Curious Signs in China

My interpretation of the sign was that something would be closing in our people, but did I mention that the airport was HUGE? So I couldn’t understand this sign, but if anyone can explain it to me, I would love to know! This sign was in the open lobby, so there was nothing around to squeeze anyone.

Maybe this is just one of the mysteries of travelling in another culture!

New and Improved

August 30, 2016 — Leave a comment

Much planning and work has been done to the new entrance of the Great Wall of China at the Mu Tian Yu location. I completely understand how they wanted to “spruce up” the former facility, but I think some of the charm was lost in the transition.

Instead of small booths for all types of vendors with awnings, now there are nice new brick facilities. These are well maintained, so I have to give the cleaning crews credit for a job well done.

New and Improved brick facilities at the Great Wall

Now you can even get a pizza at the Great Wall! I never thought I would see that day! This restaurant has great service, and the interior is all wood, as you can guess from the photograph below.

New and Improved Dining at the Great Wall

One of my favorite treats to get after climbing the Great Wall is dried fruit. My favorite is the dried strawberries, and they are amazingly sweet! The vendors selling the dried fruit will give free samples, and they know that once you have tasted their fruit, you will want more!

The new entrance is further down the hill from the old location, so you have to buy an inexpensive bus ticket to take you a little further up the hill. Sometimes you may have to wait on a bus, but usually not for very long. There is also a new parking deck and ticket office at the new entrance, and the restrooms are very clean. You should definitely use the restroom before going up on the Great Wall, because you have very few options once you are on the wall!

New and Improved Entrance to the Great Wall