Hello dears, sorry I know I am again not writing here consistently! (My bad)
Today, I want to share my little journey to Beijing (to be specific is to The Great Wall) with you. Actually we planned a 5-day trip to Beijing when my boyfriend visited me in Shanghai and at that time, I was having my family visit and winter holiday in the city. I was actually pretty worried about whether we can make the trip as the plan, because once I arrived home, I heart about the biggest smoke (air pollution) situation in the in-land areas in northern China, and especially the worrying news how those small cities around Beijing were forced to be “shutted down” as the traffic was totally dead under the super bad condition. Luckily, we’ve made our flight and even without any delay that day (OHHH! It was even 1st of January in 2017!) while we’ve well prepared to visit this magnificent historical city with our light-weight mask 😀 (Yea, I’ve bought probably the wrong masks from Taobao)
The city was just like the way how it looks in my photo. That’s a shot of the famous Fobidden City, from the peak of Jingshan Park (where the last emperor of Ming Dynasty ended his life here). It’s super cold and that day had a bit rain as well, so enough to froze your fingers and toes, but worst thing was still the smoke. However, I cannot deny the beautiful of this great palace and look at the fully frozen river around the palace! It’s beautiful right?
Tips for visiting Forbidden City:
- Reserve a full day because it is really worth for you to explore all the small museums and shows inside
- Check their website for the opening hours and the close dates
- “One Way In, One Way Out” – Entrance is just next to Tiananmen. Yes, I know years before you can enter from the back (the door opposite to Jingshan Park), but it’s not like this anymore
- Rent an audio guide. I found the guide is very awesome and if you can understand Chinese, lucky you! More interesting stories about different small palaces, chambers, shows are waiting for you. English guide has really less stories and much less fun so far, but at least you gonna have one instead of nothing. Remember go for it! (RMB20 for Chinese one, RMB40 for English one)
Hello 不好意思我又没有坚持住好好更新博客 😛
- “One Way In, One Way Out” – 入口在天安门边上。几年前去的时候正对景山的那个门也是能进出的，不过管理方应该是为了更好的控制人流，统一把天安门那边的设置为单一入口，景山这边的为单一出口，别走错了！
The most important part I want to share with you is our Great Wall day trip. We’ve been recommended to a very good backpack hostel program which holds this day trip. The name is Beijing Downtown Backpacker (click the link to check out) which is located in the famous Huton, Nan Luo Gu Xiang. They’ve got few Great Wall trip options, while we went for the simpliest one, here. Departure time is pretty early in the morning (8.20am) but we were happy to be back around 4pm in the day and still be able to relax in the city and also this option is pretty good deal with around USD48 or RMB280. We booked through email because they hadn’t opened up the slots for online booking at that time, but anyways, booking and all communication went very smooth and our guide that day was also very cute and professional.
So, as a Chinese, I have to remind everyone, China is big and has space but we have really really a lot of people. If you are going to visit Great Wall in a peak season, try to avoid the most popular destinations while going for some others (of course if you really want some specific scenery or experience, you need to accept the crowds and sometimes the chaos). We chose Mutianyu, one of the famous destination on Great Wall and it’s left from Ming Dynasty, while as you can see from my photos, there are really less tourists! The place is a bit far from the city (around 2 hours drive) but everything there is newly renovated and all the facilities are so new and nice there. You have 3 ways to go onto the Great Wall, which I suggest to give up the last one (you gonna risk your life and climb?). A close cable car round trip is nice, but you can also choose a open cable car up with a crazy slide to go back (I will share more in the tips below). The weather on Great Wall was extremely good comparing to the one in the city. The sky is in a clear blue and everything smells fresh even it’s in the deep winter and almost no green.
We explored the towels one by one from where we arrived with the cable car all the way up! You really need to climb because some parts are all about big stone stairs, but it made you feel so good to “conquer” one after one until the official end.
北京之旅里最重要的一程就是长城之旅。我们去的是朋友介绍的Beijing Downtown Backpacker长城游，那家背包客旅馆在南锣鼓巷里，他们有几个不同的长城游选项，我们选的是最基本的那款（点here了解我们去的这款）。出发时间比较早（8点20），不过你可以在下午4点左右回到市区，这样能有足够的时间在酒店里休息或是出去逛逛（价钱：48美金或280人民币）。在他们的网站上有个日历，可以根据日历上面可供选择的日子预订行程，如果你计划去长城的那个月份还没有开放出来，可以发邮件直接跟旅馆预订（我就是这么做的），旅馆的人很帮得了手，回复也快！
Why I use the word “official”? Of course, it means everyone likes an unofficial way. We climbed over the broken walls like all other youngers and just continued 3 more towels. On the last part, we were walking on the very tiny path which is made by broken stones. But, you guess what! Just on this part of unofficial way, we’ve seen a small moving grocery which was run by an old lady and she’s selling water, soft drinks, snacks, instant noodle?! and beer?! Such a great feeling that you know you would find some unusual treasure if you could pass the boundary 😀
Tips for visiting Mutianyu:
- You can only choose from 2 – To go up and down, you can only choose close cable car (up and down) OR open cable car (up and down), but the way down by open cable car can be replaced with a speed slide if you wish. So, when you buy the ticket, make it clear
- Measure your time and decide how to visit – Mutianyu is just part of Great Wall, but it’s big! If you had just 3 hours to stay on the Great Wall, it’s impossible to visit the whole Mutianyu (I mean the official parts). What you need to do is, to pick up the famous towel you want to visit and select the transportation tool which is closer to that towel and do the visiting around that area (remember? once you go up by one transportation option, you cannot switch to the other). For example, we chose close cable car and arrived at towel No.16 (or maybe 17…18, I don’t remember, but anyways the bigger number) and we continued our visit from there all the way up till No.22? No.23? and then we adventured a bit before we headed back to cable car station. You got it? (otherwise leave your question below, I will answer)
- Bring your own water, if you don’t want to pay triple or more
- Wear something light and probably you need to take off your jacket on the way
- 二选一 – 上下长城有两种选择，缆车（上下双程）或者吊索缆车（上下双程，其中下程可以换成山道速滑），购票时注意
- 根据你游览的时间选择游览路线 – 慕田峪跟其他长城段相似，规模相当大！如果你像我一样只有3个小时的时间待在长城上，那想把整个慕田峪都走一遍是几乎不可能的。你应该从游览地图上选择你想要去的烽火塔，然后就近选择相应的缆车服务，以该缆车站为中心或者终点游览附近的长城段（记得吗？你只能选择同一种缆车上下长城）。例如，我们选的是普通缆车，上到长城估计是在烽火塔16号附近（又或者是17？18？不记得了），下了缆车我们顺着数字变大的方向游览长城一直到22号、23号附近，进入野长城段继续几个烽火塔之后开始原路返回到同一个缆车站。如果有不明白的，可以在下面留下你的问题。
See you next time,