Kung Fu Monks & the Great Wall of China

Our third day in Beijing warranted a bit of a lie in after our previous late night and we spent most of the next day just chilling out in the hostel. We’d booked to go and see a Kung Fu Show in Beijing’s ‘Red Theatre’ so went there at around 6pm after we had dinner. Our dinner was a box of noodles from the shop next door which had absolutely no English menu in sight. Luckily the girl behind the counter seemed to understand that we just wanted noodles and no meat and pointed to some squiggles on the menu. After ordering it we found that it was indeed noodles and mixed veg and it was lurvely! Sometimes it pays to just order something random instead of heading for the nearest McDonalds!

Our seats at the Kung Fu Show were really good and I personally thought the whole show was brilliant! Richard wasn’t as impressed as me as I think he wanted to see some Kung Fu Monks unleashing merry hell on eachother rather than be treated to a ‘show’. The music and the lighting effects (and the storyline, even though Richard disagrees!) were brilliant and really moving. The training that these guys go through must be immense too as they never stopped moving!

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We tried to get to bed early after the show as we were heading to the Great Wall at 6.30 in the morning. That didn’t quite go to plan however as our alarm didnt go off and we were woken abruptly at quarter to seven by Michale from the hostel knocking on our door! “Wake up please, the guide and the other customers are waiting for you!” Oh dear, we sprang up and got dressed as fast as we could – not having time to wash, put on anything clean or eat any breakfast to prepare us for our upcoming three hour hike on the wall!

There was so much traffic in the city by the time we left that the guide had to take the tollroad to the Wall to make up time and I don’t think he was too pleased at having to pay! It was great for us and the other 6 people in the bus however as we were so squashed in the back, all our knees were killing us so we were grateful for getting an hour cut off the journey.

We drove to Jinshanling – about 120kms north east of Beijing where one of the last remaining un-restored parts of the Great Wall lies. About 20 minutes outside of Jinshanling we got our first glimpse of the wall and started to get very excited!

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When we got there we took a cable car up to the wall itself and discovered the views that we had been waiting for! The wall looked just like it did in all the tourist photos – the scenery was stunning and we could see the wall meander on for miles through the mountains!

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The wall was very dishevelled in parts which made the walking quite difficult – some of the steepest climbs were the ones where the steps had pretty much disintegrated. At some points we had to actually clamber up using our hands but luckily there were still quite a few parts of it that were intact which made the walking a bit easier! We spent nearly three hours on the wall and were absolutely knackered, but the views were completely worth it!

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We decided to walk back down instead of taking the cable car – which, although being downhill was also quite tricky, but we got to see loads of wierd and wonderful creatures on the way down there, like bright green centipedes and giant ants!

We’ve only got one full day left in Beijing now and could probably do with a couple of extra ones as there are so many cool and different things to do! But, we have a schedule to keep and need to be in Hong Kong before our visa runs out so are making our second mainland China stop in Xian tomorrow night!

Here, I’d again like to ask for you to wish us luck on our second overnight train – this time in with the riff raff in the seated carriage!!..

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7 Comments

  1. September 09, 22:46 #1 Mum

    Hi darlin’ hope all ok with you – haven’t heard from you but presume you’re busy surveying the wonders of Shanghai. xxx 🙂

  2. September 06, 08:36 #2 Aisleen Author

    Brill, I bet he’s loving it! Saw some of his pics on Facebook- Niagara looks awesome! Lucky beggar!

  3. September 04, 18:16 #3 Uncle John

    Just to upfate you. Martin has had his 4 days in New York and arrived in Niagara last night for a one night stay. He will be heading towards Chicago in later today. Over 400 mile trip but at least he has 2 days there.

  4. September 04, 18:14 #4 Uncle John

    I guess your mum is the sort of person who went around all the fancy clothes stores and complained that they spelt FCUK wrong.

  5. September 04, 09:15 #5 margaret D.

    Take no notuce of your mum Ais. i did’nt notuce your spelling but then I’am not edgimacated ha ha!!!! xxxx

  6. September 04, 04:06 #6 Aisleen Author

    Sorry mum! I hate spell checking, it takes so long!! Just got to Xian this morning – waiting for our room to be ready so we can go to sleep! xx

  7. September 02, 23:25 #7 Mum

    Well darin’ you’ve certainly had a varied adventure the last couple of weeks. Despite not having a wash or breakfast before your trip to the great wall, you both look very relaxed. Hopefully Xian will prove to be as exciting as Bejing – good luck on the train journey!

    By the way, spelling!!! Remember wierd should be spelt weird and definately should be spelt definitely. You don’t get it wrong all the time mind you (sorry for being a mum LOL)!!!

    Enjoy your time in Xian and I can’t wait to read your next instalment.

    LOVE YOU XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO 🙂


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