Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Beijing: The Great Wall

November 30, 2014
So the plan for the next day was waking up super early (4:30AM?) to go see the Great Wall and have time to go to Tiananmen and possibly the Summer Palace. But knowing us, we overslept and didn't actually get out the door until like 8:30AM or something.

So we went to Dashengmen again and the guy in the metro uniform told us to line up, but we were the first ones there, so it was just us. And he told us that it's 70块 for the bus, even though I read online that it was only 12 (even cheaper with the Metro card) so it was really weird. The bus also took a while to even come and so we kept waiting. Then that same worker told us that we can always just carpool with others for, I think 100? Or something like that. That was getting super suspicious because why would a Metro worker suggest private carpools? Wtf. 

So I walked over across the street to where the police officer was sitting outside the parking lot and asked him so where exactly is the bus to the Great Wall (八达岭) and he pointed over into the parking lot. So turns out that where we were standing was a fake T_T;;;; So fucken sketchy how that even happens, that scammers openly have fake signs and bus right at the station and it's not regulated. Probably bribed off or something. I thought it was legit because the bus stop was there, but the thing with the bus number was STUCK onto the sign, so it wasn't a legit sign. The real bus stop actually had a lot of people waiting there and the bus was full and everything. Don't be almost fooled like us and make sure you get on the bus with the real sign and there will be a lot of people lining up. We got lucky because it was just the two of us, so we were able to catch the bus because other people had larger groups. Tbh, I actually suspected the police officer to be a fake too WTF. Oh yeah the Metro guy had a legit looking uniform too, so that's why it's hard to tell with people posing and all. 

It was really cold and windy that day. We bought out tickets, 17.50块 for admissions (I think there was a student discount on this one) and 100块 for sliding cars. I read that they were only supposed to be 60块 or something though, so I was a bit surprised they were 100块, because I think that's how much they charge cable cars, but it was too windy for those. 

It was a good, 10-15 minute walk from the bus stop to the sliding cars because you go through all these food/souvenir vendors.

The ride was like 5 minutes, and it's like sitting on a roller coaster, the part where it slowly goes up in preparation for a big drop except there's no big drop. I'd recommend it if you didn't want to hike like 2? hours to the main part of it. But it was also really cold, so I wouldn't have done it. Or if you're hardcore and want a better "feel" of the Great Wall then I'd hike it.
The Great Wall...was unimpressive. I think I was expecting like something amazing and wonderful, but then it's probably too overhyped for me. It was just kind of meh and honestly I didn't expect the whole thing to basically be steps so it was like hiking because every few minutes I was getting tired :(( It was also hard to get a decent photo because it's actually quite...spread out o_o That or I'm just a bad photographer. Wish I had nicer photos here though >< Feel like a normal person would...

We didn't stay for too long. Just enough to hike around for a bit, be super cold, and get tired. When we came, there wasn't that many people either. We didn't have an issue with taking the bus back. We then went to pick up our luggage and made our way to the train. We were kind of rushing there but we made it in the end :) Took the high speed train back to Shanghai (¥553).

Done with Beijing posts! So until next time :)

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