I felt that I couldn’t come to China and miss seeing the great wall so I made my way to Beijing to check it out along with the forbidden city. i was only in Beijing for a few days but wish i could of stayed for longer as for the first time i found a place that had a backpacker vibe and for a capital city it was actually cheaper than the res of China. The local people were also friendly and welcoming something I was not used to as in the rest of China people were generally unhelpful rude and just looking to rip me off.
On the first day after my 22 hour train ride from shanghai I managed to figure out the Beijing subway system and made my way to a guest house in a cool bohemian district. I ditched my bags in the room and set off across tiananmen square I pushed my way through the crowds until I reached the entrance of the forbidden city. Typically like most of china there was construction taking place and much of the forbidden city was surrounded in scaffolding. The place was packed and I was slightly underwhelmed by the whole experience I am sure I might of appreciated it a bit more if I wasn’t being pushed and shoved around by stampedes of chinese tourists. After wandering around the forbidden city for a few hours I thought I would treat myself to a posh dinner the restaurant had pictures in the menu so spotting something that looked nice and cost double everything else I chose it. When it arrived it turned out to be pigs penis and lung noodle soup!
The next day was a lot more enjoyable when I took a tour to the great wall with my guest house. They knew a part of the wall that was away from any of the tourist traps, at 6am we took a 3 hour ride in a minibus out to the wall which went in no time as I slept for all of it. When we arrived the weather was perfect it was cold but clear and no other tourists to be seen anywhere. We had a guide named Robert I’m pretty sure it wasn’t his real name he told us he was going to make sure we didn’t get lost. Its pretty hard to get lost on a wall! He did this 6 km walk 5 days a week and considering he did this as his living 5 days a week he was the most unfit guide I have ever met. He was constantly out of breath and kept telling me that i am really fast. I was just taking it at what I would say was a usual pace there was even a rather large girl just behind me by the time we both got to the part of the wall we would be leaving from we had to wait another hour for the guide and then another hour for the rest of the tour group. The wall itself was incredibly impressive the photographs really don’t do it justice. It literally went on for as far as you could see, the parts we were walking along had not been tarted up to look all nice and pretty for the tourists so it had a more original feel to it aswell as a dangerous one!