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Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Great Wall -- Mutianyu

As I had been to the Great Wall at Badaling the last time I was in Beijing, this time I wanted to check out another part. Mutianyu is further away and more complicated to get to, so there are not nearly as many tourists. As the airport was somewhat on the way, we decided we would go straight from the airport to Mutianyu. The problem, however, was that I remembered that the cab drivers spoke no English whatsoever and we needed to communicate that we wanted him to drive us an hour from the airport to Mutianyu, wait for us until we were done, then drive us a couple of hours back to Beijing. On  the plane, I had the idea of writing down exactly what I wanted to tell him, and I had the flight attendants on China Eastern write it in Chinese.

When we showed him the instructions, he still seemed a little confused, but when he gave me the price, which was about what we thought that would cost, I figured he understood what we wanted to do. We drove off uncertain, however, but we got into the cab on blind faith. I was relieved to see signs for Mutianyu, and when we got there, he gave us his cell phone number so we could call him when we were done. I guess he figured since he had all of our luggage, we wouldn't desert him. And since he didn't have the 800 Yuan from us, he didn't desert us either.

We were on the wall for several hours. We took a chairlift up the mountain and walked 2.5 kilometers to take another ski lift down. The weather was nice, and the scenery was amazing. The wall seems to accentuate nature rather than detract from it. There were not that many people out. At points, we were the only ones. It was very peaceful and calm.

Click on the title of this post to see all my my Great Wall--Mutianyu pictures. 

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