Jul 032010

On our last full day in Beijing we went to the great wall and Ciara finally managed to walk along a section, a few months later than initially planned.  We reluctantly went on a tour to do this as some sections were closed and we were getting confusing information from forums, the tourist information and the tour companies on which sections were actually open, so we opted for a hostel tour from Simitai to Jinshaling.  I think the walk was a bit shorter than normal but I’ve never sweated so much in my life.  We never found it particularly hard as it only took us just over a couple of hours so I don’t think it was 10km as advertised.

Some people may find this section of walk a bit fearsome if they are scared of heights or not used to walking – there are a couple of rough sections in it, and some very steep steps that could be easy to make a simple mistake on.

The visibility was slightly better than we expected but it was still affected by the typical Chinese smoggy haze that seems to plague everywhere we’ve seen so far.

We then took the overnight train to Xi’an which was superb – air conditioned, departure at 9.36 just in time for a game of cards and some reading, then we woke up just before arriving at 8.46am.

From there we went to the hostel, had a shower and headed out to the Terracotta Warriors which was pretty amazing, and managed to pack in a free fountain, light and music show in town in the evening which is a must do if you are in Xi’an….it’s free which is very rare in China, and it’s good fun.  If you feel brave you can even walk through the fountains.

In our second full day in Xi’an we wandered around the Muslin Quarter which has an amazing amount of street eating, but unfortunately it all looked like it would contain gluten so we gave them a miss.

We’re off to catch the train to Guilin which is a 27hr journey and we’ve only got a bed in a 6 person cabin so it’s probably going to be a worse trip than the others.   Just after booking our train we realised the floods hit that area badly as well after seeing Video on the Guilin flooding……luckily it’s subsided now! 

I’ll update some photos once we’re settled in Yangshou.  We’re only going to crash in Guilin for the night as we’re in late, then hope to get the bamboo raft to Yangshou the following day.

 Posted by at 9:07 am

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