this is the first time i have seen the great wall of china on a clear day. i remember thinking all the previous times i have been: that the wall was just a set built an hour out of beijing with permanent fog pumped by a machine covering the rest up. things that shocked me upon actually being able to see more than a few bricks:
- much green, so green, very green
- these bricks are not original (however if you keep walking as far as your feet will take you the rocks become ancient, and you'll need to hold on to life with every step up or down as the mountains slope on 70 degree angles more often than necessary; literally rock climb)
- the wall extends and curves and scales every mountain top within sight (achingly magnificent and breathtaking, especially when you're unfit, out of water, and have to get back to your ride)
- rubbish everywhere (bring a giant trash bag on your climb if you can)
- water is sold with an 1000% mark up on the wall (which is 10 RMB/1.5 USD for a bottle instead of 1 RMB/0.15 USD)
- not 100% sure how mark ups work, is that really a 1000% mark up?
there are many sections of the wall across china that can be visited, this section is mutianyu. i wasn't planning to visit the great wall at all (one can only be disappointed so many times by a wonder of the world) but this was so. damn. cool. now i really want to visit all the other sections before our evil earth friend erosion does.
do not enter via badaling (crowded af)
do not enter via a 'main entrance' (expensive af)
do not forget water (thirsty af)