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Notes on tech

Notes on technology, business, enterpreneurship, economy, markets along with interesting general tidbits.

The Great Wall

12/12/2005 01:46:00 AM, posted by anand

On Saturday, we went to see, feel, touch and climb The Great Wall (TGW from now on). We went to the Badaling section of TGW. This is the most touristy spot, because of its proximity to Beijing, I guess.

We started at about 9.00ish. We took the subway from our hotel to the Tiananmen Square. Got off and then walked all the way to the eastern side of Qian Men where they have the Tourist bus depot. We paid 140 RMB as a round-trip bus fare. Apart from TGW, we were also going to visit the Ming tombs. All this was part of the trip.

First they took us to the Ming tombs. Nothing much to see, except for the tombs of the 13 kings of the Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644) that are buried here. And ofcourse, kings being kings the tombs were large and covered large portions of land. We could only cover one tomb as the time was short and they were spread all over. One of them was atop a mountain! Also, saw the kings robes and gold utensils in an onsite museum.

The best part of the cold morning was enjoying the hot canned coffee (nescafe), that was being rolled over in the hot dog machine. So basically instead of using the machine to heat up hot-dogs, the stall guy had put in cans of coffee and let them heat and roll over. Ingenious fellow.

Had a pre-arranged group lunch with other travelers of our bus. I just had steamed rice and green tea. Not a super hit combination, but thats the only thing vegetarian enough for me. Besides, everyone was just eating right out of the serving bowls. Sheesh! I grabbed my rice, before others had a chance to pollute it. Hehe.

Ok so after some more travel, we finally reached TGW. It was a magnificent sight to see the wall just go serpentine over various mountains. We climbed TGW and took plenty of snaps (Ya, I'll post them soon). It was extremely windy and chilly. Even our water bottles had ice crystals due to the cold. TGW was HUGE.

On the way down from the wall, we stopped for coffee and somehow lost direction and didnt remember where the bus stop was. Now this is a place, where people hardly speak English. Even after asking almost a dozen people for the bus stop, no one could tell us the directions. We used all sorts of tricks like sign language, english, showed them the bus badge, the bus ticket. But of no avail.

Finally one guy had the light bulb go over his head and he gave us the directions to the bus stop. When we reached the bus stop, we found that the bus had already left. We were just 20 minutes late. Then we took a cab to a public bus stop. The cabbie ripped us off by charging RMB 50 to take us there. We took the public bus (7 RMB) and reached the closest subway station, which was about 60 kilometers from TGW. Then we took the subway (4 RMB) to the station nearest to the hotel and walked the way back.

Finally reached the hotel at around 8.00 pm, tired, exhausted and happy (to be back).
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