A Travellerspoint blog

Simatai - The Great Wall (Pt. 2)

Update in progress

Hey, here is part 2 -- images from our trip to the top of the Wall. We hitched the sky tram halfway up and decided to hike up the rest of the way. After half a dozen breaks, we huffed it to the top and spent 2 or 3 hours covering all of the wall we were allowed to

TheView.jpg

GWpath3.jpg

GWpath1.jpg

GWalmosttotop.jpg

GW4.jpg

Hamza.jpg

GWBuildingsky.jpg

Flowers.jpg

GW1.jpg

GWlandscape.jpg

My guess is that one of the guards got real bored a long time ago. This was the only brick we saw that was like this.
Spirals.jpg

This is our driver, he is certified 'awesome' because he is wearing ski goggles on the top of the Great Wall in the middle of summer.
6MrLi.jpg

I found a little path out to the edge, leaned forward and took a picture. At least it wasn't windy!
LongFall.jpg

This is one of my favorites:
GWHamza.jpg

GWsidepath.jpg

GW7.jpg

Sadly, beyond this point was marked off as too dangerous, we saw someone else up there somehow. We heard we could give the guards some money to get through... But, we used our heads this time and decided not to.
GW6.jpg

We left our mark among 1000's of others:
Wallwriting.jpg

The following are when we are heading back into town, down the mountain -- I stayed behind to take some pictures of the river, which had some beautiful water.
RiverBridge2.jpg

Across the river:
GWlandscape2.jpg
GWlandscape3.jpg

Dinner:
Dinner2.jpg

Enjoy!

Part 3 coming soon.

Posted by Tims.Travels 21:54 Comments (0)

Simatai - The Great Wall (Pt. 1)

Well, I've got a lot of photos, so I'm going to do this in parts just so I can get something up here for everyone to look at. The pictures are more or less in chronological order.

Friday morning we set off from Erwai after finding our driver, Mr. Li. The drive was about 3 hours in a hot van sitting in traffic, but after 2 and a half hours the drive became a nice scenic drive the mountains. Mr Li however, treated his van like a go-cart and beeped at oncoming turns that bent around the mountain side to ward off other vehicles. An interesting experience to say the least

When we made it to Simatai a few hours before dark and wasted no time searching for places to sleep. We finally found the perfect hostel hidden away behind a big billboard and down a hill. We stopped here for the night, went out and found the 'fancy' hostel up at the top of the village and ate some overpriced, mediocre food though. No problem, its China and food is cheap. After drinking a watery beer each, we started to walk up the exit path from the Great Wall just to explore before dark. We got about half way up in time to see the sunset to the left, the Great Wall to the right, and a river running through the middle. We took a semi-dangerous climb up the side of part of a mountain and took in the view for a little while. There is something really interesting about how time works in a smaller village like Simatai. The only times that matter are day and night. Things are on in the daytime and off at night. When it was dark we returned to our hostel to find that the lady who rented us the room was cooking dinner. Well, we couldn't just turn up some of the most traditional food we'll get to try. So, we got everything ... a big bowl of some sort of stewed chicken in a sauce, a plate of fish (who were caught by the landlord's daughter that day I believe), two plates of some lightly fried veggies, and a plate of this amazing flat bread that she had just fried from dough twenty minutes before. Well, we each drank a beer or two and went to sleep.

The next morning, we paid the woman to make us breakfast, which was a big plate of some sort of chinese noodles, in brown sauce (everything in China has brown sauce). We then met up with our driver/tour guide Mr. Li and jumped on the sky tram up the mountain. The tram was great, but the problem was it only got us up half the mountain, the next bit was to be taken by foot. The trick was, however, that after about 200 meters up walking up steep, winding paths, they have a new train to take you up the rest of the way if you pay as much as you did for the tram. We are men, so we took the hard way up. After about 9 breaks or so... We made it to the top.

I'm going to save the rest of this story for the next update I think, that way it'll go along with the pictures!

Here are some shots from the roof of our hostel (using the rusty re-welded ladder to get up):

This is to the rear of the hostel, there is a river flowing behind it from left to right.
buildingswall.jpg

This is just a guy I saw, *click*:
farmer.jpg

Besjan on the roof. This is to the left of the first picture, and the best view ever:
besjanwall.jpg

This guy lived with the family who rented us the room.
Manwall.jpg

Something to clarify, much of Simatai is commercialized now for tourism, somehow we got to stay in one of the few untouched areas.

Simatai as we're walking up the exit path of the Great Wall-

simataisign.jpg

girldam.jpg

boat.jpg

Greatwall1.jpg

greatwall3edit.jpg

greatwall4.jpg

greatwall5.jpg

Look carefully, see the man in white?
greatwall6.jpg

greatwall7.jpg

greatwall8.jpg

This is a zip line hooked up just below the lowest point of the Great Wall and it takes you all the way across the river below it.
zipline.jpg

sunset.jpg

Next update, up to the Great Wall--
airtram.jpg

Posted by Tims.Travels 06:05 Comments (0)

The back streets of a Beijing slum

Okie dokie -- Sorry I haven't had an update lately. To be honest, up until this past weekend, I haven't been doing much other than studying and enjoying myself.

However, Hamza and I want on a little adventure a while back and found ourselves in the middle of a slum neighborhood (which apparently is also a bit dangerous -- other than some of the dogs we came across that weren't too friendly).

Dogs:

dog2.jpg

Dog1.jpg

Scavenger.jpg

There isn't much graffiti in China, but where there is, its usually pretty cool looking. I think I'm going to go on a hunt for graffiti with my camera sometime.
Graffiti.jpg

Some random (and mean) chickens:
Chickens.jpg

Every street and alley in this area had this certain atmosphere and feel. Maybe it was the fact that foreigners don't usually see this kind of area. But, whatever it was, it was a good experience.
Alleyway2.jpg

Alleyway1.jpg

Kids.jpg

Up next is Simatai -- Coming (hopefully) within the next day or two.

Posted by Tims.Travels 20:42 Comments (0)

A bit of my Birthday (Apr 9)

Just a few pictures, I'll describe it a bit, but I'm late for dinner, bye!

pinkloftentrance.jpg
pinkloftentrance2.jpg
tablepinkloft.jpg
pinkloftsoup.jpg
pinkloft2.jpg
barbalcony.jpg

Posted by Tims.Travels 03:18 Comments (0)

A Day at the Zoo

Welcome to the Beijing Zoo!
This is not at all an uncommon site in Beijing, the parents basically encourage it. Sidewalks, parks, anywhere.
middleofzoo.jpg
Lots of blow up thingies near the entrance.
souvenirs.jpg
In Florida, I do my best to be exposed to the sun as much as possible. People here do the opposite. They've even got skin whitening creams.
umbrella.jpg
tree.jpg
tiredkitty.jpg
rooftree.jpg
A family having a nice picnic in the perfect spot.
picnic.jpg
leopardwall.jpg
Lucky lighting with this Crested Pigeon. The eye color is real and quite impressive.
crestedpigeon.jpg
couple.jpg
This panda looked great, and obviously had a lot of food. There was another panda which I didn't photograph, who appeared to be in horrible condition. Though, it could have been just really old. Then again, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be cared for just as much. I didn't see any food in it's enclosure and it was rocking back and forth in front of the door where the food comes from like he/she was crazy. It was a bit creepy and very sad.
pandaBW.jpg
Peter, Cindy, and Besjan:
cindypeterbesjanpanda.jpg
peterhamza.jpg
This third panda was the Olympic sponsored panda, I think. Looks pretty comfy!
sleepingpanda.jpg
This is inside the 3rd panda's building. Full of souvenirs and ice cream.
takingabreak1.jpg
One of my favorite pictures so far:
cat.jpg
arches.jpg
Sadly, the aquarium was closed. Next time I go back I'll get over to it first and get some pictures.
aquarium.jpg

The zoo was nice at first, but I really began to hate it after a while:

I plan to return to the zoo to photograph more of the following, hopefully I can send them out somewhere, to a society, or some group who can do something about it. At least send them to the zoo and complain. This kind of stuff makes me sick.

dontfeedthebears.jpg
bearclose.jpg
Look carefully and you can see a chunk of some hot dog looking meat being thrown down.
trashfeedingbears.jpg
trashfeedingbears2.jpg
trashfeedingbears3.jpg
Beer, Coca Cola, candy, etc. One jack-off threw a rock, I yelled at him... But, I should have thrown him down to the bear.
trashfeedingbears4.jpg

The big cats weren't treated well either. The bigger cages were still too small, but full of trash that people were probably throwing at the animals. Inside, the big cats were stuck in tiny cages, like those you'd see back in the 60's in America.

tiger1.jpg
Sadly, this one came out blurry.
tigerbars.jpg

Posted by Tims.Travels 22:50 Comments (0)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 24) « Page 1 [2] 3 4 5 »