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first backpacking trip

Beijing, the Great Wall, and the start of Hong Kong

CHINA | Thursday, 16 October 2014 | Views [358] | Comments [1]

So were in Beijing! And our hotel is absolutely incredible and of course Matt and I stand out like sore thumbs walking in with our backpacks and rubby clothes. We have a suite all to ourselves, complete with smart technology. Push a button to open the blinds, turn all the lights on at once, and a two person soaker tub. The works! When first arriving here we literally just enjoyed this hotel. I know our time is short here but we've been roughing it for a while and really needed to savour the luxery. That being said we def got around Beijing in the short time we had. Thank god I got orthotics the old woman I am now. First on the list was to get McDonalds which luckily was right across from our hotel. I must say it sure tasted good after not having any fast food for a solid month! So good in fact we actually got another meal lol. Giving into the stereotype North Americans over eat I'm sure. So the first day we went to the forbidden palace, tiananemen square, and the Lama temple. The forbidden palace as our luck would have it was closed the day we went. But we did get to see the outside and the moat around it. The square you had to wait in a huge line to get into but once you were in it wasn't so bad. Coming up to the forbidden city we approached the gate which most people see when they see Beijing on TV. The mausoleum of Chairman Mao. Sorry people if you want to know who he is you'll have to google it because I honestly can't remember and we didn't have a guided tour lol. The Lama temple is the biggest Buddhist monastery outside of Tibet and houses many statues, silk sanskrit writings and painted silk. When you walk in you are gassed pretty hard with incense as they are lit when people pray. You literally can see smoke coming from the temple so many are lit. The statues are mostly made of solid gold and are forms of the many different Buddhas there are.

The next day we did the Mutianyu side of the Great Wall. We've obviously been off for too long because getting off at 6 was near impossible for us and we practically dragged our asses out of bed. Luckily it takes 1.5 hours to get there so I pretty much napped the whole way. Which was ok because the ride there is all sky scrapers. Its only when you start to get about 20 from the Great Wall do all the buildings start to disappear and more scenic nature takes place. Upon arriving its literally like your in Whistler. The Whistler village that is with all the shops and cafe's. You don't see the Great Wall at first because its so high about you right on top of the mountain. At first I was thinking how the fuck am I going to climb this but then was informed there is a cable car. Yaaaaay for me lol. Only this thing isn't a cable car, its more of a ski chair lift! Something I'm totally freaked out about. Your feet pretty much dangle down high above the ground while nothing but a little bar is the only thing keeping you from falling to your death! and its like your seated on a park bench. Literally to me it was pretty sketchy looking. It doesn't stop either your supposed to hop on and off, another thing I hate! But once your up there the beauty of you surroundings soon make you forget your fears and as you approach the top the Great Wall appears before you and takes your breath away, and you cant help feeling omg am I seriously here right now!! You can spend a ton of hours up there hiking, Matt and I just did our section and came down which took around 3 hours. Once you do one part though most of it just looks like stairs. Stairs so steep that when you at the top looking over the edge you cant see the bottom step! Some steps are short, while others are like 2 stairs but together. They lead up to different watch towers which if your not careful the archways you will definitely bang your head off of. I almost did several times. Some of the towers you can climb additional stairs to the roof and get a better look at the scenery around you.

Because of the fall we had some nice foilage, but for the most part everything was so lush and green. We were lucky because we got our lazy asses up we were literally the first people to arrive. It was like having it all to ourselves! We feel this definitely made up for us missing the forbidden city. One thing I couldn't believe though was as people were coming what they were wearing. I know I'm not the most prepared or best dressed for the occasion kind of person but what these people were wearing was unreal! For example the asian women and men were dressed semi formal, some with heels! Which is mind blowing because in hiking boots I almost rolled my ankles on those old stairs several times! Even some of the foreigners were dressed in jeans and nice shirts. For once I was the more prepared of the bunch. When you get to where you want to finish another thing I didn't know was that you can take a german made toboggan down a stainless steel shoot. Like they do in the Olympics but only steel. I think its called the Luge. No idea. Either way scary! At least one good thing is that you can control some what how fast your going. Matt says I drive like a girl but I don't care. I was so scared of sliding off the track coming down the mountain. Once we made it down there were 2 men dressed like old soldiers. Who pretty much forced us into submission to take pics then wanted us to pay them like 20 bucks for it! We gave them half but man they don't leave you alone.

So now we're in Hong Kong. The girl were renting from sent us a map of how to get here which didn't get through so it took us 3 hours to arrive. Luckily people in Hong Kong are friendly and we had three people of separate occasions help us out. Hong Kong is very overwhelming. It is how I pictured Tokyo or Beijing being with how many people there are. But Hong Kong is ten times worse. So me and Matt are walking around with our huge bags trying to get into the subway with like a million people around us. Every time the train would stop I'd almost fall over from the weight of my bag and into 20 people. When you get off they come at you from every angle. Its like nothing I've seen. Once we left the subway it was like entering Times Square, which coincidently they call the same thing. Only again times it by 10!! The lights, the stores upon stores, then high rises. Its like your lost in a concrete jungle. Everything is built so close to each other its like there is barely enough room for people and buildings. Again its like nothing I've ever seen.

Tags: beijing, greatwall, hongkong



So freeekin' cool! Keep the adventures coming xoxo

  MamaBear Oct 16, 2014 2:47 AM

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