It's the Climb -- Beijing Badaling Great Wall and Tiananmen Square Travelogue
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It's the Climb

So, if anyone says to you, you should climb the Great Wall, imagine climbing. It is literal. A stroll this is not. In fact, they offer medals (for sale, of course, because that's what they do in China!). I EARNED one. Through the howling, frigid winds, and slippery steps I was the only one on my bus to conquer the walk. I imagine that in the warm weather it would be a pleasant, scenic hike. But in mid-winter, it is a feat.

I arrived in Badaling after lunch at the government sponsored jade factory. Nothing was cheap or unique there. I love precious stones, if only to look at them, but even I couldn't find anything especially appealing as a memorabilia. I think I will settle for something fake (oops! with a little less quality, I mean) back in town at a flea market.

My day started with a phone call at 7:30a.m. I had had an early breakfast just in case I couldn't find anything I recognized as food during the day. I wondered why we had to show up at the Forbidden City with about 20 minutes to wait for the gate to open. It could easily have been 20F and the sun was weak. I was not in a mood to make friends because I was too cold, but there were some very nice Filipinos who chatted me up. Then one American road warrior offered to take my pictures if I took his.

This "City" is old and not short on details. If you are into art history, you might enjoy the walk through. I was able to get closer to his rooms than I did to these long, unused ones. (Did that come out right?). Anyway, you are several yards from anything you would desire to touch. In fact, you are outside for the whole walk through. So my photos reflect the little I could catch and the interesting details that excited me---like roof lines.

As we exited the South Gate, my wandering mind could not resist looking for a path to Tiananmen Square, but there was none. We were separated by a broad avenue. "Looka, looka", there was a subway We descended and ascended through a security check point and out onto the large gathering space. I love self-empowerment. I could easily have been in that university crowd so many years ago. However, the significant honor at the site is dedicated to China's fallen soldiers of their many wars. The Square is flanked by the China History Museum and the Hall of the People. I decided then that Beijing was worth the trip.

As we walked away from the hub of the Square, I got my answer to my first question of the day. There were thousands of other people who had decided that that was the day to visit T Square, and I seriously would not have joined the lines to get in at that point. I said as much to the trip coordinator and thanked her profusely.

Our interim stop was at a silk factory where we met a savvy sales man who told us all about the process of making silk and then tried to sell us a wide range of silk products. Some were very beautiful. Again, the best looking things cost quite a bit. I picked out something for the kids and put away my wallet.

We were off to Badaling and a climb I will long remember.

>>> Post by Joey from United States of America

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Beijing Badaling Great Wall Tours

Badaling Great Wall & Ming Tombs Small Group Tour Cool  --- from US$26
As a Chinese proverb goes, 'If not been on the Great Wall, not a great man.' On this full-day tour, you will climb the Badaling Great Wall, visit Ming Tombs unbeatable Beijing Coach tour package, Departure daily.

Badaling Great Wall & Summer Palace Small Group Tour  --- from US$31
This one-day bus tour includes visits to the most famous section of the great wall + royal garden. Departure: daily.

Badaling Great Wall & Summer Palace Private Day Tour  --- from US$55
Badaling Great Wall, the most popular site, Summer Palace is the largest imperial garden of Qing dynasty, enjoy this one day private tour package.

Badaling Great Wall & Temple of Heaven 1 Day Private Tour  --- from US$56
Badaling Great Wall, the most popular site, The Temple of Heaven is located in southern Beijing. It is included in the UNESCO world heritage list in 1998. With an area of 2.7 million square meters, it is the largest of its kind in the country, enjoy this one day private tour package.

Badaling Great Wall and Ming Tombs (Changling) Private Day Tour Cool  --- from US$57
Valuable one day private tour package covers the trip to the Badaling Great Wall, Ming Tomb (Changling Tomb) and Olympic Stadium (exterior visit) enjoy your own car or van with your own tour guide and driver.

Badaling Great Wall & Underground Palace (Dingling - Ming Tombs) Private Day Tour  --- from US$58
Private tour package covers the trip to the Badaling Great Wall, Underground Palace (Dingling - Ming Tombs) and Olympic Stadium (exterior visit) enjoy your own car or van with your own tour guide and driver.

Badaling Great Wall, Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City Private Day Tour  --- from US$60
This 1 day private tour covers the trip to the most popular sites of Badaling Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and Fobidden City, enjoy your own car or van with your own tour guide and driver.

Badaling Great Wall and Hutong Private Day Tour  --- from US$60
This 1 day private tour covers the trip to Badaling Great Wall, the most popular site and to the hutong to explore the real life of ordinary people in Beijing.

Badaling Great Wall and Mutianyu Great Wall Private Day Tour  --- from US$62
This is the good choice of Great Wall fans, one day tour covers the sights of Badaling Great Wall and Mutianyu Great Wall.

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