A True Man is someone who comes to China alone, don’t rely himself on any tour guides or translators, but he comes forward himself and struggle from being lost in translation.. yeah, I tried that. -Kleopas Danang.
On the second day of my visit, I intentionally set today as the only day for Great Wall journey. I woke up late at 8.30 as I actually had planned to wake up at 6 am so I could climb the Great Wall early. I was heading immediately to the bus stop (Deshengmen bus stop) to catch the 919 bus as what I had read on the online travel guide. Apparently, I was kinda tricked when I was about boarded the bus, and they said the bus didn’t go to Badaling. I wasn’t told by the Bus Company Supervisor, since there’s a language barrier, and I didn’t know who they were whom telling me and the other tourists that there were no bus available to Badaling that day, I wasn’t trusting them easily. I thought they’d just fooled us and wanted us to rent their car service for 150 yuan per day! I refused them without any hesitation. There were two Korean Tourists as well with me, and they also refused. I suggested them to come with me by train, but there’s another problem which was the train schedule that only available at 13:19 pm. The two Korean tourists decided not to go with me, and they wanted to go on the following day.
I went to Beijing Bei (Beijing North Railway Station) and finally purchased the ticket. It’s cheap only 17 yuan one way. I bought it with a question “Isn’t that too late?” “How should I come back from there if the train back to Beijing is only available at 19:30?” I saved those questions and only thinking that Great Wall is my destination, I came here for Great Wall, whatever it takes, I must go for it.
Beijing Zoo Entrance
In order to kill time, I returned to Xizhimen Station and headed to Beijing Zoo. I last reminded of Panda another attractions I must see. Beijing Zoo, is a great great great zoo complex that collects mostly animals from around the worlds. You will find many animals here and watching their cute attractions. The weather gets really hot during my visit, I kept survive walking to see Panda. When I entered the Giant Panda gate, I must’ve felt a bit upset since the Pandas were sleeping! Many visitors have been anticipating for the Panda to wake up, I waited down her trees for 30 minutes until I lastly remembered of Panda’s sleeping time.. Actually the Panda finally woke up only to change her sleeping positions. Oh gosh they are just sooo cute! I wish I could pet them in my house.
The Sleeping Panda
I almost missed my train when I realised I only had 45 minutes left to catch my train. Damn! visiting zoo during your waiting hours ain’t worthed. Absolutely.It was extremely hot and I had to run a few blocks away to subway station, transfer and run again to the railway station. The platform was also far indeed since I entered the wrong platform and had to run chasing the train. When I entered the train, the train door closed. How lucky I am. I was stunned seeing the train that I paid for was actually clean and comfortable.
I sat next to the two Chinese tourists, a mother and son whom the son, whose name is Park, have lived in Japan for 10 years, so he actually spoke English quiet good. I was excited that I met new friends and two new climbing friends.. I slept during my journey and awakened when we’re approaching the mountain.
Great Wall, I finally step on my feet for the first time! Great Wall is just amazing and you can just see how the Wall is made for centuries in 6000 kilometers! UNESCO has recognized this Wall as the World’s Heritage and Seven Wonders in the world. I entered the Great Wall from Badaling point which is the most popular point for tourists as its close distance from Beijing. Badaling point has encountered many restorations and renovation for tourists convenience. You actually can take cable car to see the whole Great Wall complex without a climb, but there’s no challenge at all.
Great Wall suddenly lost my grumpiness and exhaustion. Park and I walked the climb instead, and I’ve been drinking water a lot. The heat and air pressure made me dehydration easily, so basically a bottle must be in my hand. The platform of the Great Wall is made of stones, slippery and climbing stages are very steep. Most tourists are averagely only able to finish until the third tower. It’s completely exhausting as you need spend one day without anything before Great Wall by collecting energy. Since it’s only a short visit and I had spent lots of energy, I’d only made to the third tower.
Posing with Park, the new friend!
The journey on foot to the third tower took for 1 hour 10 minutes, and usually the way back is shorter as you just need to walk decline. We left the Great Wall at 5 pm and returned back in Beijing at 7:00 pm by Bus 919. The journey by bus consumed more time as traffic jam in Beijing Ring Road Highway during peak hours.
Once I came back to the hotel, I suddenly remembered my appointment with my friend in Wangfujing at 7:00 pm. If I had dreamed to sleep afterward, I should’ve not done it since my friends have been waiting there. So, quick bath and another walk to the station and going back to Wangfujing. The meeting point is the Mc Donalds, and my friends have been waiting for 2 hours. (should she understood and forgave me 😀 ) I felt guilty more than ever, but the Great Wall trip has made me lost my mind for a bit, even though it was exciting.
My friend took her other Indonesian friends. Oh wow, apparently there are so many Indonesian students study in Beijing already. Most of them are taking Mandarin class, probably as their concern that Mandarin language is very important too these days. Not for me (still) I found it’s hard to speak their language. My friend took me to a small street near the Wangfujing where many of them selling stuff. Including the extreme foods.
Skewer style foods are also common in China, not only in Indonesia or Malaysia we have satay, and in here i found many beef skewers seller, octopus, and not to mention the extreme foods such as scorpions, star fish, geekos, and other ‘eew’ stuff. This is very interesting to catch up with even though I never had any will to try any of them. When I look closer to the skewers, the animals are still alive actually. Especially the scorpions which I made me down to my nerves. Besides the extreme foods, I also tried the Fruit Caramelized, My friend bought the apple and grapes skewers. They look cute actually, but speaking of the taste? its optional. My friend liked it, but I did not.
We spent hours til midnight in Wangfujing, and since it’s Saturday night, everybody went out, and the later plaza gets more alive. This is what i like traveling to Asia cities, it’s more alive than any western countries that I’ve visited. When you come to Asia, you’ll find the lovely and engaging night lives, something you won’t miss and you won’t forget. 🙂