Great Wall of China


Monday was Great Wall of China day…Forbidden City & the Great Wall of China were the two places in Beijing that my dad and I had talked about being MOST excited about. I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of POURING rain and I started to get a little worried that it was going to rain during our time on the Great Wall. I fell back asleep and woke up to a cloudy, but non-rainy morning and was relieved that we wouldn’t be walking through rain drops our whole day. Travel luck had been granted to us for sure!  Our tour guide came to pick us up and we drove to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall – we had heard that this tended to be less crowded and was a beautiful section of the wall and it certainly was! We were one of the first 10 cars in the parking lot, so we had definitely made a good decision to come early. We got on the cable car and started our trip up to the Great Wall.

You might not be able to read this but it says that the Dalai Lama rode in this exact cable car!

This is the view from the cable car – it was very cloudy from the rain as you can tell in this photo…

Family Group shot on the Great Wall – SO COOL!

The views along the Great Wall were great (obviously – it’s named the Great Wall) – it was hard to believe we were there in person.

During the day, the clouds came in and out – in this picture the clouds were out in full force, but you can see the Great Wall from one of the windows on the Guard Post

Funny Great Wall pics – my mom and dad are standing straight up and down if you can believe it!

What they forget to mention is that you have not avoided the all of stairs by taking the cable car…this section of the wall is not a leisurely stroll. In fact, there is an extremely steep section of the Wall where you go up a lot of steps to get to the top. We were up for the challenge, though, and headed that direction – straight up!

This was a rough walk up this super steep part of the wall but it was fun to do it together!

Ryan had already headed up the wall – he was the only person at the top of those steps for some time until a group got there before my dad and I did…he was able to get a shot of my dad and I walking up the stairs…the fact that we’re so small in the picture should tell you just how high up it is – especially since this was taken when we were at the half way point. I am so proud of all of us because we made it to the very top!

My dad’s orange shirt makes us easy to spot

We all made it to the top!

At this look out, the trail continues but there is a sign that says, “NO Visitors Allowed” – our tour guide had told us that you could continue but it’s at your own risk. So…Ryan and I decided that we should continue walking for a little bit. My mom and dad stayed at the look out to bask in the glory of making it to the top and relax a bit while we trekked on. It was incredible to keep going because we were the ONLY people on the wall. It was amazing to be on such a marvel of the world together and have no one else around! We also walked on the original steps of the wall which was really cool!

Great Wall Standing Straight

This was the end of the section of the Wall that we walked…

The photographer scoping out the Great Wall…

And here’s his Great Shot! 

Hiking the Great Wall was my favorite part of my time in China…it’s just such an incredible experience and the size of it is amazing! I was so happy that we could make those memories as a family!

Afterwards, our guide took us to a local restaurant nearby and the food was great! We had pork and chestnuts (the chestnuts were grown freshly in the mountains that we had just been hiking around) and then rainbow trout which was caught fresh & grilled up and then we also had some local greens. It was certainly a local meal and it was well deserved after our long hike up all of the stairs on the Great Wall!

Our friend had told us about a place where they make special pots near the Great Wall, so our tour guide took us there. The tour was really interesting because they put so much time and effort into each of these and they are hand crafted. They put on several layers (seven layers, to be exact) with copper, paint, and gold…they walked us through the whole process – it was really interesting! We ended up taking a pot home ourselves that has a dragon and a phoenix on it which they told us represents a happy marriage.

Step 1: Copper Pot

The girls glue on the design with thick copper wiring

After painting them, they put them in the kiln

The ones on the crate are fresh out of the kiln and the ones on the left have already cooled into their final colors – so beautiful!

Afterwards, we ran into one of the markets in Beijing – it was huge! Seven stories of stalls and stalls of markets. We got a couple of souvenirs and then headed back to our hotel. We spent the rest of the night playing cards in the courtyard which was the perfect end to such a great day! We really enjoyed all of the time we had spent with my parents and were glad we could have some good old fashioned family competition by playing Hearts.

Sadly, the next morning we had to say good bye to my parents as they headed off to their next Chinese adventure in Jiuzhaigou (they said it was absolutely incredible!) All in all, it was so great to see my parents and even better getting to make fun and exciting memories in China! We headed back home to Korea (it still feels weird to call that home…sometimes I just can’t believe that we’re living in Asia but it is really a great experience!).

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  • Willa

    Dear Erin & Ryan

    I couldn’t find your email address or phone number here, as I want to show you sth related to your travelogue. Would you get back to me when you have time, so I can write it in detail, or even give you a call? Thank you so much. Appreciate that!


One Response to Great Wall of China

  1. Willa says:

    Dear Erin & Ryan

    I couldn’t find your email address or phone number here, as I want to show you sth related to your travelogue. Would you get back to me when you have time, so I can write it in detail, or even give you a call? Thank you so much. Appreciate that!


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