Our Great Wall Adventure


This was day eleven of our fourteen-day adventure. Thank you for taking time to read.

We arrived at Beijing West Station on time. Our driver, however, wasn’t there yet. The station was quite confusing, but our Beijing contact was very efficient. After thirty minutes, we saw a man waiving a sign that said “David Lim”, going round and round. Finally, we took up the courage to approach him, and true enough, he was Mr. An (安), our driver for that day.

Who was David Lim?

Who was David Lim?

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.28.11

Beijing West Train Station

We already explored various sites in Beijing when we arrived, and we did it without any hired driver. Today, however, was extra special, because we would be visiting the Great Wall of China.

Hiking the Wall

Both Dalvin and I have been to Beijing twice already. The last two times I went there was to perform with Philippine Cultural High School Dance Troupe, and Salinlahi Dance Company, and we also visited the Great Wall.  However, things were a bit different when you were the one organizing and planning things out, rather than being simply led together with a big group.

It was Filbert and George’s first time to be in Beijing, and first time to step on this UNESCO World Heritage site. That day, George’s piano student (who now lives in Beijing), Paula, joined us.

Based on research, we decided to go to the Huang Hua Cheng (黄花城) portion of the great wall. It was said to be the least touristy site, the one with water feature, the one harder to hike. This was why I worked out twice a week (or at least tried to) early this year.

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.28.15 April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.29.11 April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.29.09True enough, when we got there, there was hardly anyone. The entrance to the site was cny2 per person – and only because we would be passing through private property. There was an local lady selling walking sticks, and I bought one for cny5.

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.28.26

There were no trash cans available. Visitors threw their trash everywhere.

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.28.27

Entrance to the wall.

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.28.17 April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.28.20 April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.28.22 April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.28.23

It was an “easy climb” uphill to the wall itself. The wall was the harder part. Steps were uneven, and some parts did not have walls. George and Paula went ahead. Dalvin stopped at the first tower. Fil followed my stop-and-go pace, and took pictures along the way.

Entrance to the wall

Entrance to the wall

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.28.32

It was exhilarating! It was fun! And there were hardly any tourists!

The uneven steps.

The uneven steps.

We were in the great wall!

We were in the great wall!

IMG_3547 IMG_3557 IMG_3748

The only tourists we saw during our hike.

The only tourists we saw during our hike.

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.28.54

Filbert posing with Paula.

Filbert posing with Paula.


Mr. An earlier on parked in front of a restaurant we would have lunch in. He said, he always brought his guests there. The food was good.

This was their rice equivalent. According to the servers, it was a staple in their meal.

This was their rice equivalent. According to the servers, it was a staple in their meal.

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Crispy vegetable

Crispy vegetable

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.29.19

Tofu that tasted a bit like cheese. Hmmm...

Tofu that tasted a bit like cheese. Hmmm…

Noodles with tomato and egg. More like Chinese spaghetti.

Noodles with tomato and egg. More like Chinese spaghetti.

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.29.23

Visiting Ming Tomb (明十三陵)

Normally, I wouldn’t be interested in this at all. But again, it was listed as a UNESCO Heritage site, and Dalvin said it was good. So, we decided to include this on our itinerary.

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.29.35-2

We just visited one out of thirteen tombs.

There were hundreds of tourists on this site. More tourist means less enjoyment for me. We rushed through the important sites, our body already tired.

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.29.51

Tomb of the concubines.

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Tomb of the emperor and his two empress.

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.29.52 April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.29.57

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.29.58

The flight of stairs back up was shorter than the one we went down on.

April 21, 20152015-04-21 12.30.01

A Personal Errand

We paid Mr. An extra for bringing us to a particular Decathlon branch to buy the Easybreath snorkelling mask. In fact, Fil and I needed to shell out extra cny300 for this trip, but it was so worth it. We already tried them out in the pool (when we got back home) and the masks were amazing!

April 21, 20152015-04-21 14.08.34

Nostalgia Hotel (北京时光漫步怀旧主题酒店)

The hotel we stayed at was located in one of the hutongs. That’s the original part of Beijing, and not the tall skyscraper types. It was more like a hostel to me. The room was small yet lovely. Many foreigners stayed there.


Everything was visible. No curtains thick enough to cover.

Everything was visible. No curtains thick enough to cover.


Fil and I enjoyed the uniqueness of our room. You should ask Dalvin and George how they survived this arrangement. 🙂

Calling It a Day

We were very tired that night, so we opted to simply eat at the restaurant beside the hotel (whose name I forgot to take note of). Excellent food, excellent service, and the price reflected it. We ordered a pitcher of juice, two plain rice, one vegetable dish, one pork appetizer, and one bowl of noodles for cny152(php1060). George had piano lessons with Paula, so it was just the three of us.


Two more days, and our journey would be over. I feel a bit, nostalgic?

next adventure coming soon!

To read about our entire travel itinerary, click here.

To read about Lamentations about our Luoyang experiences, click here.

For Beijing tours, contact Qing at www.discoverbeijingtours.com

3 responses »

  1. Pingback: The Old, the New, and Something in Between | Shanda's Happy Deals

  2. Pingback: Luoyang Lamentations | Shanda's Happy Deals

  3. Pingback: Five-City China Trip: Prologue | Shanda's Happy Deals

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