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A Great Day Out

View Round the World on shoestring's travel map.

Since arriving in Beijing we'd been targeted by people selling tours to the Great Wall. It was definitely something we wanted to see, but in the end we decided to get there independently and so took a train from Beijing North station to Badaling, a 3.7km section of wall that has undergone significant restoration.

On boarding the train we were immediately impressed by the amount of legroom, and the reason why was soon apparent. At one station during the hour-long journey the train left in the same direction it came so all the forward-facing seats were now backwards. Everyone immediately got up, pressed a lever underneath their blocks of two or three seats, and swivelled them 180 degrees so they were facing the front again - brilliant!

The Great Wall was amazing. It was busy with other tourists so hard to make progress in places, but it was an unforgettable experience.



At the highest point a young Chinese man came up to us, gestured towards our camera, and asked, 'Can I take your photo?'. We did want a picture of both of us but were a little wary of accepting his offer. Nevertheless we said yes. To our surprise, rather than take our camera, he pulled out his own and handed it to a passer-by, who took a photograph of the three of us.

Generally we haven't felt like we've stood out or attracted special attention, and there have been many other Westerners in Beijing. However, there is clearly still something a little exotic about being a Westerner in China.

Posted by shoestring 06:54 Archived in China Tagged people train china great wall badaling

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Fantastic photos. The great wall is on my wish list of places to see. What a great experience. Interesting about Chinese man. It’s such a pity we live in a world where we have to be so wary. I am pleased he was just being friendly. Looking forward to photos of the terracotta army. Another one for my wish list.
Loads of love Mum xxxx

by Hazel Eldridge

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