Seriously, temperatures of -11 C and freezing winds do not make for enjoyable sightseeing.
In spite of this though I still did my best to see the top sites, as well as having a night out, which I refuse to believe was a factor in me catching a disgusting cold which meant I was out for the count when 2011 began.
The great wall was a highlight of the trip, with the journey getting there as a low-point. The faithful Lonely Planet telling you to ‘get a 919 from the station’ failed to mention that all buses are 919s, some with secondary numbers as well which means they go to different destinations. Even of the pure 919s they still don’t all go to the same place! Add to this a nation which has the poorest grasp of English I’ve encountered and 2 travellers who have only learnt how to say hello and thank you in Chinese and it took us 3.5 hours, one dash across a motorway and a few aggressive words with persistent taxi drivers trying to convince us that the buses were no longer running before we got there. It was well worth it though as it was a startlingly bright day and you could see the wall snaking off for miles over the mountains.
China has been a great point in the trip so far; I’ve seen a kung fu show and been to the opera, tried loads of new food, visited beautiful countryside, parks and ancient sites and walked around sprawling cities.
A quick flight and I’ll be in Japan, our last stop in Asia. Can’t wait to see some Takeshi’s Castle!
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