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Published: July 26th 2015
We've made it to Jiayuguan, the mouth of China and the westernmost point of the Great Wall.
This is the 2nd of our slightly longer stops, this time for it's longer for immigration reasons. We're going to be in China for ~40 days so need to extend our visas which are only valid for 30. This is a fairly straightforward, if Big Brotherish, process that works much more smoothly and quickly in small towns than big cities, that was certainly our experience here - applied on Tuesday afternoon picked up new visas Friday morning, we're now OK until late August.
The sights here are a mixed bag. The Wei Jin Tombs are smallest and least popular but were our favourite, while the two biggest and most crowded - the Jiayuguan Fort and the Overhanging Great Wall were far less interesting, over-restored (actually completely rebuilt, or even newly built), tacky, and heavily commercialised. The actual end of the wall itself was a mixture of the two. Standing in front of the unrestored First Beacon Platform and sections of the original wall gave us a real sense of place, history and atmosphere. That was more than enough for us to overlook
the Disneyfication of so much else around here.
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