The great wall…its big

The Great Wall of China is rightfully called one of the great wonders of the world. That is if you can find a bit that is not swamped with American tourists noisily commenting with their usual wit on everyone and everything in 50 meters.  Possibly while simultaneously trying to buy something from one of the army of street vendors that colour the wall, not speaking a word of mandarin and assuming that the vendor will understand them if they move closer and shout even louder.  As the vendor just stands there smiling not understanding what is being said but knowing that they can safely charge 5 times the normal price and their oh so culturally sensitive customer will still think its cheap.

Luckily I and the rest of the project trust volenteers managed to avoid such a experience by going to what is known as the “wild” wall. That is a part of the wall which is not maintained for tourist reasons. Granted it was a two hour journey from Beijing, followed by a overnight stay in a small village plus a 40 minute climb up a mountain that became increasingly vertical as you reached the top, in 33 degree humid heat causing everyone’s shirt to be soaked with sweat to the degree that it could be wrung out of our t-shirts (there is a reason as to why everyone in the photo’s has their shirts off).  However this is a small price to pay in order to see the Great Wall as it should be seen, a stunning historical monument not a farcical theme park.

Those various barriers ensured that we where the only ones who where on that part of the wall. It is quite impossible to genuinely describe what its like to be on that wall…so i won’t i just hope that the pictures speak for themselves 

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Beijing: The Boris Johnson of the East

First up i would like to present the latest hat style found on hotter days in Beijing, hope you enjoy.

In any case I’ve just spent 2 out of 4 days in Beijing on what Is a rather free and refreshingly lax sightseeing tour. Project trust feels quite rightfully so that this is a gentler landing into your new home for the year rather than lobbing you head first into your project as the often unprepared devil foreigner that you are. In any case Beijing is mad as a city, literally and metaphorically. The Chinese had garnered a PR image as one of immense tranquillity, unity and self-control. Everything is carefully ordered and structured and follows Continue reading