29.10.2012 13 °C
We had been to the Great Wall twice, both times as part of the packaged tour. And they tend to take you to the popular Badaling section because it's the most well maintained section of the Great Wall. It's also the closest to Beijing (for the same reason that it's the best maintained section).
We decided to go to see a different section of the Great Wall, one that not too crowded and more original. Jinshanling Great Wall fits the bill.
The temperature of Beijing plunged from the early 20 °C in the last 2 day to 12 °C today. This came 1 day early to signal the start of winter.
The drive started at 8am from our hotel to Jingshaling took about 2 hours. It begun to drizzle when we left the hotel. We arrived about 10am, hazy weather made the visibility rather low. As we got up the top after a cable car ride, most of the mountain was covered in fog. While it's atmospheric to look at, most of the Great Wall was shrouded in it.
There were only a few local tourists; most are laowai (or foreigners). Being Monday probably had something to do with this too. This way you could take photos of the Great Wall, and the mountains, and not at the Chinese "people mountain, people sea" (人山人海 borrowing a Chinese expression). Not that it isn't a spectacle in itself. But if you like a quiet atmosphere in China, this is perhaps 1 of the very few tourist spots left. So get it fast while it lasts. In the whole 3-hour climb, I saw less than 50 tourists altogether. A rare sight in more
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