Matsimitsu

Day Two

China - The Great Wall of China & Emperors Tomb


At 8 o clock your private tour guide and driver pulled up to the hotel parking lot. Today the plan is to visit the Great Wall of China and a few other historic sites.

Beijing

The first three days of this trip we spent in Beijing, visiting various attractions.

Yesterday we visited the Temple of Heaven, just south of our hotel next to the Forbidden City.

Today we're on a guided tour to the Juyong Pass to see the Great Wall of China. After the wall, we're going to see the Ming Dynasty Tombs.

Tomorrow, we're going to the "main" attractions of the city, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.

Temple of Heaven Juyong Pass Forbidden City Summer Palace Ming Dynasty Tombs
View of the Great Wall of China

Juyong Pass

It's already 25 degrees and the sun is out in full force. The stairs turn out to be incredibly steep and there's not a great amount of shade. The tour guide opted to stay near the car and gave us an hour to an hour and a half to wander around. Our (self-imposed) mission was to see how far we could make it up the wall.

Looking down to the Great Wall of China Watch tower at the Great Wall of China
View towards Beijing from the Great Wall of China
Window at the Great Wall of China Window at the Great Wall of China
Looking down from the Great Wall of China

As we climb higher up the wall, the crowds start to diminish. Most only make it to the first tower before heading back. Eventually we're all alone on the wall.

View down the valley from the Great Wall of China
Looking down to the valley from the Great Wall of China Top of the Great Wall of China
Valley view from the Great Wall of China

In the distance you can see the outskirts of Beijing.

Valley view from the Great Wall of China Stair view from the Great Wall of China

We finally made it to the top! It took a good hour to climb this far.

Watchtower view from the Great Wall of China House on the Great Wall of China View down the Great Wall of China

The great wall and tours

This was our first time in Asia, and also the first time booking tours, which we did on, I believe, TripAdvisor.

The tour took us to the Great Wall and to the Ming Dynasty Tombs, wich lunch in between (at what can only be described as a giftshop with food, though the food was great!). And I believe we did a Tea Ceremony at the end.

The "problem" with these tours is mostly they want you to buy things, but being at the start of a month-long trip, we didn't feel like dragging more weight along on day one.

There Great Wall is... great, which means there are many places to see/visit it and the one we booked isn't necessarily the most beautiful spot you can see from Beijing.

If you're planning to see the wall I'd recommend doing a bit of research to see what options to see the wall are available and what to book.

For example I'd love to have done this tour by Claire. Then again, I'm still quite happy with what we say and it's a great reason to go back some day :).

Looking up to the Great Wall of China Village at the bottom of the Great Wall of China
Cannon at the Great Wall of China Gate tower at the Great Wall of China

From across the river you can see the various lookout/signal towers.

Water crossing at the Great Wall of China Watch and signal towers at the Great Wall of China

There's a nice quiet temple(?) at the bottom, nice to catch our breath before we headed to the next destination.

Temple building at the Great Wall of China
Prairs with red string at a temple at the Great Wall of China Red strings at the Great Wall of China
Red strings hanging from trees at the Great Wall of China

Ming Dynasty Tombs

After getting dinner we head out to visit the next site. The Ming Dynasty Tombs. Depending on the mood of your tour guide, you can either start at the tombs, or at the other end, called The Spirit Way. One of the few places of the emperor wasn't carried but had to walk himself.

Gate house at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing Path towards the Emperors Tomb in Beijing

The "Way" is lined with various animals, either sitting or standing.

Stone standing Elephant at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing
Stone animal at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing Stone Elephant at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing
Gate at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing

The spirit walk is the first part of making our way to the Tomb of China's first emperor.

Building at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing Building at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing Red carpet between buildings at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing

Changling Tomb

Open for public, the main building of the Changling Tomb building houses a museum and a Copper Statue of Emperor Zhu Di. Among the 16 emperors of the Ming Dynasty, he made the greatest impact on History

During his reign, the Ming empire reached it's peak. After his demise, another 12 tombs were build for the emperors after him, but this one is the best preserved.

Statue of emperor at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing
Inside the the Emperors Tomb in Beijing Museum pieces at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing
View outside from the Emperors Tomb in Beijing

We're at the right place!

Tourist stop at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing
Buildingt at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing Guards guarding door at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing

Behind the main building lies the actual Tomb, you can take a path up the tomb for a nice view.

Building with ancient relics at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing Look up the stairs towards a tower at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing View from above at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing

Inside the tomb, you can see the grave.

Stone with scripted text with child running past at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing Scripted stone at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing
View from above at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing

After a bathroom break it was time to head back to the city.

Toilets at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing Corner of building at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing
Wide paved path lined with trees at the Emperors Tomb in Beijing

Beijing Olympic Pool

The (obligatory) tea ceremony took place near the Olympic Pool, which was in the news all the time. We took a small detour to see it in person.

Olympic swimming pool in Beijing

Yep.. That's a pool! After the detour we went back to our hotel for dinner and a nice relaxing evening in the gardens of the hotel.

Street next to Olympic swimming pool in Beijing