These 2 were the main highlights I went to China for. It was great, but I have a feeling, these won’t be my favorite ones when I finish my trip. China is not only about the Great wall and Beijing, It is mainly about the food and people, national parks and other provinces and they slightly different customs.
Visiting the Great Wall without crowds
I have stayed in Beijing in hostel Leo after reading reviews. I saw many comments for positive experience for the tours. I was in. They took us to the part of the great wall which was almost abandoned 20 km from Badaling (the crowded part), though repaired. No cable car, just stairs and steep stones. I have hiked up these 7 garrisons for about 1 hour and half and it was rewarding view with the wall on both sides.
The wall was built in 282 years. This construction was in terrible working conditions and the emperor gave you 2 options. Either building the wall or fighting on the wall. Mostly both lead to fast death.
Not sure why walking on the wall makes you hero, but our guide told us that. Maybe marketing trick how to bring more people 🙂 I definitely did not feel like hero after 1 hour and half walking. Although i could possibly feel like hero finishing marathon on the great wall, this ups and downs are tough 🙂
Zhangye Geopark aka Rainbow mountains
I tried to keep my expectations low as I knew that pictures on google are not real. These mountains were made long time ago, when there was lake on them and the water brought different soil with itself. The hills moved and rainbow mountains happened.
I just wished it rained just before I went in and then I would really know whether the pictures are fake or not 🙂 Without rain you can still see colors on the mountains. I think my favorite spots were number 2 and number 4. These were the most colorful with wide view. All spots were nice actually
Flat Grand Canoyn
Flat Grand Canoyn is part of Zhangye visit and is great way how to spend another day in the mother nature’s monument. You can walk around the top of the rocks and then you go into the valley. Go through wide and narrow paths. It was one of those trails, where it is not just about walking. Unfortunately weather was not on my side and as I was successfully avoiding dust and pollution, it finally hit me here.
Whole Zhangye trip experience was improved by Fran and Dan, who I had met in the hostel and we ate delicious food, played many card games and drunk lots of beers during the nights.