Take the Great Wall Off My Bucket List

Great Wall of China

Take the Great Wall Off My Bucket List

This year I scratched the Great Wall of China off my bucket list. It turned out to be both a thrilling and emotional journey I will never forget. But it was only one of a handful I got to experience on our guided tour of China.

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Duffelbagspouse Travels view of the Great Wall of China from below

Great Wall

I was a freaking kid climbing those darn stairs– an old one– but a kid nonetheless!! I’d dreamt about it my whole life, and I’m paying for it now. I can hardly move, but it was worth it a thousand times over for the views, the bragging rights, and the exercise!! Look, the Mongolian horde… oh no, it’s just the bloody Brits.

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Chinese Acrobats

Ok, so it’s not a world heritage site, but those kids are amazing. The show ends with a death-defying motorcycle stunt that I’ll share with you later.

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The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is a city within a city. With 9,999 rooms– some huge as banquet halls, others the size of a small house. With as many as 3,000 concubines who all need their own place big daddy, meeting rooms, offices, etc… you get the idea. The courtyards and garden are stunning and imposing!!

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The Summer Palace

Not quite as large as the everyday palace but it’ll do for a few weeks outta the year. There is the longest covered walkway you could imagine so the Empress could enjoy the lake and nature in a downpour. The locals love the attached park and gather there every morning to play cards, slap down tiles in mahjong, practice the hoolis (?), tai chi, and this choreographed dance with a ball and racket trying not to drop it. It’s a real look into life in Beijing.

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Tiananmen Square

I still can’t believe I climbed Q1 of the Great Wall… but I also saw Tiananmen Square. I was a kid when it made the news with tanks and gas against the student protesters. There were so many people there it was hard to see it. But what was easy to see is that it is a VERY important monument/ meeting place to the Chinese people and thus a must-see for the visitor.

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The Temple of Heaven

It’s a round temple which is unusual but could have been seen in an hour so we could see… I did get a chance to channel my inner Mulan here though.

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13 Emperor’s

The 13 tombs of past Emperors… maybe next time. Being a concubine had its advantages until the Emperor DIED… of course, you wished your guidance counselor steered you in another direction. Lol. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit THAT in with 2 stops to the silk market and the tea, silk, jade and pearl markets too. Where are your priorities, people?

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  1. Thais Peiffer

    thats on my bucket list!! i am starting the visa process now! 😀 i want to spend block leave there! 😀

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