It was Chinese New Year 2013 holiday and I had almost a week holiday after work overtime during the day. Yap architect work life is always fulfill with project deadline. The Beijing’s weather was also not so friendly in last Chinese New Year holiday. The air pollution is also getting worse and I’m thinking to escape to northern Beijing for a while. I decide to visit Mutianyu Great Wall, 70km from Beijing city and wish to get a fresh air.
Just few vehicles along the way and few people visit this great wall. At first I though Mutianyu is less commercial than Badailing but then I see a white wide landscape and snowy forest , bold tree with not even single leaf and I just realized that it is winter. Hahaha, winter is considered as not the best time to visit Great Wall because of the freezing air but somehow it’s good thing because we can experience the quite scenery of great wall, breath the fresh air, and hear the nature sound from the surrounding forest.
There’re 2 ways to reach Mutianyu, first is using cable car and the other is walking through the forest. Of course, I choose the second way, walking to the forest and stepping on the white snow which cover the surrounding ground. Yes it is so cold but it’s once in a lifetime experience climbing to the great wall in a freezing winter.
The Mutianyu which was built and restored in the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) is special because it has “Tail Wall” which stretches out perpendicular to the wall along the ridgeline for defensive positioning and another is extension on the other side of the wall. Mutianyu has 22 watchtowers for its military importance.
Time flies and the world is changing. China used to built this great wall to keep foreigners out. But now, foreigners can travel deep into China’s rural area. Thank you China for allowing me to see your masterpiece.
不到長城非好漢」(bú dào Chángchéng fēi hǎohàn) : Who never climbed the Great Wall cannot be deemed a true Man. – 毛澤東 Mao Zedong –
I actually just know about this poem from the old man I met during my Great Wall trip. The poem doesn’t mean that we should climb the great wall to be called as a true man but it has other deeper meaning. The great wall itself means the huge difficulties in people’s life and it’s expected to not give up until one succeeds. People should be determined to reach one’s goal, not stop halfway.
Chinese poems teach children, youth, old man to struggle for their dreams and not to give up even though the difficulties are extremely huge.
Well, for me China is so interesting because I often meet people by coincidence and learn unpredictable things from them. Anyway, thanks for reading my essay and what do you think about China?
*I have the same ushanka with the old man, LOL. This ushanka is usually wore by the military people in China and Russia. It’s really warm and good for winter! Oh ya, from the pictures, we can see the sunny weather in Mutianyu but it’s actually not. The winter in Beijing city itself is incredible cold and this Great Wall is located on the top of the mountain. So you can imagine how cold it is.
Photo credit : faniatmanti