Simatai Memory

Written by Ms. HANNAH Feb 22, 2010 02:23
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I made my Simatai trip on August 15, 2009. The scene was still vivid in my memory. It was a fine day. Two friends and I got up very early. At about 9, we arrived at Dongzhimen long distance bus station to take bus no.980 to Miyun long distance bus station. There were two types of 980 buses. One was fast and the other was slow with many stops on the way. The price of the fast line was CNY 17 and the slow line was CNY 10. But there was a long queue waiting for the fast line. In order to save time, we decided to take the slow line. When we arrived at Miyun long distance bus station, it was already at noon.

In the square of Miyun long distance bus station, many unlicensed taxies and minibuses were cruising for fares. After a good bargaining, we paid the driver CNY 40 to the entrance of Simatai Great Wall. Got off the car, all of us felt hungry. Dining at Simatai was very easy as you could find a lot of farm houses offering dining and accommodation. Nowadays to taste the authentic "peasant food” in these villages has become more and more popular among city dwellers. We stopped at one of the farm houses and ordered four dishes: stewed fish, scrambled egg, sauce stuffed meat in eggplant and handmade noodle. These courses all tasted quite palatable and fresh, unless the price was a bit expensive – together cost CNY 140.

Now we were full of energy after the big meal. It’s time to conquer Simatai Great Wall. A cold sweat overspread me at the time when I saw the wall extending against the sky. What an aerial ladder! How they built it? My mind was crowded with whys and surprises. “Can we try cable car?” I suggested to everybody. “No. We do not want to be the quick-made true men!” They despised my proposal.

The temperature was quite higher than expected. But the cool breeze on the mountain was pleasant and agreeable. It was a long walk from the mountain top to the first beacon tower from the east. The stairs became very steep after the No.1 beacon tower. Every two stairs had high drop, so do be careful when you climb those stairs and do not come there in rains or snows. The guardrail was not high – about one meter tall, and at some sections, there was no guardrail. The rains had already eroded the some part of the foundation of the wall. The original mountain ridge was appeared. The Great Wall at Simatai was indeed as wild as described by previous travelers.

When arrived at the No.8 eastern tower, we have drunk up the water. Basically, there was a stand in every beacon tower. A bottle of 500 milliliter water was usually sold at CNY 10. I became physically exhausted at No.10 tower. At about 17:25, I reached No.12 beacon tower, the last tower that opened to visitors. The wall behind No.12 tower was badly broken. There was no more road to follow. So we returned along the same route after taking some photos. The way back was much easier, but still you couldn’t treat it lightly. Walk slowly and go sideways.

We went back to Simatai parking lot where the local taxi picked us up to Miyun Bus Station. From there, we caught up the last 980 bus. Back to Dongzhimen Station, all of us felt exhausted but also satisfied with this trip.

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Comments (1)


Mar 3, 2010 03:59 Reply

Mr.MASON from USA said:

Amazing adventure. So, what the price of your cable car?

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