Before we got to the Great Wall we had to make a stop at the Jade factory. I was quite familiar with these schemes from my Thailand days, the taxi driver drops you off and disappears while you get pressured to buy stuff you don’t need. This wasn’t that bad, actually it was pretty good! We had a lady that was our tour guide, that could speak English fairly well, who explained the history of Jade, some interesting facts, how to tell the difference between real and fake jade and some great stories.
We then were treated to a big and well deserved lunch. This was the only time we ate a proper meal in Beijing so it is the only basis of the next statement. Food in Chengdu was 100x better. While the lunch was nice and resembled almost exactly what you would get here at a nice Chinese restaurant (it came with a plate of chips which was just weird), it wasn’t nearly as flavorsome as even the cheapest of dishes in Chengdu.
We then started driving towards our final destination, but before we reached it, we had to decide if we wanted to walk to the widest part or cheat and take a chairlift. It was fairly 50/50 split vote on which one to take, but the chairlift won mainly due to the ridiculous heat. We arrive at the chairlift only to find one of the longest queues I had ever seen in my life. What we weren’t aware of, was that it was school holidays and every parent thought taking their child to see this magnificent sight on a beautiful clear sky was a great idea. We queued in the sun burning like snags on a barbie (photo below) but luckily we shared one umbrella between four people. After listening to as much children screaming as humanly possible we were finally in the air, I was fortunate enough to be in a carriage with someone who screamed every-time there was the slightest bump. Anyway the wall was great and so hard to describe so I will just let the pictures talk for themselves.
Before we got home, we were taking to a silk factory. Much like the jade factory earlier, it is designed to sell you stuff you don’t need, but still educational. After getting back to the hotel, we showered then headed off to weird food street. We ate snakes, scorpions, shark, spiders and more wonderful creatures. You can see some photos at Images From China.