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  • September 2020
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    Jinshanling Great Wall


    The highlight of my Beijing trip was a visit to the Great Wall. I researched the various locations quite a bit (Great Wall Forum is an excellent resource), and decided on Jinshanling, about 2 hours northeast of Beijing. I had initially wanted to hike east to Simatai, but upon arriving in Beijing found out it was closed for restoration. Simatai is off in the distance along the ridge line in the photo at the top. I hired a taxi for the day, and was blessed with a cold front that had passed through the night before, blowing out the infamous Beijing haze. Clear skies, and puffy white clouds: the perfect backdrop.

    I was up on the wall by 10 am, and although the late morning light wasn’t ideal, use of the polarizer reduced the harsh glare and mellowed out the light. I went west towards Xiwuyanlou, along a portion of unrestored wall. The view from there was stunning, and not another person around. Just wonderful.

    I then walked east towards the restored section. A self-described “Mongolian farmer” followed me around at this point, but for the most part knew enough to stay out of the way (that’s her walking ahead of me). I eventually wandered back down the hill where my taxi driver, with bottled water in hand, waited. I’ve heard stories about other sections of the Wall, especially Badaling, the “Disneyland of the Great Wall,” and was glad to have experienced the Great Wall alone.

    Jinshanling Gallery

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