One night on the Great Wall中國|北京的一夜長城

Written by Misha中文翻譯在下方
We arrived the Great Wall of China early in the morning just to find out – because of the summit conference which was held in Beijing we can not hike the wall. Summit conference was also the reason for fresh air and clean sky in Beijing recently..It took us two hours of bus-metro ride, then some way of hitchhiking and finally we could see it – long structure zigzaging through the green mountain landscapes, changcheng, “long town", thousands and thousands kilometres of ancient defense. For me the view of it was stunning. 

As a kid I grew up reading colorful encyclopedias for children, very nicely and derailed illustrated, and one book was about ancient China. I was reading it and watching these pictures same time as the Soviet Union collapsed and perestroika started, when Ukraine became independent, soviet money devolved, and grivna Ukrainian currency was brought in, and the life was so difficult for my parents. I don’t remember this time very well, but I remember the books, so the view of the wall was incredible for me, it felt unbelievable, like old childhoods dreams came true. 

We chose a part of the wall which is not very popular for tourists, a town called Huanghuacheng. The plan was to hike the wall for few kilometers, find a place for the tent and stay there over night. After we came to the entrance, an iron selfcrafted gate, the local guard said we can’t go now, we should return after 5pm. Too long waiting, so we decided to walk a bit more and try it somewhere else, with same result, the guards even drove us back just to be sure we won’t go there before 5pm. So we had to wait, we waited and watched the wall, unreachable now. After 5 p.m. we returned to the first gate, paid 5 rmb “entrance fee" then we were good to go. 

The hike to the wall is easy, there are steps leading to the wall and through a ladder, that was obviously made by locals, we could finally get on the wall. We were heavy packed with food, water and camping stuff and my shoes weren’t made for this kind of walking, so for us the walk on the wall and climbing the steps wasn’t so easy. If you leave all that stuff home and just go there for a day trip, it will be a relaxing walk, but we wanted to camp. 

After maybe one and half hour and thousands of photos we finally found a place to put our tent and it was right in time. The sun was setting down and the landscape was covered in yellow evening light. Long shadows stretched out on the surrounding mountains, the view was beautiful. We left our tent and other equipment then climbed the highest tower of the wall close to us, this part was the most difficult one, it was too steeped, after that we went down to prepare our dinner – noodle soup with veggies and eggs, and it was already dark. The stars came out and every minute it was more and more of them, so we made tea, stretched out our mats on the ground, slipped under the sleeping bags and gazed into the sky full of stars. 

It was silence, liked no one’s here, we were lying on the ground and watched the sky and it felt like we are all alone, exactly that feeling of your own meaninglessness. We talked hours through, completely alone on the Great Wall and the feeling of time faded away together with all the troubles and worries.

The morning after I made milk oat meal porridge for breakfast, we packed our stuff, Ying Ping made our final pictures there and we set off to go home. Our great night on the Great Wall was over.

How to get there?Check it below, please.

我們一早抵達長城就是為了得知我們無法上長城的消息,這整週以來都是藍天白雲的,原來是有重要的高峰會在北京舉行。

我們花了兩個小時搭公車又搭地鐵,走了些路最終搭便車才看到它,躺在綠山上的鋸齒長條物,長城,長長的城,這個千年萬里的防護線,這景象讓我看得目瞪口呆。


從小我是讀著全彩兒童百科全書長大的,有著漂亮又出色的圖文,其中一本是關於中國歷史。那時候蘇聯瓦解並開啟新的改革,烏克蘭獨立了,蘇聯的錢幣不流通,帶來了烏克蘭貨幣克里夫納,那時期的生活對我父母來說很困苦,我也不是很清楚那時的生活,但我記得那些書,圖片中的長城讓我感到不可思議、難以置信的,當我真正上長城時,就像是小時候的夢成真了。

我們選擇了一段不是太多遊客的野長城,黃花城。原計劃是走幾公里然後找個地方過夜,抵達入口處前有個當地農民設的鐵柵門,有個守衛阻擋我們說現在高峰會期間無法進入,等到五點鍾下班再來,那時才中午,這樣等太久了,所以我們決定走去別的地方試試看,結果還是一樣的,那些守衛甚至把我們載離開以確保不會在五點鍾前回來,我們只好遠望著,最後五點鍾回到第一個柵門口,付了五元人民幣的「管理費」,開始走上長城。

走到城牆前都很簡單,有階梯通到牆邊然後爬上鐵梯子,一切設施都很明顯是當地人做的。我們揹著很重的食物和水還有其他露營裝備,鞋子是穿不適合健行的涼鞋,走在長城上還有爬很陡的階梯時變得不太容易,如果把這些東西放在家,只是來個一日行會是個輕鬆的步行,但是我們想在上面露營啊。


差不多拍了上千張的照片走了一個半小時後我們終於找到想紮營的地方,太陽正要下山,是傍晚黃昏時,長長的影子伸展在山上,真的很美,我們放下一些裝備然後開始爬向最高、最靠近我們的塔,這段是最困難的,路很陡、階梯更陡,幸好先前放下其他裝備,回來紮營的地方我們已經肚子餓了,開始準備青菜湯麵和雞蛋,這時候天已黑,星星都跑出來了,越晚越多,然後又煮了茶,把睡墊鋪好,躲進去睡袋裡,就這樣躺著看閃爍的星空,四周寂靜無聲,好像這裡被遺忘般,這時覺得我們好孤獨呀,我們是好渺小的,又聊了幾小時,完全沒有人打擾,煩惱和麻煩跟著時間流失,隔天早上我煮了牛奶燕麥粥,拍了最後幾張照片就離開,在長城上的長長一夜劃上句點。


How to get there? 如何抵達?

  • Hitchhiking 搭便車

It’s the cheapest and fastest way to get there. You have to get to the north of Beijing, to the highway S213 (40°13′32.61″N 116°24′23.88″E) from there everything will pass Huanghuacheng (40°25′02.65″N 116°20′26.95″E)

這是最快又便宜的方式。先到北京城外的北邊S213高速公路(40°13′32.61″N 116°24′23.88″E),那邊就任何車都是往黃花城方向(40°25′02.65″N 116°20′26.95″E)。

  • Public transportation 公共交通

It’s better to check baidu maps for the routes, every location can have their own ways to get there, we took the metro to the ming tombs train station, then you have to walk a little till the bus stop (40°14′06.83″N 116°12′28.36″E) From there take the bus 32 to 九渡河(Jiu Du He) and transfer h21 to Huanghuacheng. Walk north till you see the reservoir.

最好先查查百度地圖的路線,條條道路通長城,我們則是搭地鐵到十三陵景區站,然後走點路到公車(40°14′06.83″N116°12′28.36″E),32轉H21到黃花城,下車再往北邊走就是水庫,那裡就是入口。



Note筆記:

From Huanghuacheng reservoir there are two directions you can choose for your walk, to the west or to the east. The west one is more touristic, the wall goes through some hills to a tourist resort, so all the tourists come from there. 

We took the east one and it goes few kilometers good, but after you will arrive not repaired part of the wall and the walk gets very hard here. The problem of this direction is that if you want to get off the wall before the not repaired part, the local farmer will charge money from you, otherwise you have to return the same way you came. Anyway, the walk is beautiful even if you walk it twice.

Bring enough drinking water with you and some snacks, the hike is challenging. And good shoes! Don’t make the same mistake I did.

從黃花城水庫那有兩條路線可走,往西或往東,西邊的稍微商業化,一些路段通往山坡上的民宿,很多遊客從那來。

我們往東走,但走了幾公里就到沒修繕的長城,而且這部分會更難走,如果在這之前想下長城,當地農民會跟你收很不合理的錢,所以只能原路走回那五元的入口離開。整條路走來其實很美,就算原路走回也是用不同角度欣賞。

一定要帶足夠的水跟零食!沒想到走長城還蠻有挑戰性的,請做好準備。

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