The Great Wall, Forbidden City, and photos with the big guy in the panda hat


The Great Wall, Forbidden City, and photos with the big guy in the panda hat

The Great Wall of China was...well...great! actually is was jolly fantastic. We had a mission trying to get out to the bus to even get out there. The hawkers and hustlers did a brilliant number on us. When we were walking over towards the bus stop, someone in a vaguely official looking uniform asked if we were going to the Great Wall, we said yes, he told us the bus leaves from here and they are just waiting on a few more people and then the bus will roll up and get us. The truth was that the bus didn't come past that way and they just wanted us to wait and wait until we were so feed up of waiting for the bus we would use their personal cars at really high rates. We figured out the plan sooner than they liked and we left. They followed us and started really hassling John. We got out our cameras and they all fled really fast. Evidently these ones don't like having their picture taken hahaha.

So an hour bus trip and we arrived at the Great Wall. It's not as big as I imagined it to be but then it's still HUGE. It's as tall as I expected but not as wide. Here are a few shots

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Lots more photos from the whole day and all other days on my flickr - check it out

The Forbidden City is where the Emperors of China lived from about 1400 - 1911. It's a beautiful place full of strict tradition and myths. It's a wonderful testimony to history and culture. The things that happened in this place were so well tuned and planned it amazed me. I could never be an ancient Emperor because everything was so well controlled and ordered. I would just go crazy.


While waiting outside to buy tickets, you get a lot of locals asking if you need a guide. The city is massive and takes about 2 full days to look through everything thing. We didn't have that much time so figured it might be good to get a little more insight. It wasn't a bad deal $100 RMB ($30 NZD) for 1.5hour tour guide. He was ok, but just ok. Not stunning and not horrible either. I appreciated his effort but don't think I'd do that again. The city is well sign posted in English and has good data on it. You can't always rely on the tourist attractions having any english at them and that can make the venture very frustrating when you don't understand. The Great Wall for example didn't have a single sign or piece of history for you to read. It was just a giant walk and nothing else. That did frustrated me because I love to learn about these places and how they came to be.

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Lots more photos from the whole day and all other days on my flickr - check it out


Being a big white guy is turning out to be rather funny. Often I'll be walking by and someone will do a double take at me. they look and then realise I'm a big white guy and they stare hahaha. Often they will wait till I'm passed and then talk to their friend about it. I suspect saying something like "Did you see that guy?" I've whipped around quick a few times and smiled at them. They get a shock because they are still staring, then they laugh as well. I walked past a big tour group at the Great Wall and the whole group of about 40+ all stared until I was past then they talked. I whipped around and smiled at them and they all bust into laughter. I do think it's rather funny. Check out this pic of four people just staring at me. The pic doesn't do it justice as they have softened their stares to vague glazes once I lifted the camera but still it's funny.

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Chinese tourists who haven't seen a real white person before keep wanting to have photos with me hahaha. They will come up and hold out the camera, I'll go to grab it and take a photo for them but then I realise they want ME in the picture. Then one of them will stand next to me and the other will take the picture. It's very funny. The ones I like the most of the people who are to scared to ask so they just kind of sneak in close to me and pretend that I just happen to be in the back ground. I've caught a few people doing this and I have just turned around and had a photo with them like they would actually have like to ask for. All in all it's rather funny and keeps me entertained.

This is one girl I busted trying to sneak a picture with me, so I had a proper one with her and her Dad. Check out the vid



23 comments (Add your own)

1. mum wrote:
All lies Hayd it's coz your so cute. the same thing happened to you inHawaii when you were 9, only you were little and blonde.

Tue, March 24, 2009 @ 8:44 AM

2. E wrote:
Your mum is right. Especially with the panda hat on. Even I want to find a chair to stand on so I'm taller than you and pat you on the (panda hat) head. Where did you find that crazy thing?

Tue, March 24, 2009 @ 9:03 AM

3. Hayden Sanders wrote:
You can barter for the hats at the Great Wall. I haven't seen them anywhere else so I had to have one. We've been quoting a movied called "Tropic Thunder" which has a very funny scene with a guy wearing a panda in a similar fashion so we just had to have the hat.

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