Thursday, September 18, 2008

Beijing Trip - Beijing Day 5 & 6

Day 5 was mostly spent at the DreamArts Center. We went there in the morning to hear James share about his vision for China and the DreamArt Center, went to lunch at a Szechuan restaurant, and spent the afternoon discussing possibilities of a new ministry.

Lunch aftermath

Hanging out at the DreamArts Center

DreamArts building (19th floor)

Since there was a prayer meeting at night, we went to dinner early at a Korean restaurant. It was a bit different from Korean BBQ in the US and it was pretty expensive. The food was okay but the service could have been better.

Today we went to the Great Wall. Out of the three tourist sites, we went to the furthest one, Simatai (司馬臺). It's also the least renovated so the condition is more authentic. It took about two hours to drive there from Beijing; the DreamArts people arranged a 19-passenger minibus for us and Elim came with us. Actually, none of the staff at the DreamArts Center has been to the Great Wall.

Our minibus. It cost us RMB850 to rent the minibus plus the driver for the day. It was pretty crappy. We were passed by all sorts of cars, trucks, and buses, and the seat covers were really dirty.

View from the bottom of the hill. There is a cable car that takes people up to the actual wall. However, it was under repairs today so we had to walk a long way uphill.

Looking back down the hill

Looking up towards to the first tower

Window view from the first tower


Some more...

I stopped climbing at the 2nd tower. I think I could have climbed some more but my ankle was sore and going downhill would have been worse. A couple of people stayed with me while the rest of the team climbed up a few more towers.

2nd tower view. There were some local people that accompanied us up the wall. They were hanging around to try and sell us souvenirs. I ended up buying a color photo book of all the Great Wall sites for RMB100.

On the way down, there was a zip line that we can pay to go across the lake and down to the parking lot. It was only RMB40 and save me a lot of walking downhill.

During the trip to and back from the Great Wall, we witnessed a lot of crazy driving. The road was mostly single lane each way and people would try to pass all the time. Everyone was so impatient and no one followed the rules for the center divider. One time, there were four cars side-by-side coming at us directly. I don't know why the Chinese people are so impatient.

After the Great Wall, we drove back to the apartment to change and get our passports so we can go the the BICF young adult fellowship. We ended up there almost an hour late and the fellowship was not too exciting. After the fellowship, we went to dinner and dessert at Bellagio, a restaurant near the Beijing Worker's Stadium. It was a cafe like place with pan-Asian dishes and fairly expensive; the final bill was >RMB1000.

After dinner, we decided to check out a club next door for "cultural anthropology" purposes. For some reason, the guy at the door stopped me about my swollen ankle. I'm not sure what his problem was, maybe he had a bad day at work and decided to harass me at random. Oh well, didn't really feel like going into his club anyway. It just reinforces the feeling that rules and laws in China are enforced randomly.

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