Simatai – The Great Wall & More

So since sending our climbing gear to New Zealand we started to really travel and do your standard touristy things.

These days it’s a lot easier to travel in China with apps like CTrip and Pleco; combine this with the new high speed train network and the country doesn’t feel as big as it really is.

After leaving Xiamen we crossed the country to Shanghai and were both immediately shut down with flu knocking us out for 3 days. We’re pretty sure this is due to being stranded during the flood in Yangshuo, where we were trapped without electricity and water for 4 days.

We didn’t get out much but Pyn managed to catch the wedding market, which is held in a park and parents advertise their kids and look for prospective match making. An unusual approach but with there being 33.59 million more men than women in China, I guess an innovative approach is required.

We also picked up our three month travel anniversary present (any excuse), a DJI Spark, a small portable drone to add some grandeur to our videos. So stay tuned for some awesome footage.

Fast forwarding, we trained to Beijing to get our visas for Mongolia and were hit by cough inducing smog. Due to the Naadam festival in Mongolia the embassy was closed, so we had to spend longer in Beijing than we wanted. We made good use of the time, eating, cutting videos, planning Mongolia and visiting the Great Wall at Simatai.

In total we spent 5 weeks in China, 3 weeks climbing, another week being ill and on trains so only one week travelling. China is so big that you would need at least 6 months to scratch the surface. The little we did see was impressive, however it’s more difficult to go somewhere that doesn’t have hordes of local tourists and also hasn’t been redesigned to accommodate thousands of people everyday. We look forward to spending a month in West China in September and going further off the tourist trails.

Our exit from China was uneventful and long as usual, catching a bus to the Mongolian border and then hitchhiking across the border.

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