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Going to The Great Wall of China and Resisting the Urge to Get a Subway Footlong

Where: China
February 9, 2012 at 6:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

There may no longer be a Starbucks at The Forbidden City in China but there is a Subway sandwich shop at The Great Wall. Seriously.

You can find the footlong mecca at the entrance to the impressive 2.5-kilometer stretch of the Great Wall in Mutianyu. From here you can walk in, out and around several of the 22 watchtowers that were built during the early Ming dynasty.

Some of the steps are steep and tiny and, as to be expected, you need to watch where you're going.There are no handrails and very few informational signs. It's just you, the wall and silence (well, when the other tourists aren't chattering that is. We managed to grab a quick little video on our iPhone of the Mutianyu section. Enjoy!

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Crowds and Grandeur at the Great Wall

Where: China, Beijing
September 15, 2009 at 5:11 PM | by | Comments (0)

With the 60th anniversary of China becoming a communist republic approaching October 1, Claire Duffett took a jaunt around the country for the month of September, starting with Beijing. Nowhere does old and new China collide than in its Capital, and for the next five days, we'll share with you the most up-to-date tidbits on what to see and do, and how many yuan it will set you back.

Just 50 miles north of Beijing is the most visited portion of The Great Wall, Badaling. The hordes of tourists on this part of the wall have become almost as recognized as the long, brick barrier itself.

It takes about two hours to drive there by public bus from the city, and costs only 12 yuan (about US$2, entrance to the wall is another US$7 or so) per person, while a tour out to the site can cost upward of US$100—and you’ll be part of a horde of Chinese tourists in matching red hats led by a guide equipped with a colored flag and a megaphone.

One piece of advice however, is to pack a lunch. Whereas 95 percent of the visitors at the wall will be part of a tour that comes with packed lunch, the remainder are left to fend for themselves, and survive off $5 bags of seaweed-flavored potato chips.

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Visiting The Land of Brown Smoke and Basketball Lovers

Where: Beijing, China
September 14, 2009 at 11:18 AM | by | Comments (0)

With the 60th anniversary of China becoming a communist republic approaching October 1, Claire Duffett took a jaunt around the country for the month of September, starting with Beijing. Nowhere does old and new China collide than in its Capital, and for the next five days, we'll share with you the most up-to-date tidbits on what to see and do, and how many yuan it will set you back.

Post-Olympics Beijing vaguely resembles its former self. Subways are modern, pristine marvels, with train floors cleaner than our own kitchen’s. The cheapness of transportation emphasized its superiority over American and European cities, with subway rides costing about 30 cents in US money and taxi rides up to two kilometers costing less than a dollar.

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