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Tiger Mountain, Where The Great Wall Begins

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

The Great Wall of China.

How many people do you know who have been to China twice, spent a total of nearly seven years and have never been to China’s greatest draw card? I’ve known people who have been here for two days and have seen The Great Wall, but I guess it’s all about the little things in between that count.

Besides it being the beginning of my North Korean Border Adventure, the main thing I wanted to see here in Dandong was Hushan Changcheng, or in English the Tiger Mountain Great Wall. This morning I leapt out of bed like a child on Christmas morning and almost ran to the bus station where I found that there was no longer a 'city’ bus provided. Now tourists have to wait for a small bus that leaves once every hour or two (that leaves from just outside the bus station gate) or catch a taxi. Thankfully not long after I found the gate the bus arrived and believe me, even though he was speeding, this day we just couldn’t go fast enough!

Once I arrived I was almost jumping up and down!

Snaking its way through the mountain side, linked by fortifications was the Great Wall of China, but not only that, this is where it actually begins. The day was hot and in the distance where parts of the wall steeply climbed to the mountain tops my thoughts were of ancient Chinese soldiers who had to have been not only giants to man this, also athletes worthy of the Roman games.

When I reached this section of the wall I actually found that it would have been impossible for such athletic giants to man these parts and when Pigmy’s on Red bull came to mind a small laugh escaped. I tried to explain this to the two girls I was walking with but gave up as they didn’t know who Pigmy’s were and I didn’t know the Chinese word for Red bull. At the end of the wall due to angry rain clouds looming in the distance they decided to make their way back along the wall and not visit the museum. Though small it’s worth the ten Yuan ticket price especially when it’s raining more than all the tears in Days of Our Lives and General Hospital put together.

But maybe not as much as the Bollywood Indian versions.

Once the tears had stopped I decided to make my way back along the track that follows the Yalu River and offers down to earth views of the farmland and villages across the border in the reclusive hermit kingdom. This little adventure had me climbing almost vertical rock faces using only the handrails and small Smurf Like steps to reach the top. There was also a suspension bridge or two that were obviously built by the Dodgy Brothers and then a few board walks. At the end there were river boat touts offering both slow and fast boat rides but as no-one else wanted to I sadly had to give both a miss instead of forking out for the entire boat with a single wallet.

‘A point called Yibukua (one step across), marks an extremely narrow part of the river between the two countries. Close up, the border fence on the DPRK side looks like a less than effective barrier, but don’t try to test it as a gun toting soldier may suddenly appear’

After reading the above in the Lonely Planet I was expecting a ‘Manned’ border but there wasn’t a single soldier to be found sneakily hiding behind a bush or in a rubbish bin waiting for wiley North Koreans to try and swim across to enjoy a life of Chinese Beers N Noodles!

Today another dream came true! These beers are for me! Yes, all of them!

<u>Hushan Great Wall, Dandong, Liaoning</u>

The Hushan Great Wall, lying on the Yalu River, twenty kilometers from Dandong City in Liaoning Province facing North Korea across the river, was built to strengthen the frontier defense during Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and was the eastern starting point of the ten thousand mile Great Wall. However, due to the collapse of many parts of its structure, people forgot about it and believed the Shanhaiguan Pass near Beijing in Hebei Province to be the eastern most point of the Wall. The excavation of six hundred meters of ruins in 1989 found that the wall actually began much further to the east than Hebei. In 1992 the government invested a huge amount of money to restore this section of the Wall which was completed in 2000.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Neil Young The album was &#8216;Broken Arrow’ ____________________________________________________________

Tiger Mountain Great Wall Adventure

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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