I usually don’t gravitate to tourist areas but I decided that I couldn’t visit China and not make a trip to the Great Wall.
On Monday morning, LA Times shooter Rob Gauthier and I grabbed a taxi and headed to Mutianyu to visit the Wall.
We had heard that the Badaling section of the Wall was the most touristy so we chose a nearby alternative.
The Wall was pretty impressive but we were more impressed by a toboggan ride that gets you down from the Wall. The 1580 meter-long stainless steel track snakes its way down the 550 meters from the Wall to a gauntlet of souvenir huts down below. With your toboggan ticket comes a 1 yuan (chinese dollar) insurance policy. How much the policy pays off is a mystery but it didn’t give me a great feeling of confidence in the safety of the ride.
It turned out to be a blast.
Rob and I wanted to pay to get back up to the top and ride it down again.