Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Great Wall at Jainkou

This blog is dedicated to yesterday's driver who knew not the path to take.  My hope is that my reader will one day use this information to know the way to visit this amazing archeological site.   Steen, the local dude who we meet on the street last week, arranged for his assistant, Josie, to guide us to the Great Wall at Jiankou and hike with us.  We went to the same place as yesterday, but turned down the first road to the left, which we had passed yesterday.  We then parked and followed a beautiful path up to the Wall.  If you are scared of bugs, this path may not be good for you.  All along the trail we saw bugs as big as your palm.  The bugs also make loud, chain saw noises.

After hiking for about 30 minutes along the trail, we came up to the Great Wall.  To the right was a ladder up to the wall.  Once on the wall,  you can take a long climb to the left or a short climb to the right.  If you go to the right for about 12 Kilometers, you will reach a part of the Wall called Heaven's Ladder.  This is a long, nearly vertical wall with steps edged into it.  The wall is approximately 280 feet high.  We did not get to do this today. 

The Ladder Taking You Up the Wall.
Also, along the wall keep your eyes open for lizards and centipedes.  The problem with the centipedes, is that they are not quick enough to escape the accidental hiker's foot.  These insects are all over the trail.  So please be careful to avoid these vulnerable, amazing hundred footed creatures.  Along the trail today, a quarter of the centipedes we saw were squashed.
A Centipede

My Dad on the Wall

This is not the Heavenly Ladder! It looks a lot like it, but much shorter.
When we finished our tour of the Great Wall at Jainkou, we stopped at a farmer's house to wash and have drinks. After a rest, we drove back to our hotel.  In the middle of the drive, we were stuck in the center of a big storm.  A lighting bolt hit right beside the road.  We made it through the storm to our sheltered hotel.   We have a lot of business to do before we check out of our hotel tomorrow morning.   My parents let me order room service tonight.  Tomorrow morning we get up at 5 o'clock and fly to Tibet.  We may not have internet for a few days.

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic! 


  1. wow. the ladder photo is awesome. the composition is perfect. i did not get a chance to go to the wall on my visit. i will someday.
    thanks Rohan, for showing us the path to take.

  2. Great post Rohan -- what an adventure! Whoever said that getting there is half the fun probably didn't spend the better part of day driving around in circles with a lost cabbie. (Either that or they weren't expecting much from their trip). Anyway, along with the white sky, suffering along in a lost cab seems to be part of the China experience. At least it wasn't raining (oh wait!)

    The lightning bolt must have added a little excitement, though, huh?

  3. So super cool! I have read every single one of your blogs and this by far is my favorite of your experiences. Keep up the great writing!

  4. You really got to a "real" part of the wall - and I don't see other tourists in your pictures. A quality experience, to be sure. And great pictures. Thanks.