Earthquake, Great Wall and Ming Tombs
On a more trivial note, my visit continues to be fascinating. I visited the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs over the weekend. The wall is a tremendous structure - much like the Forbidden City, it is difficult to appreciate its size without actually visiting. According to my limited knowledge of its history, the Great Wall started out as a collection of separate walls that were later joined together by various emperors. Although the Great Wall was apparently never directly breached by invaders from the North, it could be surmounted with the assistance of a well-placed bribe to a sentry. I visited the Great Wall at Badaling, which is just outside of Beijing. It's a busy tourist location, so we arrived at 8:30 to beat the crowds. By the time we left at 10:30, it was hard to maneuver on the wall. Afterwards, we visited the Ming Tombs, specifically the Ding Ling tomb site, the underground tomb of the Wenli emperor, which has been fully excavated. Unfortunately, the site suffered under the cultural revolution, so much of the contents were lost. Even so, it is an impressive site. Further updates to follow about my attendance at a trial involving a copyright dispute, and a Chinese tea ceremony.