Trans-Siberian - China

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Trans-Siberian Trip
St. Petersburg and Moscow
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The Trans-Siberian
Siberia
The Trans-Mongolian
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The Ger Camp
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China
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Having crossed the Gobi Desert and Great Wall, we arrived in Beijing by train in the afternoon and went for a walking tour of the city. The next day we travelled to the Great Wall and I toured the Forbidden City in the afternoon. The next morning I flew from Beijing back to Canada.


Train to Beijing

Having left Ulaanbaatar in the morning, we spent a day and a half on the train heading south and east to Beijing. The first day was spent crossing some low mountains and then the Gobi Desert.

Ulaanbaatar
Fancy compartment


Genghis Khan portrait
Ulaanbaatar suburb


Red locomotives
Playground kids


Climbing the hills
Remote camp


Crossing the Gobi Desert
Group trivia game


The border crossing between Mongolia and China took several hours but was broken up by the changing of the wheels. Russia and Mongolia use 5ft broad gauge track, while China uses 4'8.5" standard gauge. Rather than moving passengers between carriages, the Chinese lift the carriages (and passengers) in the air and replace the wheels.

Dining car
Changing the bogies


When we woke up the next morning in China, the train was climbing up to cross the mountains about 100km from Beijing. We crossed under the Great Wall in a 2km tunnel and then begin the descent into Beijing.

Train and Great Wall
Descending through the mountains
Arrival in Beijing


Beijing

Wikipedia Links:
Beijing
Tiananmen_Square

After freshening up at our hotel, we went for a walking tour of central Beijing, including the Tiananmen Square and some shopping streets and finishing with a delicious dinner.

Tiananmen Square
Night Market


Beijing Traffic
Smog over Beijing


Wikipedia Links:
Mutianyu
Great_Wall_of_China

Great Wall

The next morning we got up early for a 70km bus ride to the Great Wall at a spot called Mutianyu. We climbed up to the Wall on a ridge and spent a couple of hours wandering between the towers. The Great Wall is an unbelievable structure - it stretches about 6000km and along our stretch was about 7 metres high and 4 metres wide.

Climbing to the Wall
Walking the Wall
Wall


Wall
Wall in the Mountains


... more photos from China

To get down, we had an exciting ride down a toboggan ride (twice!).

'Tobogganing is Simple'
Riding down from the Great Wall


Wikipedia Link:
Forbidden_City

Forbidden City

After busing back to Beijing, I headed off by myself for a walk through of the Forbidden City. Not knowing much of the history, I mostly admired the ornate and colourful wooden buildings.

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Departure

After a dinner of Peking Duck, we settled into a roof top lounge for cocktails and visiting for our last evening as a group. We had a beautiful view out over the city with construction cranes swinging over our heads as we enjoyed the evening. It was hard to believe that our journey together was over already.

Overloaded bicycle
Evening patio


The next morning, I shared a cab with George and Ann to the airport for my flight to Vancouver via San Francisco. Because of the timezones and date line, I arrived in Vancouver before I left Beijing. My whole family was there to meet me at the airport.

Instant noodles on the plane
Vancouver


... more photos from China

After arriving in Vancouver, I spent about 10 days visiting my family and touring southern British Columbia with my girlfriend before flying home to Toronto. See pictures from British Columbia.