Rural Getaway | The Great Wall of China| Wild Wall| Ping Gu | Beijing, China

the city of beijing is surrounded by mountains. 2-3 hours of drive would take you to the rural area of beijing which is a nice place to take a break from the busy city life.

my dad made handmade noodles in the morning, then we hit the road. did i mention he’s a great cook too?one weekend my family decided to go on a weekend trip to the ‘glass table village’ 玻璃台村 in ping gu 平谷, one of the rural areas outside of beijing. i love going on trips with my family especially my dad. i am a control freak, so whenever i go on trips, i am the person who does all the researches, books all flights, hotels, rental cars. the only time i can relax and not worry about anything is when i travel with my dad. he’s a traveler; he just seems to know exactly where to go and eat. he even hitchhiked all through tibet 20 years ago when tourism didnt really exist in tibet yet. i remember i begged him to take me with him, but he refused. i remember how fascinated i was after seeing the amazing photos he took and hearing his crazy stories on the road and i told myself i wanna experience it too one day.

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we met up with the rest of the family near the entrance of the highway
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we rented a vacation home where they also made you home cooked breakfast/lunch/dinner.

looking out of the windows.
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lunch was served. this is what the countryside has to offer. very simple dishes due to limited resources, but def organic ingredients. some were tasty but some were def not so tasty haha.

clockwise: fried xiangchun ‘chinese toona’, beef and potatoes, pancakes, radish salad.
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tofu, pork bones, more pork, and greens
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veggies, pork belly, fish, pork with mushrooms.
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onions, pork liver, cabbages
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my cousin
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after lunch we took a short nap and went hiking on the ‘wild walls’ 野长城 of china which are the unprotected, unrestored sections of the great wall. the sections of the great wall that tourists go to are the perfectly restored sections, there are even cable cars to take you to the top. the ‘wild walls’ are untouched, stones wearing away and blending into hillsides and hard/dangerous to hike.

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i always wear flip flops, hiking is no exception.
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if you look hard in this picture, my family is in the middle of the picture and there is a destroyed watchtower at top right of the picture. they couldnt hike any further because there was no more road.
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my stupid cousin dropped his shirt so my dad had to get it for him
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another watchtower ruin

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too much hiking for me ha
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then dinner was served.
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a fish bone stuck in my grandpa’s throat and the town’s hospital couldnt get it out for him. my grandma was worried so she insisted driving back to beijing that night to another hospital in the city. my dad and stepmom drove them and the rest of us stayed. my cousin went to sing karaoke, but pork belly and i passed out not long after dinner because we were still jetlagged.
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we left around noon the 2nd morning after breakfast.
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my aunt’s baby
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it’s a little embarrassing that even my family’s dog is fat. sigh.
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we bought a lot of peaches on the way home. i love peaches.

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life seems simple and peaceful in this secluded village. i chatted with the locals that work in the vacation home; they are from the villages nearby. they work for 10 days then go home for couple days. they dont think much or curious about the outside world. although they work in a vacation home, they never go on vacations or travel. it made me a little sad inside because i cant imagine myself not being able to travel and see the world. traveling is the only thing that could get me excited about life.

talking about traveling, i have three trips ahead in the next 10 months. yesterday was a pretty crazy lucky day for us. first, my mom’s offer on a house got accepted by the seller. this was huge for her because she’s been looking to buy a 2nd house for 2 years. she was obsessed and looked at houses everyday for 2 years. she’s extremely picky so she never found her dream house. finally, this house she saw, she felt in love immediately and gave an offer. she couldnt sleep the night before finding out whether her offer got accepted or not because she liked the house so much.

i was SO annoyed by her obsession of buying a new house because she forces me to look at houses and all she talks about is houses which drives me crazy. i was happy for her when she finally got this house because i know how bad she wanted a new house. although i would never tell her, i must say im proud of her too. because of her hard work, now she will be an owner of 2 houses. i remember the times when i woke up 5 oclock in the morning to go cleaning a golf club with my mom at age 13. my mom was a doctor in china, but after we moved to america, she had to start her life all over again. my life changed drastically too because i grew up spoiled. i was showered by money as a kid because my parents were always working and all they could provided me was money since they were absent in my childhood. when we just moved to the states, my mom took on any jobs she could find: working at mcdonalds, cleaning, taking care of elders. not only she worked hard, she also went to nursing school while working. learning both english and nursing at the same time isnt easy especially for a 40 year old, but she did it, she got her nurse license. she continues to work hard as a licensed nurse and now she is about to own a second home. i wish i were nearly as motivated as her. unfortunately i grew up to be more like my dad, the completely opposite of my mom.

2nd crazy lucky thing happened was i got flight tickets from new york to milan to bangkok for only $415 which normally cost $1500+. it’s crazy isnt it. i was on fb and i saw someone commented on this deal which grabbed my attention immediately. it was a mistake fare, the fuel surcharges are being left off which made the it so cheap. ive heard people got tickets for ridiculously cheap prices due to mistake fare, but never thought it would happen to me. i felt like i hit the lotto and booked my flight without having a second thought. the deal was only for november 2014 or march 2015. november and may are my busiest months at work so no way i can take off. i booked my trip for march 2015. although it’s almost a year ahead and things might come up, the deal was too good to miss and i’ll take that risk. southern europe is never on top of lists of places i wanna go, but i guess this deal just gave me a reason to. my mom mentioned she wanna go to europe and i really wanna go to thailand, so i am taking my mom on this trip.

i am also going to:
costa rica in august
– Manuel Antonio
– Arenal
– Monteverde

beijing in sept
taiwan in sept – around the island road trip.

next march, i am planning to go to
milan
rome
paris
munich
prague

then to thailand:
bangkok
phuket island
and maybe somewhere else.

please let me know if you have any tips for me. places to visit, food to eat. you guys were really helpful to me when i went to mexico last year.

this is probably the longest post ive ever posted and i am rambling. sorry.

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