oh.. in beijing, we also (of course!) saw the Great Wall, or at least a part of it, as most of it is not continuous anymore. We saw the Badaling string of it. It was really cool.. sometimes i wonder though, because there were really really steep parts of it that even my brother and i struggled to climb up, because there were no stairs, just steep stone hill.. and so many people had walked that part that it was almost shiny, and quite slippery! I just wonder how the troops used to get up there. I mean, if it rained, the higher parts would be totally inaccessible!
oh, at the top of the part we visited, they had these booth selling those "i just climbed the Great Wall" tshirts.. i thought that was so cheese..
In Xi'an (our second stop after beijing), we saw another Wonder, the Terra Cotta Warriors. These huge statues that were unearthed just a few years ago.. it was really neat, where they unearthed them, all they did was build buildings around the dig sites, and that's where you would view them. It said NO PICTURES everywhere we went in there, but everyone was taking pictures. Darryl and I, we took pictures, even with flash right in front of this guard, who was half asleep. He had his hat covering his eyes, but we could still tell cuz he was nodding off.
After Xi'an was Kunming, where my grandparents met and were married. Grampa was really excited when we got there, though everything had changed.. it was his first visit there in nearly 50 years.. We saw the Stone Forest there -- my favorite part of the whole trip.
It was just an area where millions of years ago it was all under water, and now that it had resurfaced, well.. the rock formations were totally awesome, there were so many they looked like trees, hence the name "Stone Forest". These rocks were just unbelievable, some were cracked but had stayed up, some balanced on top of eachother, and looked like they were about to fall, even though they'd been there for thousands of years. Some of them resembled shapes like mice, or elephants.
There was one main formation, that resembled this woman holding a basket on her back, and looking out into the distance. The locals believed this to be a formation in the form of a legend of this girl named Ashima, she had lost her man on some trip he went on or something.. sorry i can't remember, but anyway the formation was really really cool. I'm not talking about some life-sized formation, this thing was 3-4 storey's tall!