- April 3, 2021
- Posted by: Piers Midwinter
- Categories: Holiday, Posts
In 2004, I traveled to Hong Kong to spend some time with my sister who was living there at the time. Whilst there, I had my birthday and she gave me a ten-day travel tour. The tour visited Beijing, Guilin, and Xian. I visited many sites including the Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Army, the Reed Flute caves, river cruise, Tiananmen square, and the forbidden city, etc. Shortly after my New York Arts Festival in 2007, I was invited to be an artist in residence at Abraham Lubelski’s Studio in Beijing for a month. I took advantage of the opportunity and visited most of the main sites in Beijing again including the Great Wall of China.
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications that were built across the historical northern borders of ancient Chinese states and Imperial China as protection against various nomadic groups from the Eurasian Steppe. The Great Wall of China is one of the greatest sights in the world — the longest wall in the world, an awe-inspiring feat of ancient defensive architecture. Its winding path over rugged country and steep mountains take in some great scenery.
Chairman Mao once said, “He who has not been to the Great Wall is not a true man”. I would say that if you get an opportunity, you must take it and visit the Great Wall of China. It is an experience of a lifetime and one you will never forget. Standing on it and seeing how it winds along the mountain ridges is extraordinary.
I also visited Cuandixia. Nestled in a valley 90km west of Beijing and overlooked by towering peaks, the Ming dynasty village of Cuandixia is a gorgeous cluster of historic courtyard homes with old-world charm. The backdrop is lovely: terraced orchards and fields with ancient houses and alleyways rising up the hillside and temples in the surrounding area. Two hours is more than enough time to wander around the village because it’s not big, but staying the night allows you to soak up its historic charms without the distraction of all those day-trippers.