Walking in China

Old Jan 8th, 2002, 10:07 PM
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Walking in China

In reading about the Yangste River an author talks about the numeous steps to climb to get to the villages. We are cruising on the Victoria lines with Pacific Delight tours. Will there be any form of transportation or assistance to get up the banks of the river in the major tourist stopovers? just how steep and difficult is it for someone with a problem? Just how strenuous is the beijing, xi'an, shanghai trip? Thanks for your responses in advance.
Old Jan 9th, 2002, 04:00 AM
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Hi Steven,

For the Yangtze River part:

In Fengdu, there are only a few steps to get from the boat to the road, and then usually a coach will take you to the chairlift station. The chairlift will take you up to the top of the hill... There are steps here and there when walking around once you are at the top of the hill---- take a good walking stick with you just in case.

For White Emperor City in Fengjie, need to climb about 200 steps (uneven heights and quite steep) from the river bank before you reach the chairlift station there.
Old Jan 10th, 2002, 11:50 AM
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The sites we visited in Beijing were quite flat--very few stairs. But some of the sites are large and require quite a bit of walking. The Summer Palace, for example, is very large! There are 2 walking options at Badling (the section of the great wall most tour groups visit)--one option is easier--but you do need to walk up steps to get to the top of the wall. I've heard there is a cable car--perhaps if you inquired prior to the tour this would be an option for you. In Xi-an the museum complex of the warriors is flat--but the bus did need to park a distance away--we needed to walk through a souvenir shop and then down a street with souvenir stalls before reaching the museum complex. We did not visit shanghai. Many of the cities in China are very flat--this is why they can make such good use of bicycles.
Old Jan 10th, 2002, 03:51 PM
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My recollection of the Great Wall at Badaling is that there is no cable car there. There is, however, a cable car at the Mutianyu section of the wall. But don't let that mislead you! A simple glance at photographs of the wall will show you that there is precious little LEVEL walking to be done. So unless you're just planning to sit in one spot on the wall at the top of the cable care (which my wife did), plan on some strenuous walking.
Old Jan 10th, 2002, 06:37 PM
Peter Neville-Hadley
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There is in fact a cable car operation at Badaling, as well as at Mutianyu (a choice of routes) and Simatai.

But Les is otherwise right--moving any distance from the cable car station will involve you in steep climbs or descents, often steep enough to require the use of hands as well as feet. Access to the cable car stations may involve a walk and climbing quite a few steps--these are considered more as fun rides than as offering access to the Wall for the less physically able. (At Mutianyu you can rocket back down again on a kind of railed luge.)

As has been mentioned, Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai are all on level ground, but considerable care is needed when walking. Pavements (sidewalks) are uneven, and full of unexpected knobs and projections. Manholes are sometimes uncovered, lines are strung between trees at neck height, and cars and bicycles are parked across the pavements without any thought for pedestrians whatsoever, who are frequently driven to walk in the road. Elderly persons and those with limited vision need to take particular care. Few hotels, restaurants, or stores have ramps, or organised disabled persons' access of any kind. They do, however, have plenty of staff to offer physical assistance.

Peter N-H
Old Jan 19th, 2002, 12:30 AM
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Hello Steven, I don't recall seeing a cable car at Badaling. But perhaps I missed it. We were told there was a hard way and a harder way to climb the wall. The harder way was quite steep I guess. We took the hard way. I was very concerned before going but did fine. In fact I think I could have walked further than my sister who was with me. But I walk every day at home. Of course it is all flat here. Some stairs to get up there, not bad. The walk is long and slopes quite a bit. There is a low hand rail or the side of the wall (also low) that you can hang onto if needed. It was better than I imagined it would be. About the Yangtze tour. We took Victoria Cruise ship with SmarTours. There were many steps to get up to the busses to go to the cities to do the tours. It got to be a game with us and we started counting them. The most we counted was around 100. There was rain at times and the steps can be a bit muddy and slippery. Use caution. I am very unsure of my footing, I think its a biofocal thing! I am afraid of falling. Our guide helped me at one point and the rest was not to bad. Just take your time. Sometimes there are low railings to hang onto. Hard to do in places because of the crowds. When we left the cruise and had to climb lots of stairs there were many Chinese men awaiting to help you with your bags. They will carry them a long way for a small fee, but my suggestion is to settle the fee in advance. It is a trip of a lifetime and you will enjoy it I am sure. Just use caution and go slow if needed and you will be fine. Perhaps the suggestion of a good walking stick would work. We had two people over 80 on our trip. One is great health and the other one just so-so. Both managed well. I think you will be able to get some help if needed. The guides seem eager to please and ours went out of her way to do so.

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