At the Huang Hua Cheng section of the Great Wall of China. By Glenn Belverio


Dear Shaded Viewers,

I had originally planned on doing the Great Wall the wimpy way by going to the tourist-ridden section of Badaling. Then I changed my mind and wanted to go to a further out section where some tourists go and the Wall is a bit treacherous to climb….finally after talking to Zach Gold at dinner the other night here in Beijing, I decided to journey out to an obscure and remote section called Huang Hua Cheng where Zach reported running into only one tourist during his 3-hour trek.

I set out with my friend Alice’s boyfriend and his brother who found a driver who was willing to take us out there (we had to supply the directions). This part of the Wall is closed to the public but if you pay a local farmer 2 yuan (about US 30 cents) to visit his “chestnut orchard” he’ll point you in the right direction….this was after we climbed up a very steep and dusty hill. At first I thought I was going to chicken out but because I’m a Capricorn (mountain goat), I found the strength to forge ahead.


This was just the beginning of many steep climbs… was quite a work-out, let me tell you.


I had to channel my inner farm boy to climb up this ladder…I felt like a Mongol invader. We had to crawl through that hole and into one of the crumbling guard towers to reach the Wall.


View from the guard tower



This was not a trip for anyone with a fear of heights…



The obligatory photo of me on the Wall.


Yes, the haze is from pollution. Beijing was very polluted yesterday (and today–my eyes are burning) and the smog blew out this area as well. I love China but can’t deal with the horrible air quality. My lungs are missing New York.


Glenn Belverio


Glenn Belverio

Glenn Belverio is a writer and New Yorker. He has been reporting for ASVOF since 2005 and currently works at The Museum of Modern Art as the Content Manager for MoMA Design Store.