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China Beijing Mangshan Hiking Bus

19 April 2018

The bus debacle illegal taxi comedy show

Three funny things happened today so strap in, wall of text to follow.

First of all, there were a lot transport debacles. I had selected a spot to go, Mangshan which is near the Ming Tombs about 50km out of Beijing.
This required 3 subways, and then a bus. The subway was fine, some people might complain about the very long transfers, but at least you know it will be coming. The bus however, is anyones guess. The internet said bus 888, how fortuitous, how could it let me down? It did.

There is no more bus 888, me and some locals were equally confused by this, but luckily I can read the map on the bus stops and eventually decided that bus 886 would go to where I wanted to go.
I was now proud that I had figured that out for myself and was helping the locals. There isnt just one bus stop on each street in China, there are generally 20 or so grouped along a section of street, each with about 10 different buses coming to each one. So when anything changes, its chaos.

Anyway, we all stood waiting for bus 886, it came, but it had a symbol next to it, the driver kicked everyone off, that one is returning to the depot, now the real fun started. A local illegal taxi driver knows the new schedule, and started telling everyone that no more bus 886 would come, and we should get a ride with him to Mangshan. He picked on me the most, thats when I started chatting to him. The punch line to my comedy routine had everyone laughing out loud, even the driver was trying to hide his laughter at me, I said to him 'I afraid of taxi driver, they are all scary ghost men, try to steal my money! Except I have no money! Then because no money taxi driver kidnap me, take me to village, try to make me marry daughter!'.

Eventually the right bus came, and to Mangshan we went, I left my new friends behind at the bottom, and bounded up some steps to enjoy the view. Todays view was pollution and cloud, so there wasnt much to see, but there were a lot of steps.
The top of this mountain is some kind of resort you can drive to, so there were people there who didnt bound up China's longest staircase (according to a sign I saw!). A group of middle aged women sipping hot water at the top in their arctic survival outfits were very interested in me.

One of the woman spoke decent English, so she would ask me questions in English, I would answer in Mandarin, everyone would giggle, I had another audience. Questions were about how old I am, am I married, how come I can climb so fast, are all Australians so fit etc. Anyway, I took out my water and started to drink it before going back down, next thing I know auntie pulls out her packet of tissues, takes one out, and starts wiping my brow!

My final ridiculous unexplainable story was on the bus ride back. The bus went into the depot to refuel or change drivers or something, at this stage I wasnt sure why we went to the depot, I wasnt worried it was very close to the subway anyway. Then the driver was insisting I come with him, smiling and motioning for me to follow. I guess other people wouldnt follow a bus driver into a small office in a Chinese bus depot beyond the edge of town, but I can run pretty fast. Anyway before I knew it he had got a guy who was either the depot manager or the local triad boss, and I was standing in between them posing for photos for no apparent reason!

China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - This is the end of the line for the subway, but its actually a different city called Changping. It had a huge number of bakeries, I indulged in a cake

This is the end of the line for the subway, but its actually a different city called Changping. It had a huge number of bakeries, I indulged in a cake before starting my bus stop comedy routine.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - I am constantly amazed at how many public toilets there are in Beijing, and also signs pointing you towards them, they are just about on every corner.

I am constantly amazed at how many public toilets there are in Beijing, and also signs pointing you towards them, they are just about on every corner. Here I am out in a farming orchard, and a brand new toilet block has appeared. It is the only building for hundreds of metres in any direction (I was taking a short cut).


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - My short cut took me around the back of this huge reservoir, apparently the main one for drinking water for Beijing.

My short cut took me around the back of this huge reservoir, apparently the main one for drinking water for Beijing.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - It has an island with a pagoda on it. There is a big fence all the way around it to prevent me from swimming out to the island.

It has an island with a pagoda on it. There is a big fence all the way around it to prevent me from swimming out to the island.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - After at least 3 hours of travel, I had found my park! CLIMBING STEPS! Other signs told me it was the longest set of climbing steps in China. I dont k

After at least 3 hours of travel, I had found my park! CLIMBING STEPS! Other signs told me it was the longest set of climbing steps in China. I dont know what that means though.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - Before starting the climb, it was time to play Mario kart rainbow road stage at the Buddhist temple.

Before starting the climb, it was time to play Mario kart rainbow road stage at the Buddhist temple.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - And here is the fat Buddha, celebrating diversity with his love of homosexuals and their rainbows. Actually for whatever reason it was the first annua

And here is the fat Buddha, celebrating diversity with his love of homosexuals and their rainbows. Actually for whatever reason it was the first annual Holland windmill festival? Those are the destination mountains for today in the background.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - Thats a bit more of Buddha, he told me to hurry up and climb the damn mountain.

Thats a bit more of Buddha, he told me to hurry up and climb the damn mountain.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - I progressed through the rainbow umbrella tunnel...

I progressed through the rainbow umbrella tunnel...


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - ...and arrived at the amusement park. More windmills.

...and arrived at the amusement park. More windmills.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - At first there was a false start, I found some wooden stairs but they were closed off. But then I found the real climbing stairs! Like the great wall

At first there was a false start, I found some wooden stairs but they were closed off. But then I found the real climbing stairs! Like the great wall there were a few work groups doing team building here today.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - I heard a rumor that the view is great on a clear day.

I heard a rumor that the view is great on a clear day.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - That is the resort area at the top where I talked to middle aged women who insisted on wiping the sweat from my overly large forehead.

That is the resort area at the top where I talked to middle aged women who insisted on wiping the sweat from my overly large forehead.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - This is why the wooden step path was closed, still under construction. There is no cable car today, rare for China!

This is why the wooden step path was closed, still under construction. There is no cable car today, rare for China!


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - Hiking info is hard to come by, but wherever I see hills I see little huts on the top like this. It seems hard to get to most of them. That one is out

Hiking info is hard to come by, but wherever I see hills I see little huts on the top like this. It seems hard to get to most of them. That one is outside of the fenced off area for the park that I am in.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - I thought that pagoda looking thing in the distance would be my destination today when I was squinting up through the fog and smog from the bottom, bu

I thought that pagoda looking thing in the distance would be my destination today when I was squinting up through the fog and smog from the bottom, but subsequent investigations reveal it to be a fire spotting tower, off limits.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - Here is a cat, there were actually 3 cats and a Chinese girl feeding them cat food. They were very happy cats.

Here is a cat, there were actually 3 cats and a Chinese girl feeding them cat food. They were very happy cats.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - I even got lost exiting this park, following the grand pathway down to a series of less grand rocky trails thinking they would lead somewhere. They di

I even got lost exiting this park, following the grand pathway down to a series of less grand rocky trails thinking they would lead somewhere. They did not, I had to loop back to the parking lot and go out the only entrance back to the bus.


China-Beijing-Mangshan-Hiking-Bus - Back to the satellite city and I went to a different bakery, there really were at least 10, and bought a delicious sandwich. I went hiking up somethin

Back to the satellite city and I went to a different bakery, there really were at least 10, and bought a delicious sandwich.
I went hiking up something every single day I was in Beijing!


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