Trip To Chengde

August 31st 10:40 a.m.

As I write this we are climbing through the hills outside of Beijing on our way to Chengde. We are traveling on these amazing new highways that you would think are in the states (just the road itself). They have the same colored signs and same looking arrows and everything. The other factors are what makes it obvious you are in China. The roads wind through the countryside with small huts and peasants going about their everyday life in the background. Every so often you see a man on a bike in the median or a stand with fruit, on the highway! The topography soon went from grasslands to hills and then to mountains, and now we are climbing higher still. During the journey outside of Beijing they’re has been some interesting sites with enormous buildings, signs, and various forms of infrastructure looming over the scenery, even a Hollywood-esque sign upon a hillside.

On the road to Chengde

It is a very nice day out although it is a bit hazy when looking into the distance or up at the looming mountains. The driver thinks the bus is a moped or something because he barrels along with little regard to the windy roads or traffic. We literally almost died three or four times because it is very common for people to drive on the wrong side of the road for passing cars or trucks, and not only in long straight aways. Oh no. Right before tunnels, just before 90 degree turns, and basically any situation where you can’t see if there are other cars or trucks coming are all apparently great times to pass. One time, we were going head on with another huge truck carrying cement cylinders, and barely made it back on our side of the road in time because we were passing a line of trucks. Another time, we had to literally slam on the brakes because a truck didn’t make it back on his side in time and the end result was our bus, and this truck, facing each other on our side of the road, stopped for a few minutes, as he waited to pull back into his own lane and keep going.

Driving Along a Boulevard in Chengde

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