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mented with rows of bright yellow maize cobs, while golden Chinese characters decorate doors around small square courtyards. ThE ChanGinG COUnTrySidE Looking out of a bus heading toward the Great Wall, one is struck by the sharp juxtaposition Kazakstan of old and new. Corn fields, orchards and small villages pass in a blur, occasionally interrupted by blocks of apartment buildings housing tens of thousands of people. In a dazzling display, motorways run parallelKrygyzstan village with ancient lanes where farmers plod with their horses. City-dwellers tired of Beijing's frantic busTadzikistan tle and pollution represent a source of potential income to residents of local mountain villages. The province has begun to view tourism Afganistan as a valuable phenomenon for the countryside, and has begun to fix up centuries-old villages Pakistan in order to attract visitors. On our return trip, we leave behind the broad range of mountains that surround northern Beijing. Valleys, steep, eroded cliffs and India terraced mountainside orchards pass slowly by. Off to the left, a sharp triple-topped mountain seems to be carving an image of itself into the sky. Many rOadS lEad TO ThE Wall Both foot-trekking and cycling are active ways to see the sights along the Wall near Beijing. There are bicycle routes along small roads with little traffic that run through villages and rural landscapes and rise eventually into the mountain valleys, where one can climb onto the Wall Russia Mongolia Grea Wall Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) Beijing Tianjin North Korea South Korea China Xi┬┤an Shanghai Jap Nepal Bhutan India Myanmar Bangladesh Guangzhou Vietnam Laos Thailand Kamputsea Hongkong Macau Taiwan Philippines Reaching the Wall Malaysia Brunei (Malesia) CyClinG TOp lEFT Fruit trees and corn fields frame the valleys' small villages. TOp riGhT Climing to the highest towers of the Wall's reconstructed sections is a challenge, even for seasoned hikers. BOTTOM Mules come in handy on rocky hills and narrow trails. Bike Beijing hiKinG Singapore Borneo Indonesia Beijing Hikers Recommended for those in good physical shape and accustomed to trekking. Jiangfu Jiayuan Building 107, 1907, Jiangtai Lu East, Xiao Chengezhuang, Beijing +86 10-6432-2786 www.beijinghikers.com China Culture Center (CCC) Bike Beijing, 34 Dong Huang Cheng Gen South St, Beijing + 86 133-8140-0738 www.bikebeijing.com Cycle China Room 101, Kent Center, Borneo No. (Indonesia) 29, Anjialou, Liangmaqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing. +86 10-6432-9341, www.chinaculturecenter.org CnAdventure No. 12 Jingshan East Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing +86 10-6402 5653, +86 139-1188-6524 www.cyclechina.com CCC hikes are slower-paced than those run by Beijing Hikers. 208F Elephant Investment Tower, 1 Dongbinhelu, Dongcheng District, Beijing. +86 10-5109-9102, www.cnadventure.com FEBRUARY 2010 BlUE WinGS 47

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