- Let's start off by looking at some of these Badaling section of the Great Wall on 3 October 2012, which is terrifyingly high but believable. The second fact is likely the real number of visitors that toured the Forbidden City in one day: 182,000. Slide the decimal around and you're got your 18 million that the Global Times quoted. Mystery solved. Still, 182,000 people on a section of wall that's only about four people wide sounds like a less-than-relaxing way to spend a day off.
- Still not sufficiently traumatized to plan your next vacation overseas? Ok, let's try this. Tea Leaf Nation has Hua Shan, in Shaanxi. It is harrowing. There are also these photos.
- Man, that stuff is no joke. I think we need some greener pastures. Let's try this photo set of changes in China over the last 20 years. See if that can cleanse your frontal lobe a bit. My favorite? I like the one that contrasts the train of old belching thick black clouds of smoke and the sleek, shiny bullet trains of today's China.
- Next in line for cleansing photos comes a wonderful Great Wall. Very refreshing, like going swimming in Bali, maybe. These photos are a great reminder of why we travel in China in the first place: oozing history, the Wall is equal parts mystifying and beautiful.
- And finally, let's finish with a triumph. This victory over discomfort is heartening. Traveling via hard-seat over the holidays sounds daunting, and it's good to know that all hope is not lost: you might even get upgraded.
So remember folks: things can get a little dicey over the holidays! Don't forget to take that into consideration the next time you plan a China vacation. Until next time, hold your hat and lean into the wind.