People i met around Asia – Jingshanling Great Wall

Hi everyone, am back for a new post. Am still pretty new to this, so it would be great to have feedback and interactive comments to let me improve further more in this blog.

Back in autumn 2009, i flew to Beijing, China. The purpose is to visit such a profound history capital in China and doing travel photography for some stock images. Anyway i would love to share more interesting stories later in future posts.

In this post i will be sharing 2 of the portrait images i took in Jingshanling Great Wall.

I didn’t take notice of her right after i have cleared the ticket counter to proceed for my exciting climb. Later realizing i was the only tourist in the surrounding. She was always walking in front of me, carrying a bag on her shoulder, gosh it looks really heavy. I didn’t think what it was until later. Wanting to focus on embracing this magnificent history atmosphere of Great Wall.

Soon she start talking to me, asking me where am from, where am i heading. She said she would be more than happy to guide me along, i was like ok, let’s go. When i start climbing up to the first top, she starts to ask me whether i want to buy souvenir, oooooooo.. so that’s what the bag contains!! Pictorial books, food, drinks, some handmade stuff make from their villages (i can’t remember what is it). i politely decline as i still got a pretty long walk to conquer. I don’t want to add more burden into my heavy camera bag and tripod. She smile upon my rejection and keep walking ahead of me, positive isn’t it.

I was surprised the air was pretty thin up there, not sure whether is it the season that cause it. I had some difficulty acquiring oxygen. Luckily i was fine after a while. The daunting slope and ultra steep steps starts to appear. I was excited to walk through it, reminds me of the hardship when the workers work on this open historical of stone and earthen fortifications for centuries. It seems the lady walking in front of me got no difficulty walking on steep steps.

It seems almost vertical if you see it there, i actually have to activate my “4 x 4”, using not only my pair of leg, but hands as well. The camera was sling across my body during the climb.

Later i figure she would walk all the way with me to Simatai Great Wall, i don’t want a saleswoman to walk with me anymore. Not that am unfriendly, but is weird to have someone trying hard to sell. Imagine if i say no at the end of journey, she would probably have to walk all the way back home with zero income, it makes me feel guilty. So i stop at one of the watch tower, tell her to show me what she got, i will buy what i need, now is the best time for her to clinch a good sales. ><''

Getting what i think is worth it, considering the weight and amount of money i have to pay. We chatted a bit more about her life. Before i leave, i requested for a portrait picture of her. She was more than happy to oblige. I clicked a few before i move on. Later along the way i met a few of such. 1 of them was a lady porter that offers to help me carry my bag. I thanks her offer, i told her i want to do this my own. Have a simple conservation, permission to ask for a picture.

Click and go.

I estimate only conquering a quarter of the journey before i depart with the walk with peace. A quarter time of pondering whether to purchase. Still it was a really good experience to meet the local.

I don’t like to sneak up and take pictures unknowingly, nothing wrong with that. There are also fantastic image of expression. That depend on the situation. If not i would like to know the person a bit more before i ask for permission. The outcome is most people are friendly, some are shy. Is another beautiful cross road encounter in life.


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