Our foreign teacher coordinator, babysitter and friend, Crystal, suggested we check out one of the most famous things in Shanhaiguan. So we popped on over to this small reconstructed part of the wall and military base. The name of this area is The Old Dragon’s Head because the Wall ends and meets the ocean and it sorta resembles a head. Besides a wall resembling a dragon’s noggin, there were also many guard statues in the little base and many of the rooms showcased where and how soldiers would have slept in the barracks, how they would eat (AN ENORMOUS POT FOR GRUEL), and many other things like their uniforms and horse stables.
It was neat to see, but a big shipping boat had run aground about 50 feet from the end of the wall. It kinda killed any kind of magic that a big ol’ wall tends to have when it meets the ocean.It was also kind of a shame to see parts dug out for gift shops selling all the same stuff I mentioned earlier.
About 400-ish yards down the beach, I was able to make out a building with a giant gate and a lot of flags. Upon further investigation it turns out it’s a temple to the Sea God and Goddess of Heaven. The monks rang a little bell for me three times. “一二三!” (sounds like “ee!” “ar!” “san!” but that isn’t the proper piyin )he shouted as he rang the bell. He asked me to donate to the temple and they would light a giant incense stick to bless my ancestors, but they wanted 100 RMB. (which is around $15). I declined, I thanked him and paid my respects to my main girl Mazu and left. Is $15 so much for a blessing? Maybe I oughta start hedging my bets a little better.