Mutianyu Great Wall of China near Beijing
one of the most beautiful sections of the Wall closest to Beijing
The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China is one of the nicest sections of the Wall to be found anywhere, mainly due to its well-preserved status and its location amongst a forest of many different species of trees. Located about 70 kilometers (about 40 miles) northeast of Beijing, this section of the Great Wall was an important location for the defense of both the city of Beijing as well as the Ming Dynasty Tombs, which are located not far away from this section of the Great Wall. Mutianyu connects with the Jiankou and Juyongguan sections of the Great Wall to the west, and to the Gubeikou and Lianhuachi sections to the east. Mutianyu has a total length of about 2,250 meters (1.4 miles) as it winds through the heavily forested hills. First construction on the Mutianyu Great Wall was begun in the mid-6th century during the Northern Qi Dynasty (570-577 A.D.) era. The Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 A.D.) constructed its version of the Wall on top of the old wall, beginning with a guarded pass in 1404, followed by a total rebuilding around 1569. Most of that last rebuilding still stands today. 22 watchtowers of varying construction are closely dispersed throughout the length of this section of the Great Wall, which highlights its importance as a strategic defensive location for the city of Beijing. Although it is a very steep climb to the top, there is a cable car to take you part of the way up the Great Wall, and a fun toboggan ride that takes a twisting route down from the Wall to the entrance area. Mutianyu is not only one of the most beautiful sections of the Great Wall of China, but despite its location near the Ming Tombs and Beijing, it does not get nearly as crowded as the Badaling section of the Great Wall. It can be reached by bus, but a reputable Beijing tour company can help you get there more quickly with a tour guide and a private vehicle to make the most efficient use of your time for a Great Wall tour.