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Visiting Mutianyu Wall - Great Wall of China

Updated on June 30, 2013
Iammattdoran profile image

Matt is an avid traveller and self-confessed 'man of the world'. He is passionate about his home city, Manchester, and about travelling.

What is Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu is a small town in China located about 70km North East of Beijing. There is a stunning stretch of the Great Wall of China that is within the limits of the town of Mutianyu, which some people refer to as the Mutianyu Wall or the Mutianyu Great Wall, but don't let this confuse you, it's not a separate wall this is an excellent part of the Great Wall of China in which to make a very rewarding visit. Most tourists setting off from Beijing to the Great Wall will likely visit the Badaling Great Wall section, often known as the Badaling Great Wall, as part of an advertised Beijing Great Wall day trip.

Where is Mutianyu

A markermutianyu -
Mutianyu Road, Huairou, Beijing, China
get directions

Mutiany Great Wall picture

Mutianyu Great Wall picture
Mutianyu Great Wall picture | Source

Beijing to Mutianyu

I visited the Mutianyu Wall section of the Great Wall of China, located about 70km north-east of Beijing. The cool thing about this Mutianyu wall section is that it is much less visited than the Beijing wall section. Getting from Beijing to Mutianyu can be a little trickier if you want to go independently and not with a tour group but to be honest it’s only the language issues that make it tricky. More than one public bus to Mutianyu runs out of Beijing everyday to a town near the Mutianyu wall and they’re cheap, tidy and reliable - as they are throughout all towns and cities in China.

We got some information on the Mutianyu wall from the staff at our Beijing hostel who told us where to catch the bus to Mutianyu and what number to take as well as where to get off, as this wouldn’t necessarily have been obvious to us. We got off the bus at the place as directed and then jumped in a taxi which took us the rest of the way to the Mutianyu wall (note: people will refer to the taxis as mini-buses but really they're just cars that operate on a shared per-person basis. Drivers will ask for a high price at first but you should be able to negotiate to a price of 40RMB for the whole car).

Great Wall of China Book

The Great Wall: From Beginning to End
The Great Wall: From Beginning to End

A great book filled with stunning pictures of the entire length of the Great Wall of China including the Mutianyu Wall section.

 

Mutianyu Great Wall

The Mutianyu Wall section of the Great Wall of China
The Mutianyu Wall section of the Great Wall of China | Source

Great Wall of China - Recommended Reading

The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China

This extraordinary project is at once a beautiful photographic essay, an intriguing conceptual art project, and a personal odyssey. Daniel Schwartz, with his profound and haunting vision of the Great Wall, has made not only a unique document but a book that is a work of art in itself.

 

Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu wall section of the Great Wall of China
Mutianyu wall section of the Great Wall of China | Source

Great Wall, Mutianyu

Great Wall Mutianyu section
Great Wall Mutianyu section | Source

Arriving at Mutianyu Wall Early

We had intended to arrive to the Mutianyu lall section really early to beat the crowds but in the end we arrived later than we’d anticipated. However, it was still pretty quiet and remained quiet for the whole time we were there. We took loads of pictures of the Mutianyu wall section in all directions with no one else getting in the way.

It's actually very quiet up on the Mutianyu wall and the views of the surrounding landscape are spectacular. If you ignore the town over in the distance you can really take a moment to imagine yourself standing on the wall over a thousand years ago.

Great Wall Toboggan

Great Wall Toboggan - fun!!
Great Wall Toboggan - fun!! | Source

The Great Wall Toboggan

Now, don’t get me wrong when I say this, the Great Wall of China is amazing and I get dizzy when I think about how old some of the sections are, like the Mutianyu wall section, and when I try and imagine a very different looking China, but….taking the toboggan great wall ride back down to the bottom was seriously awesome!!! Just make sure you don't get someone slow in front of you! If you want to go as fast as possible, and you really should, then wait a couple of minutes after the person in front of you has gone before you take your turn. I didn't wait long enough and nearly went flying after rounding a bend and finding this slow-coach dawdling along in front of me. I don't know if the great wall tobaggan ride is present at all Great Wall visiting sites but it's here at the Mutianyu wall and I'm pretty sure it's also at the Beijing Badaling wall site too.

Calling All Students Visiting Mutianyu Great Wall!

Tip: If you have a student card, use it!! Like most sights in China you can get an obscene discount entry to the Mutianyu Great Wall by showing your student card! Discounted entrance to the Mutianyu Great Wall is half price with a valid student card. In fact, we were told by some other travellers that all you really need to show is a card with your photo on and just act like it's a student card. Show your bus pass if you have one and it will get you a discount!

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if you're thinking of visiting China you may find these books interesting

Lonely Planet China (Country Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet China (Country Travel Guide)

Excellent Lonely Planet guide book that you know you can trust, Includes a section on visiting the Great Wall of China including the Mutianyu wall section and the Beijing Badaling wall section.

 

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    • Iammattdoran profile image
      Author

      Matt Doran 3 years ago from Manchester, UK

      Hi Anna, thanks for the comment. Cool photo's! I'd like to go back sometime and take my dslr camera and get some better shots. Check out my other China hubs. Cheers

    • profile image

      Anna 3 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the great tips and picture! After visited Badaling great wall and Mutianyu great wall, I think Mutianyu is more beautiful, less tourists, more great walking experiences! Here is some photos of Badaling, http://www.accesschinatravel.com/photo-v592-badali...

    • profile image

      andy 3 years ago

      Great photos, thanks for sharing. Mutianyu Great Wall is a good alternative for Badaling, often quiet, with less tour buses and stops. Badaling gets more tourists than Mutianyu. If you could visit only one, and want to enjoy a better views with less crowds, Mutianyu is right for you. http://www.wildgreatwall.com/mutianyu-toboggan-rid...

    • Iammattdoran profile image
      Author

      Matt Doran 4 years ago from Manchester, UK

      Cheers for reading and commenting American Choices!

    • American_Choices profile image

      American_Choices 4 years ago from USA

      I have visited and climbed the wall. I was and always will be amazed at the magnitude of this ancient project. I was always amazed at how steep the walk was. We walked and walked until we were exhausted and started over again accidentally! It was an amazing trip but your toboggan ride makes me jealous - I will now have to return! How cool! Thank you so much! Voted up!