Visiting Mutianyu Wall - Great Wall of China
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
Mutianyu Great Wall picture
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.
Mutianyu Great Wall
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).
It takes around an hour and twenty minutes to travel by bus and then another 10 minutes in the taxi.
Mutianyu Great Wall
Arriving at Mutianyu Wall Early
We had intended to arrive to the Mutianyu wall 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. We were fortunate to have such good weather. The skies were perfectly clear and we were able to see the wall meandering around the landscape far into the distance.
Great Wall, Mutianyu
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
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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