Sep 8, 2015

Great Wall of China at Mutianyu



The Great Wall at Mutianyu is well developed, somewhat quiet, with lots of green sceneries, not full of the tour buses and stops along the way. Taking pictures at Mutianyu is said to be much easier compared with Badaling.  Getting up to the Great Wall at Mutianyu is also very convenient as you can use the cable car / 'ski' chair lift that enables  you  to avoid  the steep climb to access to Mutianyu. Best of all, you can enjoy the fun but and slightly scary toboggan ride down for a fast return to the entrance. If you are travelling with kids or teenagers, I bet they would find it fun. On a lovely, clear day, you’ll see very long stretches of the Great Wall and it truly is a glorious sight...



My daughter and I were excited and it was also an adventure getting there by ourselves on public transport. From our hostel, we took the subway to Dongzhimen.  

At Dongzhimen, we emerged from the subway and looked for the bus station which was very nearby.


Bus no. 867 goes directly from Dongzhimen to Mutianyu at 7:00am and 8:30am daily, and returns at 2:00pm and 4:00pm. It is a 2½-hour journey. The bus operates from March 15 to November 15, with no service in winter. The limited service means it is hard to get a seat on the bus.....

We decided to take bus  no. 916 from Dongzhimen to Huairou which costed us RMB12 per person one way and upon arrival at Huairou, we got a driver who was waiting at the bus stop to Mutianyu for RMB55 . The journey took us about 2 hours to Huairou and another 1/2 hour to Mutianyu..... 

Oh, for your information, Bus  no. 916 runs frequently —once about every 10- 20 minutes, because when we got there, the queue was super long, and when the first bus came, it was already full and we did not fancy standing for the duration of 2 hours, so we waited for the next bus which was not too far behind...



At Mutianyu there , you can buy the tickets for the shuttle bus, the cable car/ 'ski' chair lift, toboggan and also the entrance to the Great Wall. It cost about RMB158 for the whole package per person.


There are also plenty of shops and restaurants at near the ticketing counter there. You have to walk behind all those shops to the shuttle bus stop where there are several small buses waiting to shuttle you to the foot of the Great Wall.

The journey there will take just about 5-10  minutes...



You can read a little about the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu here near where the shuttle bus stops before heading up some steps to the cable car/ 'ski' chair lift.... it is NOT really called a 'ski' chair but rather just a chair lift, but it is just because this chair lifts reminds me of skiing too much so I added it on.... so don't mind me...





Here are a couple of pictures of the 'ski' chair lifts... it is kinda exciting , thrilling and scary getting on it because there is no real safety lock but rather your feet holding the bars down. The person on the ski lift in front of us lifted his legs and the safety bar sprang up, however he was scolded by some of the attendants monitoring the chair lifts along the way...


From the ski lifts, you can get a look at the toboggans and the slide going all the way down from the top.... FYI, on the Great Wall of Mutianyu brochure, there is even a picture of First Lady Michelle Obama coming down the side on a toboggan....



The Great Wall at Mutianyu  was said to be first built by the Northern Qi Dynasty in (550–577) over 1,400 years ago.

It was then rebuilt and strengthened under the supervision of famous General Xu Da during the Ming Dynasty on the foundation of the Northern Qi wall around 700 years ago. 

Mutianyu Pass was fortified in 1404 (the 2nd year of Emperor Yongle's reign) with a rare triangular formation of three interlinked watchtowers.

A 2½-kilometer section was fully restored in 1986. Today’s wall is a replica of the fortifications of 1568 in the Ming Dynasty.


The feeling as you first stand at the Great Wall of China, one of the Seven Wonders of the World is  indescribable. It is a combination of elation, reverence and pride , probably some sort of mini achievement as well...... At least I always feel that way too when I am at some of the world's most historic locations, such as the Angkor Wat, Borobudur, etc....


Anyway the view here is just amazing.... 




The only thing is that instead of going left from the 'ski' chair lifts site , I went right... Going left would have led to some easier and more gorgeous walkways and paths, which I learn a little too late....


We went to the right to where the paths were a little more harder to navigate as there were a lot of steps... and it quickly drained this old woman.. yeah... it was here I truly felt my age have caught up with me... the steps were steep and narrow, a little scary... as if you slipped, you would be tumbling down a long way...




But the view, and the pride of being on the Great Wall of China was just worth all the aches and pains...



See the steepness of the steps.....



I was quite blessed as well as the air was crisp, fresh and nice, the weather was not humid or sweltering hot as I feared it might be , but instead it was really refreshing with a lovely breeze that kept us cool...

Let me take a selfie.....


This picture is taken at a little exit by the side of the wall...

The detail on the roof


Check out more pictures here at the Great Wall of Mutianyu....



My Rapunzel moment.... minus the hair


Check out the steepness of the stairs...



After a couple of hours, we were exhausted and decided to head down via the toboggan. It was a thrilling and scary experience . 




The toboggan is basically simple to operate... just pulling and pushing the gear in front of you to control the speed, but you are so NOT allowed to stop and there are attendants all over the place to ensure your safety as well as warn you not to stop for fear the people behind you crashing into you...


When we reach the bottom, we were pulled by these two old men in old costumes to take picture with them...Warning: DO NOT let yourself be pulled into it if you do not want as they will demand RMB20 per person after taking pictures with you...

We then took the shuttle bus back to near the shops and ticketing counters... if you are looking to buy souvenirs, this is a really good place to buy souvenirs, but please be forewarn and prepare to bargain as low as you can... I would advice you to estimate how much you are willing to pay and bargain.. if they do not want to give you the price, walk away and they will call you back if they can give you the price you are asking for... if they really can't then maybe you can raise your acceptable price a little...It is not so easy or convenient buying souvenirs in Beijing.... or if there is, I do not know about it as I am travelling on my own....

Anyway , heading back to Beijing was just the same.. my driver from earlier took us back to Huairou and waited at the bus stop until bus no.916 came and he saw us off... he charged me RMB55 per car and the bus RMB 12 per person.....

And that is my experience at the Great Wall of Mutianyu....and it was amazing!!!



36 comments:

  1. Reading at your china's trip makes me so wanna plan a trip there!~ Beijing really looks nice!

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  2. I was in Beijing way back in 2004... almost 11 years back.
    I wish I could there again, in winter hehehe.
    And I would love to try the slides (will be screaming all the way)

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  3. Wah nice view from the high ground of the great wall of china. I see the cable car is quite thrilling too hahah

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    1. the cable car is pretty thrilling.. I was pretty nervous before getting on it but there are people on a watchout every corner... so pretty safe...

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  4. Looks like you got pulled by the two men to take photos! LOL To me, a trip to China can be easily spoilt by these people trying to trap tourists to part with their money.

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    1. Exactly... but there are tourist traps every where.. I remember my trip to Cambodia... it was just the same...

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  5. i love the tobbogan ride. ngeeeee...miera you make me wanna visit beijing again.

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    1. yeah... it as both exhilarating and terrifying.... hahah

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  6. how i wish could be travel again. being really busy on year end wedding month !! need a break!!

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    1. take the opportunity and go for a holiday when you can...!!!

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  7. Wow dear, looks like you really like China. Been reading quite a number of your posts about China hehe. By the way, I think I would give the Tobaggan ride a try! Haha.

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  8. I never try the toboggan before. It has been a while since I last visit to Beijing. I think it changed a lot too.

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    1. definitely a lot of changes.... it is pretty amazing and clean (to my surprise... much cleaner then KL!!!)

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  9. Great Mother and Daughter bonding times. I never go to Great Wall of China before and would love to plan my trip there. Looks exciting.

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    1. it sure is!!! Try to go... we all should take time to travel and see the world whenever we can, while we still can...

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  10. Such a pretty and nice place for travel! So many place I want to travel lah T.T

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  11. That's a real dirty tactic for them to do that at the bottom of the slide :/
    but your life super happening la babe :)

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    1. Our life is what we make of it... after all my dark moments, I endeavor to make it as happening as I can too.. LOL

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  12. Pretty place and The great wall of China definitely is a must place to visit when travel to China! Making me look forward for my travel next year >.<

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    1. yaaayyy... where are you headed next year Sharon???

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  13. Ahh. this brings back memories about my Beijing trip. Maybe i should start posting about my trip too. hehe

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    1. Absolutely... Aliza... you should... and I want tips on Korea.....!!!!!

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  14. The ski lift is so scary. How long is the ski lift? If skinny person sit on it, I wondering the person will fly off or not. The Great wall of China is beautiful.

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    1. nahh... got safety bar... I think the trip up is about 5 minutes

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  15. very peaceful and Beautiful town. And you have even been to the Great Wall of China?! Do you have to walk far?

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    1. walk?? You can choose to walk as far or as little as you want I guess... the further your walk, the more you see.......

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  16. when was this? I will love to visit the great wall of china one day.. sigh, have to wait until the kids are bigger first :(

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    1. hmmm... in June...I went with my eldest girl.... =)

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  17. blessed you are to get the chance to climb that great wall of China, one of my bucketlist dream too.

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    1. go do it... Leona... we are only that young once and life is short... so if and when we have an opportunity, we should grab it... I always believe in doing things when there is an opportunity... =)

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  18. Oh love the pictures Miera. Planning to make a visit there sometime next year if I have the time, and visiting the Great Wall of China is a must most definitely ;)

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