During a recent trip to Beijing me and my boyfriend, Josh, decided we simply had to visit The Great Wall of China. There are different points along the wall that you can visit easily from Beijing. After some research we decided to go to Mutianyu. We decided on this location for 3 reasons:
- It is a lot less crowded than the popular Badaling location
- It is still only 40 miles away and easily accessible by public transport from Beijing
- There is a huge toboggan slide to get back down to the road!
We went in December so it was really quiet there at that time of year. Sometimes we were the only people along one stretch of the wall. It was really nice to get away from huge crowds of tourists. Although it was a cold day you do a lot of walking and climbing stairs at so this warms you up.
The Mutianyu section of the wall is 3.4 miles long and it was first built in Northern Qi Dynasty (550-557). Parts of the wall here have been restored but this also makes it easier to climb.
You can either hike to the top and down again or you have the option to take the cable car or you can take the toboggan slide down! Entry prices vary depending on what you chose to do but nothing is very expensive and I’d say its all worth the cost. We paid 100 Chinese Yuan (15 USD) to take the cable car up and the slide down.
Getting to Mutianyu from Beijing: We took public transport although for a much higher price you can find tour companies that will take you or hire a taxi for the round trip. If taking the bus you need to first get to Dongzhimen Bus Station, you can take bus line 916 Express or 916 to Huairou North Avenue (we took the express to save time). Once you get off at Huairou you can transfer bus line h23, h24, h35, or h36 to Mutianyu Roundabout. Or you can hire a taxi or minivan and share it with other travelers to save money.
A great site to use for more facts/prices/visitor info about Mutianyu and other locations along the Wall is: Travel China Guide.
Here are a few more of my favourite pictures:
The Toboggan Slide
The slide down was really really fun! It doesn’t interfere with the wall itself as it is positioned off to the side- so you don’t feel like its spoiling the views of the wall or anything like that. I had never been on a toboggan before and I was really surprised by the amount of speed they can pick up! (You do have a break on your toboggan to slow yourself down if need be). The entire toboggan ride lasted about 5 minutes! I have shortened the video clip to just the last couple of minutes. Here’s the video Josh took on the GoPro: