Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Great Wall of China: Mutianyu

When I was planning this trip, I didn't even consider going to Beijing, but when I decided to go to Mongolia I included the Chinese capital. A trip to this part of China is incomplete without visiting one of the sections of the famous Great Wall.


Mutianyu

I had some choices when it comes to visiting the Great Wall, since there were four famous sections which were Badaling, Simatai, Jiankou and Mutianyu. I ended up going to the latter with the help of a friend.

I joined a group that came from the airport, after settling down, we were off to the Great Wall. It was quite a long drive to Mutianyu; as soon as we arrived, you could already see the wall vaguely from a distance.



It's not difficult to get to the actual wall, it may take some time at around 45 minutes to an hour climbing up cemented stairs and walkways. I must admit that I've been to many other attractions in China that I found more impressive than the wall, but it was still an amazing place to be in and see.



When we got to the section of the wall the lighting was just perfect, not too bright with a hint of orange and red. I could already see the different watchtowers from where I stood.



I came at a fortunate time because it wasn't crowded, I could take decent pictures without people's hands, heads, family members and bodies getting into the frame.



The wall seemed a little too perfect for something that's supposed to be centuries old, but I'll take it. I'll just plan another trip to see the other sections that look more 'authentic' and are in a ruinous state. The surrounding views of the mountains and trees were also beautiful, it would've been perfect if the leaves were still in various shades of yellow, green and red as it would be during autumn.




I took a good hour or so to get from the part where we walked up until we got to the other side that went down. It was quite an experience to see and walk on the Great Wall of China after my 5th trip to the country. I've been to other parts before I visited Beijing, wasn't even planning on going to the capital until I decided to cross the border into Mongolia. It wasn't a mistake to go up and walk on the wall during my visit.

Here's a video I took of the wall:


Fees

CNY 45 - ticket for the wall
CNY 15 - ticket for the shuttle bus that takes you to and from the start of the wall

*You have the option to take a cable car going up and/or down, or a luge, but you have to pay an extra CNY 100 for one way trips and CNY 120 for round way trips.

How to Get to Mutianyu

If you take public transportation, your first stop is Dongzhimen Station. Subway lines 2 and 13 will take you here, and there are also buses that make a stop at this station.

Once in Dongzhimen, board the Express 916 bus to Huairou North Avenue (beidajie) Station; the fare is around CNY 12 per way. After reaching the station, get on another bus that goes to the Mutianyu roundabout, these are buses h23, h24, h35 and h36. After alighting at the roundabout, you still have to walk to the ticket office. You can also take a taxi or minivan to the scenic area from Huairou North Avenue Station for around CNY 60 per way.

There are also hostels that arrange private car tours to and from Mutianyu, if I remembered correctly they charge around CNY 280 per person.



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