Great Wall of China Mutianyu Beijing China

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Walk with Cham in Great Wall of China (Mutianyu)

Great Wall of China-Mutianyu

The main reason why I wanted to go to Beijing was to lay my feet on the ground of The Great Wall of China! Because it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, this has been on my bucket list for a very long time (If you've been reading my Beijing posts, you'll notice that I'd probably written it for a couple of times already). And yes! Seeing this historical landmark was definitely worth the wait. 

The Great Wall of China is a timeless ruins built during the Ming Dynasty that is considered as UNESCO's World Heritage Site. It is a series of fortifications built from east to west of the northern borders of China to protect the Chinese Empire from invasion against Mongolia and other enemies. 

Site to behold!

From my research, there are 10 Great Wall scenic spots near Beijing and the most famous is in Badaling so famous that it is being flocked with visitors especially during weekends and holidays- I don't want crowded areas so I strike it out on my list. Other areas include Juyongguan, Huanghuacheng, Gubeikou, Jingshanling, Simatai and Jiankou. But the most ideal for me would be in Mutianyu

Why we chose Mutianyu
Mutianyu Great Wall is one of the most famous sections of the Wall after Badaling but with fewer crowd which is what most of us want. The walls are safe and going up is accessible as they have two different options - (1) cable car and (2) chairlift + toboggan. 

Opening Hours
Opens Sunday-Saturday from 8:00 am- 4:00 pm

How to go to Mutianyu 
Option 1- Via Bus
Mutianyu is about 40 miles from Beijing. From my research you can go there via Bus No 916 at the Dongzhimen Outer bus transfer depot that will drop you off at Huairou. Then take a chartered service or public bus from Huairou to Mutianyu. The directions and boarding time were quite complicated, I even read in one blog that they failed going to Mutianyu because they couldn't find the bus transfer depot. So we settled for option 2…

Option 2- Shuttle Service
Luckily our hostel offers back and forth private service to Mutianyu. Spring Time Hostel asked for 800 CNY (P5,796) for the 5 of us so that's 160 CNY (P1,160) each. Yes a bit pricey but since I was with my parents I wanted them to feel comfortable for this trip. The travel time from Beijing is 1 1/2 - 2 hours (depending on the traffic).

At the entrance- Papa, Mama, me, April and Neal

Going up the Great Wall
In Mutianyu there are three options in going up the great wall…

Option 1- On foot
This option never entered my mind…

Option 2- Chairlift going up + Toboggan Ride going down
This was my option from the very start. Being the adventurous me, I really wanted to try the toboggan ride, I even convinced my parents on doing it but because the two of them were afraid of heights unfortunately I had to give it up. Take note that the starting point and drop off point of option 2 is far from option 3

Chairlift (one way): 80 CNY
Chairlift (round trip): 100 CNY
Toboggan (one way): 80 CNY
Chairlift + Toboggan: 100 CNY

Option 3- Cable Car
This is safer and more relaxed option especially if you are with adults. So we all settled for this option and were given 3 tickets- entrance ticket to Mutianyu, bus ticket (round trip) and cable car ticket (round trip).

Entrance Fee: 45 CNY (P327)
Bus Ticket (round trip) : 15 CNY (P109)
Cable Car (round trip): 100 CNY (P724)

The three tickets I need to go up the Great Wall

Walking our way to the Cable Car
Upon entering, we need to walk a few meters before we actually ride a bus. A lane of restaurants and shops can be seen along the way. This was where we had our lunch after the Great Wall trip.

Restaurant Lane

Chinese souvenir lane

Then you will see a Shuttle Bus Entrance, the bus ride takes about 10 mins.

Shuttle bus entrance going to the cable car

After the bus ride, you will again need to walk for 10-15 minutes to be able to reach the entrance of the cable car.

Cable car here we go!

We also stumbled upon the starting point entrance of the stairs going up the Great Wall.

Noooo! Not a good idea. Hehehe.

The cable car was a fast 5-minute ride. 

Cable car!

Walking on the Wall
After the cable car it was finally time to see the majestic Great Wall.

Great Wall of Mutianyu!

The Great Wall of China was truly breathtaking! The Mutianyu section is well preserved and stretches 2.5 kilometers with 22 watchtowers. The massive fortification seemed unreal until you see it with your own eyes.  Aaaaaaaah!!! It is such an achievement!

If these walls could talk

Since we were there post autumn, the weather was quite chilly and the trees started to wither. Nonetheless the Great Wall was still picturesque.

View from the Great Wall
Withered Trees. Winter is coming!

Watching the Watch Towers
We encountered two watch towers, the first one was a one story watchtower with a wonderful view outside. 

Don't you just love this view?!

It is also the watchtower that has a graffiti wall on it. Before, vandalizing was not allowed but were very rampant in this watch tower so recently the management allowed visitors to write on the walls as to leave some remembrance.

Writings on the Wall

Of course I left a mark as well :)

Walked on the Great Wall

The second watchtower is bigger, it is a two-story watchtower with stairs leading up the open roof top.

Two-story watchtower
Peek-a-boo! Inside the bigger watchtower
Mama on the look out
second floor
View from the second floor!

I can just imagine the soldiers stationed on the towers during their glory days guarding the great wall and staying at the tower on the look out. It was a pretty amazing experience. Wow. Just wow.

Cham walking and posing at the Great Wall
Of course we had a lot of picture taking sessions! That's a must when you go here especially when there were very few people around. It was like we had the whole wall all to ourselves. 

This is my normal pose
My happy jumpy pose
My pa-demure pose
My sitting on the battlement pose
Peeking on the battlement pose
My I'm so cool pose

My Samson pose

Of course my OOTD pose
Purple Thermal Jacket from Uniqlo Shanghai (Gift from Mike's mom- Thanks Tita Jackie!)
White Turtle Neck Top from Terranova (P399)
Scarf from Surplus Shop I bought it a long time ago
Purple Bonnet from Nanluoguxiang (15 CNY = P105)
Brown Earmuffs from Jingshan Park (20 CNY = P145)
Purple Rubbershoes from Adidas
Black Highwaist Pants from Lee
Purple Danita Sunnies from (P300)

OOTD in Beijing

Despite my joy and excitement, there was a part of me wishing that Mike was with us. He was dying to go here as well but couldn't because of work. I feel kind lonely without him. Good thing my parents and friends were with me.

with Mama and Papa pose
Mama & Papa's we conquered the Great Wall pose
with my sister Mama pose
WE MADE IT! pose

Great Wall Mutianyu is quiet, less crowded, accessible, enjoyable to walk and has the longest fully restored section of all the Great Walls. You will be needing one whole day for this trip (travel time included). It was definitely a memorable experience and until now I still can't believe I was able to visit this remarkable site. I highly recommend you to visit Mutianyu. The only thing that could have made it better was to experience the toboggan ride. Oh well. I told Mike if he wants to go here I would still join him and if that time comes I will definitely try the toboggan ride.

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