Favorite thing: In between the Ling Xing Gate and Soul Tower of Chang Ling lies the Five Offerings. This is an incense burner which is carved from stone with many drawings such as clouds and dragons. Many tourists actually drop some money here as a form of respect to the Ming Tombs.
Favorite thing: As in all other touristy places, there are locals who will take souvenir photographs for you at a price when you are at the Great Wall. At one section near the top, your photograph will be placed in a certificate which states that you have climbed the great wall (this is one of those tourist rip-off stuff). Also, you can even sit on a camel or horse, have yourself dressed in traditional clothings and then have a photo taken against the great wall backdrop.
Favorite thing: You will notice that there are guards at the Badaling Great Wall. If you are lucky and your timing is good, you can actually watch the changing of the guards including them marching from the entrance into the Great Wall.
Favorite thing: When you are approaching the great wall region north of Beijing, you will be surrounded by steep and beautiful mountains, especially during autumn when they are most beautiful with the various colours. The scenery is breathtaking and will live long in the memory. Also, the roads to the great wall at Badaling are expressways and they are in very good condition so don't worry.
Favorite thing: The best time to visit the Great Wall of China at Badaling and the nearby Ming Tombs (as well as Beijing city) is in May during springtime and in September to November (autumn) when the weather is cool with blue skies and colourful leaves). Winter is especially cold and there are very bad sandstorms during summer so it is best to avoid these seasons. Unfortunately the best time to visit will also be the time with the most tourists (and crowds).
Mutianyu is about 90 km from Beijing (1h30 by bus).
My guide book said that this Great Wall part is less visited then Badaling (which is closer to Beijing), and the guidebook was right, there were not so many tourists on this part of the Great Wall.
Here in Mutianyu you can visit about 2200 metres of Great wall, and it is about 5 a 6 metres of width.
There are many watch towers and it is great to see the how the Great Wall twists over the hills.
Fondest memory: the view, the Great Wall twists over the hills like a giant snake
The great Wall or The Long Wall of ten thousand Li is one of the most remarkable constructions on earth.
Nowadays this Great wall is 6.350 km long and goes from the coast above Beijing till the Gobi dessert in the far west.
Anyway up to me it is a must see, whenever you are visiting Beijing.
You can visit this Great Wall at several spots: Badaling, Mutianyu, Simatai, and Yuyongguan.
Fondest memory: The amazing view
Favorite thing: The Great Wall is surely on anyone's list on a visit to Beijing, and I have put it just after Tien An Men Square+the Forbidden City. This is the Badaling section, one of the closest to Beijing (we hired a taxi to go there and visit royal tombs at the same time). The wall is well restored here, offering an accurate impression of what it was like. For the poets and idealists, a short walk on the steep wall to the west will also offer a more worn down version (see next tip/photo).