We visited Mutiayu Section of the Great Wall in late October 2012. We shared ride (private car and chauffeur) with another two Taiwanese girl. Cost per person was RMB150 and includes transport to Mutianyu, Sacred Passageway and Ming Tomb.
We visited Jinshanling section of the Great Wall during the earlier part of the trip. All of the open sections at Mutianyu is well restored compared to Jinshanling and personally I love the scenery of the former than the latter.
Mutianyu great wall is very famous for visitors to beijing, but another section Muoshikou is less know.
Muoshikou pass is much attractive and with almost no tourists, visitors can see not only original wall ( not repaired) and waterfall, valley etc.
below is the link:
I learned that Mutianyu has less crowd than any other great wall. So, I decided to go there with great expectation of natural beauty surrounding the great wall with less tourists. I went there during National Holiday, they have special tourist buses for this route. Well, it is true that it is less crowded than Badaling Great Wall that I visited last year on a normal day. The unique part of this Great Wall is that it has many watchtowers with rich historical stories. I found the Zhenguantaiand the Big Corner Tower has the ancient architectural beauty.
Mutianyu Great Wall has 2.5km stretch of the wall allowing you to walk within 2 hours. It was first built between 550 to 577 during Northern Qi Dynasty. During Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Xu DA, the founding general of Ming Dynasty, built and restored wall from Shanhaiguan all the way to Mutianyu.
The signboard was written as:
" Mutianyu is located in Huairou District of Beijing. According to historical literatures, this section of the Great Wall was built under the supervision of General Xu DA of the Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang in the early Ming Dynasty. In 1987, it was selected as one of the top 16 Beijing scenes. In 1992, it was one of the top tourist spots in Beijing. In 2002, Mutianyu was acknowledge as an AAAA tourist resort for it showed the best part of the Great Wall. On November 11 1990, President Jiang Zemin wrote the inscription "the Great Wall-Mutianyu" for the resort.
This section of the Great Wall was built in a unique way. Here the many watchtowers and passes were built on the steep mountain. Forts were built on the two sides of the Great Wall. There were three watchtowers and a tower called "Zhengguantai", which could be rarely seen on the Great Wall. The northwest part of the Great Wall was constructed on the 1,000-m-high mountain ridge. The "arrow nock" and "lying eagle" sections were laid on the precipitous cliffs. This section of the Great Wall goes along the mountain ridge like flying dragon.
The Great Wall-Mutianyu is also a resort featuring beautiful scenes all year round with a forest coverage rate of 96% - flowers in spring, brooks in summer, red leaves in autumn and snow in winter. Mutianyu has been well-known home and aboard as one of the best places to see the Great Wall. "
Also read Cableway & Slidewayto see the options to get up there!
Transportation tip to Mutianyu Great Wall.
In Chinese: 幕田峪长城 (Mu Tian Yu Chang Cheng)
Comparing photos of Mutianyu and Badaling, it is hard to say which is more picturesque with the mountains and majesty of the ridge lines.
As I did my walk, I came across a sign that read “Many sections of the Great Wall are built at the knife-sharpened-like mountain peak, point to the sky straightly and combine majesty, steepness and beauty into one. It is the masterpiece of the Great Wall.” Very true, but some are more majestic and rugged, while others are more flowing and subtle.
I may have opted for one that was a little more subtle, but not by much. But the trade off was the serenity and peaceful isolation. During my ~3hrs on the wall, I only ran into 6 other tourists. Maybe I was lucky that most thought it was going to be cold, or that many were on holiday. But compared to the swarms of people on the Badaling section, it was much more peaceful.
Similar to Badaling, you can barter with a taxi for ~500Y round trip, gear up with a group and get a tour, of you can take a public bus (what I opted for to avoid crowds and call my own schedule).
How to get there:
Bus #916 leaves Dongzhimen for Huairou (~12Y). If you want more remote wall, take connecting bus #961 to Huanghua. Either way, u haggle w/ a taxi in Huairou for the remainder of the trip for much less than cost from Beijing.
UPDATE from the forums - March 15 ~ Nov 15 (tourist season) : Bus 867 goes to Mutianyu from from Dongzhimen outer. The bus transfer depot is just outside of exit B.
When I arrived at Mutianyu parking area, I had three options to reach to the Great Wall. First, I could take the Cable Car from the North Entrance. Second, I could walk the trails. Third, I could go Cableway, and return by the Slideway from the South Entrance.
Well, I was given 3 hours to explore this Great Wall. My target was to visit Zheng Guan Tai and Big Corner Tower. I did not think I had enough time to walk the trails. If I ride with the Cable Car from the Northern Entrance, I might not have enough time to walk to Big Corner Tower, which is located on the east side of the Wall. So, I took the Cableway to reach the wall, and came down by the Slideway at the Southern Entrance.
Slideway is an unique ride as I had not see it in some other attractions. Basically, it is a winding metal track that slide you down to the bottom of the hill. It could be fun to ride it, but it takes time to queue for your turn as it has only one seat for each ride. If you have time constrain, you can always take the Cableway down.
Ticket Fare: Y80 (Return)
Opening Hours: Summer (7:30-17:30)
China Stone Museum is also called " China Dream Stone City" is located between the North Entrance and and Southern Entrance of the Mutianyu Great Wall. The admission is inclusive in the Mutianyu ticket. It is a Chinese garden with natural stones shapes like camels, turtles, old man, and etc that related to Chinese poems. The most interesting part is the cave with lime stones decorated with colorful lights. There were several pavilions with lakes typical Chinese garden. By reading the signboard, I think if you choose to walk up to Great Wall, this could be the great place to start the trail.
In Chinese: 中华梦石城 (Zhong Hua Meng Shi Cheng)
Zhengguantai has a unique ancient architectural building as part of the Mutianyu Great Wall. In fact, it is empty inside. You could go up to the second floor to have a great view of Mutianyu Great Wall.
The signboard was written as:
" The sohriquet is " SanZuoLou" it was built in the second year of the reign of Yongle in Ming Dynasty (1404 BC). As a gateway, the three blocks houses that were connected as a whole building. It has two stories. The lower story is a passageway and the upper one has three observation pavilions. It separates a main section and a side one. This structure is quite rare in construction of the whole Great Wall."
In Chinese: 正关台 (Zheng Guan Tai)
The Great Wall was started by the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty more than 2000 years ago and built upon over the next 1500 years. Much of what we see today dates to the Ming Dynasty (14th-17th century). Its better preserved and it has endured because of the bricks used.
It is the largest man-made structure on earth and can be seen from Space.
Mutianyu is one of several sections easily visited from Beijing. It is the second most popular area after Badaling. here, one can see several Ming watch towers as well as impressive stretch of wall.
The Great Wall was built as a defense against nomadic intrusions from the north.
One can either hike up the mountain or take a cable car. There are seperate admissions to both the wall itself and the cablecar. Along the way, there are numerous souviner stalls manned by hawkers selling tee-shirts and a wide variety of other items. Prepare to bargain.
You read and hear about the Great Wall of China all your life and to see it and actually walk on it was no.1 on my bucket list.
At the Mutianyu portion as the other section of the wall has been restored but to right of the staging area there's a section that's 1,400 yrs old that you can walk and at the end there a lookout tower that has crumbled and here you can walk on the unrestored sections.I was speachless to walk the unrestored section.
Walking into history and time.
Here are a few more pictures of the cable car and the toboggan sled; also of the countryside from the top of the Great Wall. We had picture perfect weather that day. Enjoyed our sandwich lunch at the top of the steps near a Watchtower. We met another couple there from Brussels and they took some great pics of us.
We hired a taxi driver to take us to the Mutianyu part of The Great Wall for the entire day. He drove to a parking area and walked us up to the ticket booth. We were assured that he would be in his taxi exactly where he had parked it when we were finished. And he was. We were taken up to the wall on a Cable Car.
This part of the wall has a wheeled toboggan ride that comes down on a metal track that winds along the hillside and ends up back at the entrance. There is a brake on the toboggan and when it starts out there is a level area that allows a bit of practice to get the feel of how it works. We had a slow poke in front of us so we didn't have a chance to let it "fly". Probably just as well. It was a great experience. Part of our admission ticket included the extra for the toboggan.
Mutianyu was built in the 6th century as the northern barrier to defend the capital and the Imperial tombs. The walls were built of granite and are 7-8 metres high and 4-5 metres wide.
We took a lunch with us to eat while we walked this tremendous wall. Some of the steps are 18 inches high. We were in good physical shape and didn't tire or have difficulty while we were climbing up or down. I try to do steps at home two or three times a week. My legs were not sore the next day because of my diligent exercise routine.
Watchtowers are placed along this section of the Great Wall. The outer and inner parapets are crenelated with merlons so shots could be fired on either side. At the Mutianyu Pass there are 3 watchtowers, a large one in the center and two small ones on each side. This area of the countryside is 90% forested - very nice to see in the fall.
Outside the entrance is the namesake village where there are a lot of stalls with all kinds of things to buy. We were taken with the beautiful dried Kiwi. There were of course T shirts and tons of other touristy stuff.
We were told this part of the wall doesn't get the enormous amount of visitors that the Badaling part gets. We were there in early November and we found that to be true.
Ok, after reading some many tour books, we decided to go to the Mutianyu section of the wall, and we are so glad we did. We had the wall all to ourselves for more than 4 hours, ON A FRIDAY !!!!!!! it was great. Of course it is in the middle of now where, but well worth the 2 hour drive from Beijing. Admission fee was a mire 30 RMB with a 30 RMB ride up the gondola to the top of the wall. We took a tour guide, but nothing a tour guide could say would prepare you for the site itself.......trust me the WALL speaks for itself !!!!! Take or buy plenty of water and be ready for a workout like you haven't had in a long time !!!! Well worth it.....would happyily pay 10 times as much to see this...It is one of the most impressive sights anywhere on PLANET EARTH !!!!!!!
We booked our private tour 1000RMB through the hotel, "Gray LineTours" and were disappointed in the guide. We were lead to believe that we had lunch included in our tour, after discussing lunch with our guide, she advised us that lunch was not included. We also were lead to believe that we were going to ascend the wall in a cable car instead it was a very old rusty chair lift. Quiet scary. After our chair lift ride, we were approached by two locals in costume wanting us to have our photos taken with them. We did so, only to be harrassed for 40RMB for each photo. We gave them 20RMB and walked off, they seemed to get a little aggressive. It was great to get down off the wall.
Going to Beijing without visiting the Wall at all is plain stupid. THIS IS A MUST DO! The wall around Mutianyu is not as touristy as Badaling, but it does have its tourist trappings such as cable cars and even tobogans! The vendors aren't as pushy.
One of the greatest parts of our trip was the trip to the Great Wall. Although the tour was typical of Chinese tours (i.e. stops to copper vase shops, pressure to buy etc, overpriced food stops), the 2 1/2 hours spent on the wall was extraordinary.
Due to the weather (-4 degrees celsius) we were the only two people on the whole wall!! It was just great. The views and terrain were awesome