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Mutianyu Great Wall

Wriggling Mutianyu Great Wall in Summer
Wriggling Mutianyu in Summer
 
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   1-Day Mutianyu Tour from $80
   2-Day Beijing Tour from $127
   4-Day Beijing Tour
  Small Group from $269
 
Private from $249
   9 Days Beijing - Xian - Guilin $899

Located in Huairou County about 45 miles from Beijing, Mutianyu Great Wall enjoys a long history and is part of the glorious culture of China. It connects Juyongguan Pass in the west and Gubeikou Great Wall in the east. The wall was first built in Northern Qi Dynasty (550 - 557). In Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), Tan Lun and Qi Jiguang, two famous patriotic generals, rebuilt it in order to strengthen its defensive potential when they guarded the strategic pass. It served as the northern protective screen, guarding the capital and imperial mausoleums for generations.

This section of Great Wall winds 1.4 miles through lofty mountains and high ridges, many sections of which are made of granite. The unique structure makes the wall almost indestructible. It measures 23 to 26 feet high and four to five yards wide. Both of the wall's inner and outer sides have parapets to defend against enemies coming from the two sides. Some parapets are saw- tooth shaped instead of the regular rectangular form. Below the parapets, there are square embrasures the top of which are designed in an arc structure, different from the traditional round embrasures.

There are 22 watch towers distributed at close intervals along the wall. They are located not only in the main wall but also at the distinctive 'branch cities'. Branch cities are built on the hill ridge against the inner or outer side of the wall. They measure from several yards to dozens of yards across. On the northwest over 3,281-feet hills, lies a section of the wall called 'Ox Horn Edge'. On the steep and lofty peaks, there are two walls named 'Flying Eagle Flies Facing Upward' and 'Arrow Lock'. What is more rarely seen on the southeast side is a general gateway platform guarded by three watch towers together. In locations of strategic importance, batteries are set up to reinforce the defense capabilities. Mutianyu really deserves to be the archetype of the ten thousand li Great Wall.
 

Mutianyu Great Wall in Late Autumn
 Late Autumn Scenery on the wall

Besides its strategically important location and compact layout, the Mutianyu Great Wall is also famous for the breath-takingly beautiful scenery. Woods cover over ninety-six percent of the total scenic area. The wall presents different aspects of beauty in the four seasons. Flowers bloom all over the mountains in spring.  Grasses dress the hillside green in summer. Trees are laden with sweet fruits in autumn, and especially in October, leaves are turning red or yellow, touching the mountain tops with gold. In winter, the wall is covered by snow, making it seem more magnificent. The pine trees around the wall are well-known. There are more than 20 pines over 300 years old and about 200 pines over 100 year old. Besides, spring water at the foot of the wall tastes pure and fragrant, much appreciated by visitors.

What's more, the national first-rate cable car is installed in this section. A sled named 'Speed' will give you an opportunity to experience thrills by taking you swoop down from the high mountains. China Stone City collects weird and beautiful stones, attracting more and more visitors to come and see.

A signature wall has been built to the west of No.14 watchtower. Another two will be set up near No. 5 and No. 10 watchtowers. Meanwhile, they consider putting up a large LED screen on top of the wall in the future, to attract people to leave their names there instead of on the Great Wall.

Opening Hours March 16 to November 14: 07:00 - 18:00
November 15 to next March 15: 07:30 - 17:00
Admission Fee Adults: CNY45;
Children: CNY25
Cable Car Fee (Optional) Adults: CNY80 for a single trip, CNY100 for a round trip;
Children: CNY40 for a single trip and CNY50 for a round trip
Slideway Fee (Optional) Adults: CNY80 for a single trip, CNY100 for a round trip (Cable car up, slideway down);
Children: CNY60 for a round trip (Cable car up, slideway down)
♦ Notice: Children below 3.9 feet (1.2m) can visit or take cable car/slideway for free while children between 3.9 feet (1.2m) to 4.9 feet (1.5m) enjoy children ticket price.
Shuttle Bus CNY 15 for a return ticket; CNY 10 for a single ticket.
The shuttle bus takes visitors to the foot of the wall, which is 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) to the ticket office.

Cable Car, Mutianyu Great Wall
Cable Car
Slideway, Mutianyu Great Wall
Slideway

 How to reach Mutianyu from Beijing?

STEP
1
Get to Dongzhimen Junction Station first.
How to get to Dongzhimen: Take subway line 2, line 13 or Airport Express Train, or bus nos. 3, 106, 107, 123, 131, 132, 401, 404, 416, 418, 852, 866, 915, 915 (express), 918, 980, or 980 (express).

 
STEP
2
After getting to Dongzhimen, there are two choices, among which the bus 916快 (express) is the best.

 A: Bus 916 (express) or 916
Here the fastest way is to take bus 916 (express) or 916, get off at the terminus Huairou Bus Station or Huairou North Street, and then hire a minivan to reach the Great Wall. 916 (express) takes 60 to 70 minutes and costs CNY 12 (CNY 6 if paid by Beijing Transportation Card), while the minivan ride takes about 20 minutes and costs CNY 40-50; one can also share the minivan with others to save money.

If you don’t want to take minivans, you do not need to reach the terminus of bus 916. Just get off at Huairou North Street, transfer to bus H23, H24, H35, or H36, and get off at Mutianyu Huandao. Walk forward for 3 minutes to find the ticket office.

 B: Bus 867
Take bus 867 from Dongzhimen Wai (Dongzhimen Outer Station), get off at its terminus, the Hongluo Temple, and then hire a minivan. 867 takes about 2.5 hours and costs CNY 13 (CNY 6.5 if paid by Beijing Transportation Card), and the minivan takes 20 minutes and costs CNY 40-50.

♦ Note: Bus nos. 916 (express) and 867 depart from Dongzhimen Transport Hub in Dongzhimen Outer Street, which is about 10 minutes' walk from Dongzhimen Subway Station (Exit B). No. 916 can be found at the bus stop close to Exit B of Dongzhimen Subway Station.
 
 How to reach it from Beijing Capital International Airport:
a. Take Airport Express Train to Dongzhimen Station, get off and then take a bus according to the ways mentioned above.
b. Take Airport Shuttle Bus Line 2 and get off at Dongzhimen Station, then take a bus as indicated above. 
c.  If the traveling time is tight, visitors are recommended to rent a car to the Wall directly. Car Rental with Chauffeur
 
 Transportation from Beijing Railway Station:
a. Take Subway Line 2 at Xizhimen Station to Dongzhimen, and then take a bus according to the ways indicated above.
b. Take Bus No. 24 from Beijing Railway Station to Dongzhimen, get off and then go there by bus as mentioned above.
 
 Transportation from Forbidden City:
a. From South Gate of Forbidden City (Meridian Gate):
Take Subway Line 1 at Tiananmen Square East to Jianguomen Station, get off and change to Subway Line 2 to Dongzhimen, then take a bus following the ways mentioned above.
Take Bus No. 5 at Xihuamen or Tiananmen Square East to Qianmen, change to Subway Line 2 to Dongzhimen to take bus 867 or 916.

b. From North Gate of Forbidden City (Gate of Divine Prowess):
Take bus no. 101, 109, 609 or 619 from Forbidden City bus stop to Chaoyangmen inner, get off and then walk to Chaoyangmen subway station to take subway line 2 to Dongzhimen, then get there by bus 867 or 916.
 
 Driving Guide:
Start from Airport Expressway – Beigao Exit – Jing Shun Lu – Turn left at Kaifang Rotary – Go from the fourth exit – Drive along Bei Rotary on Ying Bin Lu – Drive along Bei Rotary on Qing Chun Lu – Mutianyu(The signs along the road will guide you to find the way)

 Car Rental: full-day car rental service to Mutianyu offered by TravelChinaGuide, with experienced chauffeur.

Mutianyu Great Wall in Winter
Winter Scenery on the wall
Discarded cannon at Mutianyu
Discarded Cannon on the wall
 
  Restaurants & Places to Stay

If you have more time to spare in the scenic area, the farmhouses around the wall are worth visiting for an authentic experience of rustic life.

 Fu Gui Hong Farmhouse
Chinese name: 富贵宏农家院 (fù guì hóng nóng jiā yuàn)
Location: Xisan Minsu Village, at the foot of the Wall, Huairou District
Special dishes: braised donkey hoof in brown sauce, braised donkey legs in brown sauce, wild herbs, rainbow trout, braised chicken with mushrooms, millet gruel, polenta, cornmeal dumpling with vegetable stuffings and barbecues
Accommodation: Nine guest rooms to accommodate 20 guests: CNY 40 for ordinary room and CNY 50 for standard room. CNY 60 for heated brick bed. (Low season price); Establishment in room: TV, air conditioner, public lavatory
Entertainment: sightseeing, Karaoke, Chesses & Cards, Mahjong and Picking
Surrounding scenic sites: Huanghuacheng, Xiangshui Lake, Hongluo Temple, Shengquan Temple and Huiyuan Valley

 Bao Sheng Ren Jia Farmhouse
Chinese name: 宝生人家农家院 (Bǎo Shēng Rén Jiā Nóng Jiā Yuàn)

Location: Xisan Minsu Village, at the foot of the wall, Huairou District
Special dishes: stewed black bone chicken, stewed meat with chestnuts, sauce stuffed meat in eggplant, homemade bean curd with meat, scrambled egg, handmade noodle, congee with pork and preserved eggs, oil-fried handmade noodle and nourishing congees
Drinks: chrysanthemum tea, juice of wild dates and apple vinegar
Entertainment: Bonfire, Karaoke, Chesses & Cards, Mahjong, Picking, Flying Kites, Playing on the Swing and Playing Badminton
Accommodation: Ten guestrooms to accommodate 25 guests. CNY 50 to CNY80 for standard room; CNY 100 to CNY 120 for luxury room, CNY 60 for heated brick bed; Establishment in the room: TV, air conditioner, 24-hour hot water and toilet.
Surrounding scenic sites: Huanghuacheng Great Wall, Xiangshui Lake and Shengquan Temple

 Great Wall Villa
Chinese name: 长城山庄 (Cháng Chéng Shān Zhuāng)
Location: 1000 meters to the right of Mutianyu Huandao
Accommodation: Over 40 guest rooms to accommodate about 100 guests; All the rooms are equipped with TV, Air conditioner, telephone, toilet, carpet and 24-hour hot water; The advanced sauna equipments introduced from Finland help guests release pressure.
Dining: The restaurant in the villa can hold 100 people to dine at the same time. It mainly serves Sichuan and Shandong cuisines and traditional peasant's food.

 Master Fish Restaurant
Chinese name: 鱼师傅餐厅 (Yú Shī Fu Cān Tīng)
How to get there: Drive along Jingmi Lu from Dongzhimen in Beijing, keep going until you reach Qingchun Lu Huandao, choose the direction to Mutianyu and you will find it. (The signs along the road will help you find the way)
Due to special location, cool and clear springs, Huairou District is fertile in the production of trouts. Master Fish Restaurant is a good place to taste the delicious trouts. There are over 20 cooking ways of trouts, including uncooked, fried, steamed and stewed. Moreover, the fried Chinese prickly ash leaves, fried Chinese toon buds and green onion pancake are all visitors' favorite dishes.

Further Reading: