Wow, the Great Wall of China what else’s is there to say other than I was there! I cannot begin to describe how beautiful the Great Wall of China is but it can only be described by going in person. After researching 4 different sections of the wall to visit we selected Mutianyu. The Mutianyu section is less touristy than Badaling (closest to Beijing) and restored for the average walker. We had great weather and the blue skies were out as seen the photo. The Mutianyu section has a cable car to the top and the Toboggan down if you choose. The wall is restored and relatively easy to walk but the stairs are uneven and limited hand rails. There are several vendors to buy snacks and water but I would suggest bringing your own. There are toilets at the top near the cable car. We arrived first thing in the morning and there were only several other visitors which was great. In the afternoon it gets busy but not overcrowded. We took bus number 916 from Dongzhiemen bus station to the last stop which took us 1 hour. Then at the bus stop you need to take a taxi to Mutianyu which is another 45 minutes. We took a private taxi from the bus stop because they saw me as a foreigner as soon as I stepped off the bus and crowded me but my wife took over. There were public and private taxi and the public are in official cars white in color with blue trim. My wife is Chinese so she negotiated for a private taxi which only cost a total 40RMB for 4 people which is a great deal. After the ride up to the Mutianyu section our taxi driver was nice and he wanted us to use his tickets for entry which was less than the ticket window but my wife wanted to verify that the tickets were real. So my father in-law and I enter the gate and the tickets passed so my wife paid the driver and the mother in-law and wife entered as well. After reaching the top we decided to walk on the left side which turned out to be the direction to go. We lucked out with the perfect weather. We spent 4 hours on the Great Wall and my wife and her father walked up the steep steps to one of the towers but it was too much for my vertigo. We took the cable car back down and as you exit they have all the hawkers selling everything and if you do not want to be bothered then do not make eye contact and keep walking. They are aggressive but just say no and keep walking. As we exited we found our taxi driver so he took us back to the bus stop to get on 916 to Beijing. It was a funny situation because there is a queue for the private taxi and our driver was about 10 cars behind. Once we noticed him we told the front car that we would be going with him and they all gave him a jokingly hard time saying he has a foreigner as a friend. He turned out to be a very nice driver and stopped at a store during the drive back down for us to purchase water. He saved us about 20 RMB with his tickets so we tipped him the 20RMB for his great service. He dropped us off at the 916 bus stop and after 10 minutes our bus showed up and we were off to Beijing. Again it was about 1 hour to reach Beijing. I was a wonderful day and we would highly recommend the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. I would suggest a tour bus to the Great Wall unless you are adventurous, experienced and or have someone who speaks Mandarin Chinese to take a private taxi. The total transportation cost for us 126RMB (4 travelers), taxi from hotel to bus station (30 RMB to and back), bus to town near Mutianyu (16RMB, 2RMB/person to and back), taxi to Mutianyu (80RMB to and back).
Passionate for everything related to China travel.