The construction of the Great Wall began over 2000 years ago to protect China from enemies attacking from the north. Of course what we see now is just a reconstruction but it still is pretty impressive and plays with your imagination how amazing it used to be.
It seems that most people choose to go to Badaling but there’re other parts of the Wall available for tourists too, that offer great views as well but are less crowded. And so I’ve decided to go to Mutianyu as it seemed easy to get and it has one more advantage – a cable car to get to the Wall ;)
I found online, on the official website of Mutianyu, how to get there and there was supposed to be direct bus at 7am, 8am and 9am. I was aiming for 8am but failed big time with waking up that early. When I finally got to the bus station (and taking a metro in Beijing is another story that deserves a separate post ;)) it turned out there was no such bus as no. 936 but I can take 916 instead and change in Huairou for another bus that would take me to the Wall. But it turned out I got there too late for the bus and had to take the taxi instead. It wasn’t that bad, 60 yuans for over 20 kms, but still I’m a huge fan of a public transport as that way I can observe people around me and I regretted I wasn’t able to take the bus all the way from Beijing to Mutianyu…
Getting to the Wall itself is a pricy thing too but every tourist attraction in China seems to cost a lot. The entrance fee itself is 45 yuans but there’s also a cable car to take you to the top of the hill with a Wall and that’s 80 yuans for the return. Of course you can climb the wall but today wasn’t my day and I was too lazy for that ;) I had to wait quite a while in the long queue for the cable car but if I was there like 2 hours later there were hardly any people around. 11am seemed like a busy hour there.
Once on the Wall I was amazed by the beauty of the place! Not only the Wall with watchtowers climbing up the steep hills full of autumn colors were amazing but also the mountains around took my breath away! This place really was incredible and worth all the effort to get there! The Mutianyu section of the Wall is 3kms long and has 26 watch towers – I was aiming to walk all that way but again failed big time due to my not the best shape today. But I’ve seen more than half and it was really beautiful! I guess the weather had its part in my liking the place – the clear blue sky and great visibility helped a lot! More I went away from the cable car station the better views get and the fewer people were around and I could truly enjoy the place. I was dreaming to having the Great Wall just for myself, a silly dream taking into the consideration Chinese standards, but few times it actually happened for a while! :) So I was really satisfied with my visit.
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When I got down from the Wall (without any queue and with the cable car all to myself) I thought I can eat something as there was Subway and I still haven’t really triede Chinese food, it never was my thing anyway. So while eating I missed one bus to Beijing as it turned out there’s a direct bus but with different number (867) and different operating hours… And so I had to wait almost 2 hours for the next one… But at least I had some time to read a little bit – something I missed on that trip so far. The bus eventually arrived (it was only 16 yuans to Beijing) but somewhere along the way it broke down and we had to change to 916… Apparently there’re two kinds of 916 buses, an express one that I took in the morning and the slow one that happened to arrive in the afternoon… It took ages, really and after 3 hours I finally arrived to Beijing… but all of that was really worth it as the Great Wall in Mutianyu is such a wonderful place! And again, getting around by public transport wasn’t as bad as I feared it to be. Can it stay like that, pretty please :) ?
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