Mutianyu Great Wall: Information and Guide

The Mutianyu Great Wall is one of the best-preserved and best-known Great Wall sections. Located 65 kilometers (40 miles) to the north of Beijing city proper, the Great Wall at Mutianyu has breath-taking scenery but fewer tourists, thus a good destination on hot holidays for a Great Wall tour at ease.

Why Visit Mutianyu Great Wall

  • It is one of the best-preserved sections.
  • Watchtowers are densely distributed along the Great Wall.
  • Some of the watchtowers are seldom seen along other sections and are quite rare in the architectural history of the Great Wall. Examples are the Zhengguan Terrace (No. 6 Watchtower) comprised of three hollow watchtowers, and Big Corner Tower (No. 1 Watchtower), named so because only one big corner can be seen from the paths in three sides.
  • The surrounding natural scenery is breath-taking. Woods cover over ninety-six percent of the total scenic area. Flowers bloom all over the mountains in spring. Grasses dress the hillside green in summer. Trees are laden with sweet fruit in autumn, and especially in October, leaves turn red or yellow, touching the mountain tops with gold. In winter, the wall is covered by snow, making it more magnificent.
  • About 65 kilometers (40 miles) to the north of Beijing city center, it is easy to reach from downtown area by public transport.
  • It has been renovated, making it easier and safer to climb. Moreover, it is equipped with a cableway and luge, possible for children and seniors to visit.
Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall

Also Read: China Great Wall Museum: Information and Guide

Basic Facts of Mutianyu Great Wall

  • It has a total length of 5,400 meters (5,900 yards).
  • It was first built in Northern Qi Dynasty (550-557). In the 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.
  • It is mainly made of slabs of granite. It measures 7 – 8 meters (23 – 26 feet) in height, and 4 – 5 meters (4.4 – 5.5 yards) in width.
  • Both sides of the Great Wall have parapets to defend against enemies. 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 23 watchtowers distributed at close intervals along the wall. They are located not only on the main wall but also at the distinctive “branch city”. Branch cities are built on the hill ridge against the inner or outer side of the wall. For example, No. 11 Watchtower can be found on the branch wall.
  • Zhengguan Terrace (No. 6 Watchtower) is 40 meters (44 yards) long, 30 meters (33 yards) wide, and 20 meters (66 feet) high. The gate is not designed in the middle, but is on the eastern side. The two-storey terrace is comprised of three hollow watchtowers, a large one in the middle and two smaller ones on two sides. It has many rooms to store grain and station troops.
  • Big Corner Tower (No. 1 Watchtower) is connected with Mutianyu in the west, with Gubeikou in the east, and with a branch city wall in the south. The tower looks like a corner from each angle, so it is called Big Corner Tower.
Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall

Also Read: Juyongguan Great Wall: Information and Guide

Opening Hours In summer: 7:00 – 17:00; 17:00 – 21:00
In winter: 9:00 – 16:30
Note: Ticket sale stops one hour before the close time.
Admission Fee Adults: CNY 40
The seniors over 60 and Children aged 6-18: CNY 20 (valid passport required)
Free for children under 6
Note: If you buy an entrance ticket attached with a postcard of Mutianyu, you need to pay CNY 5 more.

 

How to tour Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu Great Wall Map
Mutianyu Great Wall Map

The scenic area has two entrances: the south entrance and north entrance. One can start the visit from either of them.

Hiking:

  • Go through the North Entrance, you will hike up to No. 10 or No. 8 Watchtower.
  • Go through the South Entrance, and you will arrive at No. 8 or Zhengguan Terrace (No. 6 Watchtower).
  • Upon arriving up there, you can hike either northward or southward. The northward route between No. 14 watchtower and No. 23 watchtower has the most beautiful scenery, while the southward route contains the grand Zhengguan Terrace and Big Corner Tower.
Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall

Also Read: Badaling Remnant Great Wall: Information and Guide

Cable Car:

Apart from hiking, you may also take a cable car up to the No. 14 Watchtower. The lower station is near the North Entrance, so you can easily find it. It is safer and smoother than toboggan, even suitable for children and senior visitors.

Single Trip CNY 100
Round Trip CNY 140
Service Hours Monday-Friday: 07:30-17:00; Weekends: 07:30-17:30

Note: Children under 1.2 meters (3.9ft) enjoy free tickets.

Chairlift / Toboggan:

You can also take the toboggan down from Zhengguan Terrace (No. 6 Watchtower) near the South Entrance. It is very exciting to take toboggan, and a great choice for young people. The fare is listed below.

Also Read: 17 Facts About the Great Wall of China You Should Know

Single Trip CNY 100
Round Trip CNY 140
Service Hours Mar. 16 – Nov. 14: 8:00 – 17:00
Nov. 15 – Mar. 15: 8:30 – 16:30

Note: Children under 1.2 meters (3.9ft) enjoy free tickets.

When is the Best Time for a Visit?

Although it is suitable for a visit all year round, the best time is April, May, September, and October, when the temperature is favorable, neither too cold nor too hot. But try to avoid May Day Holiday (from May 1st to 3rd), and National Day Holiday (from October 1st to 7th) when there will be more tourists.

Also Read: Top 20 Best Places to Visit in China

How to Get to Mutianyu from Your Hotel in Beijing

Option 1: Dongzhimen Tourist Bus Line
Departure: 8:30 at Outside Dongzhimen bus station; 16:00 from Mutianyu
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Interval: one departure per day
Ticket: CNY30 for a single trip

Option 2: Qianmen Tourist Bus Line
Departure: 6:30 – 10:00 from Qianmen; 13:00 – 16:00 from Mutianyu
Duration: 2 hours
Interval: set off when all seats are taken
Ticket: CNY60 for a roun d trip

Option 3: Sihui Tourist Bus Line
Departure: 8:00 from Sihui Bus Station; 14:50 from Mutianyu Great Wall
Duration: 2 hours
Interval: one departure per day
Ticket: CNY60 for a round trip

Option 4: Bus line 916 Express + h23, h24, h35 or h36
Departure: 916 Express: 05:50 – 20:00  from Dongzhimen; 04:30 – 18:50 from Huairou North Avenue
Duration: 2 – 2.5 hours
Interval: 916 Express: 10-30 minutes; the H buses are many.
Ticket: CNY16

Also Read: Top 10 Most Famous Temples in China To Visit

Where to Eat

There are some restaurants near the entrance, but the food they provide is quite expensive. So, you may bring some food and water before departure.

How about Mutianyu Great Wall compared with Badaling?

They are the two most visited sections in consideration of the scenery, equipment, and transportation. If you plan a visit on normal days, both of them are okay. When you plan a visit during peak travel season, Mutianyu is recommended, for Badaling may be overcrowded on some big holidays and you probably cannot enjoy the scenery to the full.

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