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Great Wall at Mutianyu

Introducing Mutianyu Great Wall
The Great Wall is one of China's most iconic sights. Located 70 kilometers northeast of the center of Beijing, Mutianyu Great Wall is the longest fully resorted section of the Great Wall measuring 2.2km with 23 watchtowers. Considered to be the most family-friendly portion of the Wall and the best part of Great Wall for photography, Mutianyun Great Wall is less crowded and has better architecture than other sections with more watchtowers.

Mutianyu Great Wall Fast Facts
• Chinese Name: Mu Tian Yu Chang Cheng 慕田峪长城
• Best Time to Visit: April, May, September and October
• Recommended Visiting Hours: About 3 to 5 hours
• Opening Hours
  Mar 15 to Nov 14: 7:30-18:00 (last entry at 17:00)
  Nov 15 to Mar 14: 8:00-17:00 (last entry at 16:00)
• Entrance Fee: CNY45
   Shuttle Bus: CNY15
   Cable Car: Single trip CNY100, round trip CNY120
   Chairlift/Toboggan: Single trip CNY100, round trip CNY120
• Address: Mutianyu Village, Bohai Town, Huairou District, Beijing

What to expect at Mutianyu Great Wall

History of Mutianyu Great Wall
The Mutianyu Great wall was first built in the 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. The Mutianyu Great Wall served as the northern protective screen, guarding the capital and imperial mausoleums for generations. Reconstruction began in 1568 on 1000km of the Wall including Mutianyu. Responsibility was given to Qi Jiguang, a general who had built his credentials fighting Japanese pirates, and who took his responsibilities as a builder very seriously. Construction continued for many years, as the fortifications were built up with solid granite blocks, and included the construction of some of the larger defensive towers.

Features of the Mutianyu Great Wall
Built mainly from granite, the pass at Mutianyu is an appropriately unique section of the Mutianyu Great Wall. 7 to 8 meters high, and 4 to 5 meters high with crenellations on both sides of the Wall, the section of the Wall at Mutianyu stretches for over 2 kilometers. Matching its military importance, the Mutianyu Great Wall has 23 watchtowers built at almost 100 meter intervals. This number of towers is much more than would be expected along the Mutianyu Great Wall, and is also highlighted by the particular form and structure unique to this section. The Zheng Guan Tai gate stands with three connected watchtowers, with the center tower rising above the flanking structures. While each tower has its own gate, the main watchtower gate is on the east side of the Mutianyu Great Wall, which is quite unusual. Other unique features in this section include the "Tail Wall" which stretches out perpendicular to the Wall along a ridgeline for stronger defensive positioning, and another perpendicular extension on the other side of the Mutianyu Great Wall. Invading nomads would use the ridgelines as they marched, to avoid being caught unawares in the brambles and trees below, and the positioning of the Mutianyu Great Wall along the ridgeline and these adjoining tail walls are recognition of the importance of this high ground.

Magnificent Scenery
Mutianyu really deserves to be the archetype of the ten thousand li Great Wall. Besides its strategically important location and compact layout, the Mutianyu Great Wall is also famous for the breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Woods cover over ninety-six percent of the total scenic area. The Mutianyu Great 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 Mutianyu Great Wall tastes pure and fragrant, much appreciated by visitors.

How to get to Mutianyu Great Wall
• Take tourist bus at Qianmen Tourist Bus Center or at Dongzhimen Tourist Bus Center to Mutianyu Great Wall. 
• Take Bus Line 916 express to Huairou Beidajie Station, then take Bus h23, h24, h35 or h36 to the Stop of Mutianyu Huandao. Afterwards, walk about 3 kilometers to the ticket office of the scenic area.

Additional travel advice on Mutianyu Great Wall
• Please have a big breakfast and pack snacks just in case you get a bit peckish during sightseeing.
• Many areas of Mutianyu Great Wall are quite steep and have uneven surfaces, please wear comfortable walking shoes with a good grip.
• Visitors can ascend to and descend from the Wall by cable car; or ascend to and descend from the Wall by chairlift; or ascend to the Wall by chairlift and descend from the Wall by toboggan.
• Seniors are not recommended to take the toboggan.
• The cable car will take you to the 14th watchtower. From 14th watchtower, you can either first hike to the 23rd watchtower (the highest watchtower) at the higher and western section of the wall, or hike down to its eastern section at lower altitude. It’s better to hike towards the west first, as you can explore the eastern section (the lower section) after you returned from the higher section. Normally it would take about 2 hours to complete the hike from the 14th watchtower to 23rd watchtower. The chairlift ascends to the 6th watchtower while the toboggan descends from watchtower 6 too. It might be a challenge to hike from the 6th watchtower to the 23rd watchtower. But you can decide based on your physical condition.

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