Quick links to:
> Mutianyu Private Tour (fully customizable for your schedule, leaving in the morning or noon)
> Mutianyu Group Tour (cheap Great Wall tour without shopping, no booking deadline)
> Mutianyu Overnight Sunset and Sunrise Tour (see the beautiful views at Mutianyu)
In the northern part of Huairou County, some 70 kilometers north-east of Beijing City, the Mutianyu (Mu Tian Yu) section of the Great Wall stretches its way for over 2 kilometers. This section is well preserved, so it is a good alternative for visitors who want to avoid crowds during holiday and peak seasons.
This section's construction was started in the mid-6th century during China's Northern Dynasties (386 - 581). What now remains is the leading restoration made during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). It has served as a northern barrier of what is now Beijing through the ages. This section was built along steep ridges and deep valleys with Juyongguan Pass in the West and Gubeikou Gateway in the east. Differing from that part of the Great Wall more widely visited, this section is renowned for its unique fortifications.
Most parts of the Great Wall have outer defensive parapets to cover the soldiers and a low parapet on the inner side (called Nu Qiang) to prevent soldiers or horses from falling. (See the photos of Badaling to see the difference) However, in this section, both the outer and inner parapets have melons, indicating its military importance. Also, there is a 1000 meter long wall parallel to the main barrier to enhance the defenses.
You can mount steps to climb the wall, but it is physically demanding, or you can take the cable for a single trip at 35 Yuan or a round trip at 50. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister John Major had taken the Mutianyu Gondola up to the wall.
The surrounding natural environment is most attractive. Here the mountains are densely covered by verdant plants and tall ancient trees. In autumn, the maple leaves with their bright shades are genuinely unique. In recent years, a garden party is usually held in autumn. Tourists can enjoy the sights of festive bonfires, performances in ancient costumes, and other entertaining programs.