Mutianyu Great Wall

Relatively untouched – it is less commercialized, sees fewer tourists and has undergone less restoration work. Standing on top of the wall allows for a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside , which is planted with fruit and chestnut orchards, and dotted with old pine.

Mutianyu Great Wall Overview

The Mutianyu Great Wall,79 km northeast of Beijing, enjoys a long history and is part of the glorious culture of China. It connects Juyongguan Pass in the west and Gubeikou Great Wall in the east. The wall was first built in Northern Qi Dynasty (550-557). In the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644), under the supervision of General Xu Da, construction of the presently seen Mutianyu Great Wall began on the foundation of the wall of Northern Qi and the Mutianyu Pass was erected in 1404. It served as the northern protective screen, protecting the capital and imperial tombs for generations.

The Mutianyu Great Wall is relatively untouched – it is less commercialized, sees fewer tourists and has undergone less restoration work. Standing on top of the wall allows for a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside , which is planted with fruit and chestnut orchards, and dotted with old pine.

The Mutianyu Great Wall winds 22 km through lofty mountains and high ridges, many sections of which were made of granite. The unique structure makes the wall almost indestructible. It measures 7 to 8 meters high and 4 to 5 meters wide. Both of the wall’s inner and outer sides have parapets to defend against enemies coming from the two sides. 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. Both the inner and outer parapets of the Mutianyu Great Wall are crenellated with merlons, a feature quite rare among sections of the Great Wall.

The Mutianyu Great Wall has 22 watch towers distributed at close intervals along the wall. They are located not only in the main wall but also at the distinctive “branch cities”. Branch cities are built on the hill ridge against the inner or outer side of the wall. They measure from several yards to dozens of yards across. On the northwest over 3,281-feet hills, lies a section of the wall called “Ox Horn Edge”. On the steep and lofty peaks, there are two walls named “Flying Eagle Flies Facing Upward” and “Arrow Lock”. What is more rarely seen on the southeast side is a general gateway platform guarded by three watch towers together. In locations of strategic importance, batteries are set up to reinforce the defense capabilities. Mutianyu Great Wall 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 breath-taking beautiful scenery. Woods cover over ninety-six percent of the total scenic area. The 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 years old. Besides, spring water at the foot of the wall tastes pure and fragrant, much appreciated by visitors.

Mutianyu Great Wall was restored between 1983-1986 and opened to public on May Day in 1986, the second Great Wall site opened to tourists after Badaling. Mutianyu Great Wall passes through beautiful forested hills with streams.

Activities at Mutianyu Great Wall

  • Hiking the 22 watch towers of the Great Wall at Mutianyu seciton, you can finish this in 3 hours 
  • Hike from Mutianyu to Jiankou in the westward. Start the hiking from Tower 8 by walking way, then walk along the restored section of the wall until Tower 22. Keep going westward on the wild wall for anther 12 watch towers, and reach the Zhengbeilou Tower, where you can see the beautiful Jiankou section of the wall. You will get off the wall the other side of the mountain. The whole journey can take up to 5-6 hours. 
  • Biking aound the villages near the wall. Mutianyu and other villages around provide from wonderful escape from the busstle and husstle of Beijing.

Travel Tips at Mutianyu Great Wall

  • Mutianyu section is less crowded compared with Badaling section, but still busy at weekends and holidays. This is the ideal section who has a limited time but still want to escape from the commercial site at Badaling. Comfortable shoes or boots is essential. 
  • Spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit the Mutianyu Great Wall. The scenery is beautiful and it is not too hot, nor too cold. In winter, the workers will sweep the snow away, but it still could be slippery on the wall. 
  • Mutianyu is the favorite section when you travel with kids. Try to take the cable car up to Tower 14, walk to Tower 6, and then take the toboggan down from there. The kids love it a lot. It’s always a pleasant experience. 
  • You could have a lunch in a local restaurant nearby or just prepare snacks before departure from Beijing.

Getting Mutianyu Great Wall

  • 1. Take No.916 (express bus) or No.936 (regular bus) bus at Dongzhimen Long Distance Bus Station (东直门长途汽车站) and get off at Mingzhu Square (Huairou International Conference Center怀柔国际会议中心), and take local taxi to Mutianyu Great Wall. You can negotiate the taxi with CNY 40 for one way trip.
  • 2. A taxi from hotel in Beijing will cost CNY 500-600 and you will finish the journey in 6 hours.

Dining & Accommodation

There are numerous restaurants aroud the parking lot and it’s easy to find your food. Fish dishes are very popular in this area.

  • Xinshuangquan Restaurant鑫双泉餐厅

This restaurant serves local Chinese food, but a little bit of westernized. Recommended dishes are Sweet and Sour Pork, Brocoli with Garlic and BBQ Fish.
Tel: 86- 10-61621633

Accommodation at Mutianyu Great Wall – There are many local guesthouses as well as some middle-level accommodations. Stay at a local guesthouse, try some local home-made food and join the locals daily life will be a particular experience.

  • Great Wall Villa 长城山庄

Location: 1 km to the right of Mutianyu Huandao, at the foot of Mutianyu Great Wall
Tel: 86- 13701175838