Itinerary : Mutianyu Great Wall – Qianmen square
How to go to Mutianyu Great Wall : From Wangfujing station take line 1 (red line) and get off at Jianguomen Station then transit to line 2 (blue line) and get off at Dongzhimen station. Exit from exit B then make a U turn, walk straight to the traffic light then turn left, walk straight to the Dongzhimen outside bus stop. Take bus no. 867 (direct bus) and get off at Mutianyu Great Wall.
Note : There are 2 bus terminals in Dongzhimen, inside and outside. Make sure you go to the outside one. When you find the entrance of inside bus stop (a big building with many buses), do not go inside. Just keep walking about 10 meters and you’ll find outside bus stop.
We departed at 8.00 from hotel. It was hard for me to find the bus terminal. When we arrived at Dongzhimen station, a tourist guide told us to take other bus number (sorry I forget the number). She said it’s faster than bus no 867 but have to transit to a minibus. I told her that I prefer the direct bus and she told me the direction but not so clear. I asked some people and they all directed me to the inside one. I didn’t noted that it was supposed to be the outside bus terminal. We went inside but I couldn’t find bus no 867. I asked an officer and she said the bus is outside. So we went outside again and finally I found the outside bus stop. The line for bus no.867 is at the end of bus terminal.
Direct bus to Mutianyu only departed twice a day, at 7.00 and 9.00 am. I was afraid the bus left because I spent too much time looking for the bus terminal. When we entered the bus terminal an officer screamed at me, I mean literally screamed because I was still about 10 meters away from her, and asked where we want to go. I said Mutianyu. She told me to queue in her line. The queue was already long at that time but the bus haven’t arrived yet. We met some people from Indonesia there who also went to Mutianyu. It felt really good to be able to speak in my mother language with other people.
It costs RMB 6.4/way if you use Yi Ka Tong but if you buy the ticket on board it costs RMB 16/way. Finally the bus arrived at about 9.20 am. The bus was not so big and the seats are less than the people. People who didn’t get seat have to stand up along the way. It took 2.5 hours to reach Mutianyu so yeah, I stood for 2.5 hours.
Arrived at Mutianyu court yard, we bought Subway for lunch. Thank God Subway is available there. Along the way to the great wall, the path is an upward slope and it’s quite steep. Souvenirs stalls are packed at the right and left side. Not so far, you can find the ticket booth at the right side, right at the front of stone museum. You can buy the entrance ticket and ride ticket there as well. There are 4 ways to go up to the great wall, closed cable car, open cable car, toboggan and hiking the stairs. We chose the closed cable car. I wanted to go down by toboggan, but it’s not allowed for old people. So me and my mom bought 2 ways cable car.
The cable car ride wasn’t long. It was only about 5 minutes I guess. My first impression of the great wall was it is really a great great wall. I was lucky when I was there it was a cloudy day. No sunlight at all. The weather was just perfect! I love love love Mutianyu Great Wall. Unlike Badaling, Mutianyu isn’t crowded, that was why I chose Mutianyu instead of Badaling. I haven’t been to Badaling but by seeing the pictures in the internet, I passed. Badaling is the closest part to Beijing and most tours go there, that’s why that section is the most crowded.
I went to the left side of the great wall. If you go down by Toboggan, I suggest to take the right side because the toboggan is located on the right. The path at the left is harder that the right side. My mom gave up when we arrived at first tower. So she headed back to a court yard near cable station and I continued alone. Make sure to wear a very comfortable walking or running shoes, some of the slopes and stairs are steep.
If you want, you can climb a really long stair to go to high place that said to have a magnificent view of great wall at the far left. I wanted to but I didn’t have much time at great wall so after about 6 towers I went back to cable car station. I was there for only about 1 hour and that wasn’t enough. I must come back there again someday. I want to go to that high place at the far left then go back, continue with the right path and go down with toboggan :D The bus to Beijing also available only twice a day, at 2.00 and 4.00 pm. I caught the 2.00 pm bus. This time there were not as many people as the departure so all of the passengers got seat. The last bus at 4.00 pm must be crowded then.
How to go to Qianmen square : Take bus no.867 to Dongzhimen outside bus terminal then go to Dongzhimen station, take line 2 (blue line) and get off at Qianmen station. Exit from exit C, turn left, cross the road via underground passage and walk straight to Mc Donald. The right and left streets are Qianmen Square.
I really like Qianmen Square more than Wangfujing. I felt the atmosphere is more relax and friendly. The right and left side of the street are packed with hostels, food, street snacks, tea and souvenir stalls. The buildings are all in traditional model. For the souvenirs, they have all item RMB 5 and RMB 10 stores. Very cheap. The food price in Qianmen is way cheaper than Wangfujing. Me, my mom and 2 Indonesian people we met at Mutianyu had dinner together there. We had steamboat. The soup was actually bland so we had to add more soy sauce and eggs. The nut sauce was also salty so we added more sugar into it. We ordered many ingredients for the steamboat : beef, pork, tofu, fish tofu, 3 kinds of vegetables, tofu cake, noodle, and a kind of fried food that I don’t know the name, each 1 plate. Each plate was in quite big portion and they had a very reasonable price.
Subway – RMB 28
Mutianyu entrance ticket – RMB 45
Return cable car ticket – RMB 80Steamboat – RMB 160