Friday, September 14, 2012

China Trip Day 2 : Beijing

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 80
Steamboat – RMB 160


misssnowiie said...

thank you! Your blog post really helped me alot to plan my trip to beijing ^^

Christine said...

Hi there
Thanks for stopping by my blog n glad to hear that I can so a little help for you. Wait for my next posts about shopping tips in Beijing. It will take a while since my work is crazy these days :)

Sherly Ng said...

Hi Christine, Your blog is a great help! Looking forward to read more of your adventure as I am planning ahead a year in advance to visit Beijing. Wonder if I could ask pertinent questions like how to get to Summer palace by subway. What's yr experience? Can we liaise thru emails?

Christine said...

Hi Sherly,

I didn't go to Summer Palace but no problem I can help u. Since I don't experienced it myself I wouldn't know what exit to take amd go which direction. You can email ur questions to me. Just use the contact me form at the contact me page. It'll connect u direct to my email :)

David ruffin said...

Lots of Good information in your post, I favorites your blog post
so I can visit again in the future, Thanks.China Tours

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Christine, I'm planning to visit Mutianyu in early November this year with 2 elderly and 2 children (11 & 7). As you have mentioned, there are 2 types of cable cars (open & closed). To take the cable cars, be it open or closed, to the Great Wall, I will go to the same cable car station to take them, rite? So, if I plan to take cable car up and tobogan down, I have to take the cable car to 14th Tower and then walk all the way to Tower 6 to take the toboggan down, am I rite? From 14th to 6th Tower, is it mostly walking down (going down the stairs) or walking up (climbing the stairs)? If the elderly are taking the cable car down from Great Wall and the young are taking toboggan down from Great Wall, will they eventually end at the same place at the foot of the Wall? Or they have to walk a distance to meet at a place? Sorry to bother you with so many question.

Christine said...

The close and open cable car located in different station. I don't really know where the open cable car station is but it's in the lower ground than the close one. From 14th tower to 6th tower are mostly walking down. The close cable car and Toboggan end up in different place. The close cable car will end back in the station which located at the higher ground so you have to walk down to reach Toboggan station.

Anonymous said...

Hi Christine. Beside Qianmen Sq, is there any more other night markets for sell lots of food, street snacks, clothing etc that worth visiting? What time does Qianmen Sq normally closed? I mean the stalls will start packing up?

Can you also recommend some good restaurants that worth going? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Christine, when you mentioned to take Bus 867 to Dongzhimen Bus Terminal, which place do we board the bus? Is it from Wangfujing? Which part of Wangfujing? May I know which hotel do you stay when you were in China? Is it a good hotel? Roughly how much is the charges? I am wondering should I stay at Wangfujing or somewhere near the "Bird Nest Stadium"?

Christine said...

I don't really know other night market except Wang Fu Jing. Some other places that sell clothes, foods are Xidan and Yong An Li but I don't know they open until night or not. I'm not really sure either what time do the stalls close in Qianmen. I was there until about 9 pm and they were still open by then. To be noted it was summer when I was there. The operation hour might be different in other seasons.

For the restaurant, I'm sorry I forgot the name of the restaurant where I had a steamboat in Qianmen. I didn't had that great foods experiences when I was in Beijing. The food taste didn't match my taste. The foods I ate either salty or bland. My friend who studied there said that the foods are usually good around university area. She lived in Wudaogou area.

Christine said...

Bus 867 is in Dongzhimen. You have to take MRT to Dongzhimen first then go to the bus terminal there and then take the bus no 867 to Mutianyu. About the hotel I stayed, you can read in my previous post. I don't recommend the hotel for foreigners especially if you don't speak Chinese at all. I recommend to stay at Qianmen area. There are a lot of hostels there and most of the owners can speak English.

Anonymous said...

Hi Christine. Thank you for the post. Very simple and informative. Saw your replies to all the questions asked. Can see that you are a very nice, sincere and helpful person. You reply to every mails as soon as possible. Keep up your post! Love to read them. : )

Christine said...

Hi :)
Thanks for coming by my blog and read my posts. I was helped by other people's blogs too back then and they were also helpfull, I got most informations I needed so I'd like to do the same bit of good to others. I'm glad that you like my posts :)

Art Potrait said...

Sis saya ada baca blog nya, mengenai jalan2 ke China, saya juga ada rencana kesana, tanpa tour travel, bulan depan, saya boleh minta bantu info ga? nah gini sis, yg ingin saya tanya sis tau ga cara ke Mutianyu naik Bis, selain 867, sebab 867 yg direct to Mutianyu, sejak Okt kemarin katanya sudah tdk ada jalur tsb, katanya naik 916 express berenti di Huairou trs nyambung mobil sewaan gitu, punya saran ga Sis? Thank you ya

Christine said...

Eh...sori br bls.. br liat ada komen kmu. Klo hrs nyambung pake mobil sewaan agak susah kyknya. Aku bc bbrp review harus cari barengan klo kita perginya ngga byk org spy ngga mahal harga sewa per orgnya. Masa 867 uda ngga ada? Cb browsing lg de.. sp tau tnyata msi ada

Nurin Ridthauddin said...

Thanks to you. I used ur blog as guidance when i went to beijing march last year. But our trip to mutianyu was a disaster because the bus depart earlier than expected. The timetable has changed. We have to take 2 taxis..then taxi then bus..haha what an experience we had!

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