The Great Wall - Take II
Mutianyu Travel Blog› entry 109 of 136 › view all entries
Today, I headed out for my second trip to the Great Wall, this time out to the Mutianyu section. It's closer than Jinshanling/Simatai located only a 2 hour drive or so to the north of Beijing. It was easy to tell that this area was more popular than Jinshanling/Simatai as more vendor stalls around the parking lot were selling food and souvenirs to the tourists as they arrived or left. There were a lot more people here as well. And if this was any indication I'm supremely glad that I didn't go to Badaling which is the closest and most popular section of the Great Wall from Beijing.
There wasn't any walk from point A to point B available today so we climbed up the hillside to the Wall itself and then picked a direction to head for a brief time and then turn around back to where you started. The Wall here had undergone extensive reconstruction so there was none of the scrambling over crumbling sections of the Wall like at Jinshanling/Simatai. The other thing that was frustrating today was the haze that had settled in the area. Good photos were hard to come by. And in all honesty I thought this area didn't possess as many grand shots as a few days ago. That said I still enjoyed Mutianyu immensely.
The Mutianyu section of the wall was first constructed in the mid-6th century, and was later rebuilt and refortified twice (in the 11th and 16th centuries) before the final reconstruction in the present day.
As we walked along the Wall we passed the cable cars that could bring you to/from the Wall and also the wheeled toboggan track that you could use to descend. After taking a look Gabe, Heidi, and I decided to take this adventurous way back down to the parking lot area. We paid our admission (I think 60 Yuan, maybe 70 - somewhat ridiculously expensive) and lined up with our toboggans. Gabe went first, followed, by Heidi, and I picked up the tail end. I tried to give the two in front of me some time to form a gap, but the guy manning the ride kept shouting at me "Go,go, go".
Down from the Wall we wandered through the market stalls. One lady was selling stuffed pancakes with fruits and other goodies. I ordered a strawberry/banana pancake that was just delicious and filling enough to call it my lunch. Slowly the rest of the crowd meandered down as well; a few tried some pancakes as well, others grabbed some other snacks and soon we were heading back to the bus to return to Beijing.