Visiting the Great Wall of China was another item that was quite high on my bucket list and one of the main reasons we traveled to Beijing.
We decided to go to the section of the Great Wall at Mutianyu as we had heard it was much less touristy and crowded than the sections in Beijing. Mutianyu is about 75km from Beijing so it is a bit of a trek, however I was determined to have crowd-less photos of and on the wall. There are countless companies that offer tours to the Great Wall, but we opted to go with a privately guided tour.
Our tour guide Daphne Chen was absolutely amazing! She picked us up from our hotel near Tiananmen Square (Novotel Peace Beijing) at 9am and we were at the Great Wall in Mutianyu by 10:30am. The 90minute drive was quite pleasant as Daphne filled us with information on the culture, history and way of life in Beijing.
Once we got to the Great Wall, we had a few options of how to get onto the wall, we could climb over 4,000 steps, take a chair lift or take the gondola. We opted with taking the gondola up and toboggan back down. We spent a couple of hours trekking along the wall taking pictures in mere awe of where we were. The views of the wall were stunning to say the least.
Below is one of 23 watchtowers.
The views from the wall were also stunning:
The Mutianyu Great Wall was first built by the Qi Dynasty over 1400 years ago and was rebuilt and strengthened under the Ming Dynasty. It’s truly amazing to visit such a unique piece of history.
We travelled to China in mid-December and found the pollution levels to be quite high (which is noticeable in the photo’s shared above). I don’t think I ever realized how bad the air pollution situation truly was until we were there and struggling by day 3. Be prepared and buy a mask.