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While in Beijing for a few days, my daughter and I of course had to visit the Great Wall of China! Besides being a UNESCO World Heritage site and overall amazing, I am on a quest to get a picture of myself at the sites of all of the World Wonders from the Civilization IV computer game. That last part was (mostly) a joke 🙂
How to get to the Great Wall Mutianyu
There are 2 sections of The Great Wall that are near Beijing. The Badaling section is the closest to Beijing, but also the most crowded. We chose to go to the Mutianyu section. We hired a private car for 2 through our hotel (Grand Hyatt Beijing) which cost us 1000 CNY. We had him pick us up at the hotel at 6 a.m., drive to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall (arriving at about 7:40 a.m., just after the wall opens for the day). There are other options for taking public transportation from Beijing to the Great Wall Mutianyu but we chose to take a private car.
Great Wall Mutianyu prices – Buying tickets
Because we were there with a driver / tour guide, there was a ticket purchasing stand right near the parking lot with Great Wall Mutianyu prices which said “Tour Guides only” (I don’t know how strictly they enforce that if at all)
As you walked a little further up the path, there were other areas for purchasing tickets. We bought the following
- Shuttle Bus tickets – 15CNY each. You can walk up the path from the parking lot to the base of the Great Wall alongside the road for free.
- Great Wall entrance tickets – 45CNY each
- Chairlift up and Toboggan down – 120CNY each. You can also ride a cable car one way for 100CNY or roundtrip for 120CNY. And you can walk up to the top of the wall (I was told 4000 steps) or free along the marked footpath.
There is a discount on the Cable Car and Chairlift for children. Our total came to 340 CNY though looking again at the Great Wall Mutianyu prices, I’m not 100% sure how they came up with that total.
Great Wall Mutianyu section
We took the chairlift to the top of the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall and then explored the Great Wall Mutianyu section for about 2 hours or so. This section is quite hilly (as I imagine most of the wall is) and there are many steps both up and down
There are also several forts and watchtowers along the way
Because we got to the Great Wall Mutianyu so early in the morning, we were able to get pictures without hordes of tourists in them, even though we were in a fairly busy time of the year (September). As we headed back to the car at around 10:30 a.m., there were a LOT of people arriving to head up to the Mutianyu Great Wall.
Great Wall Mutianyu Toboggan Ride review and video
You queue for the Great Wall Mutianyu Toboggan Ride at the same place where you arrived on the chairlift. Again, we got to the Great Wall Mutianyu section quite early in the morning, so when we went to take the Great Wall Mutianyu Toboggan Ride down, there was no wait at all. The Great Wall Mutianyu Toboggan Ride lasts about 4 minutes and I took a video of the entire ride
My daughter had gone on the Great Wall Mutianyu Toboggan Ride ahead of me. They have 2 seat toboggans available if you have smaller children (under 10). You snake down the hill from the base of the Great Wall all the way down to the road. The toboggans are controlled with a simple lever – push it forward to accelerate and pull it back to break. One thing that I found a bit difficult / cramped was the fact that you have to push the lever forward the entire time or you don’t go. Something about trying to push it forward while also holding my phone with one hand (for the video) AND still fit on the toboggan was mildly uncomfortable. My daughter, who was not holding a cell phone and is of course much smaller than me, reported no such problems.
My daughter ranked the Great Wall Mutianyu Toboggan Ride as her #1 favorite part of our entire China vacation, so if you’re heading to the Great Wall Mutianyu section and considering whether it’s worth it, I hope this Great Wall Mutianyu Toboggan Ride review convinces you to go for it!
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Hi Dan, would love to hear more details about how you pulled off your trip. Did you take care of the Chinese Visa in advance or take advantage of their transit visa?
I’ve got a post coming up that talks about how we did it – we used the 72/144 hour transit visa waiver