So, last time I was here, back in 1994, we visited Mutianyu, one of the most visited parts of the Great Wall of China. Back in the day there was 1 cable way up, but it would cost us 10¥ and we, cheaper than cheapest, did not want to pay that hefty sum, so we decided to walk up and walk down.
Walking up to the wall is also an experience I’m happy I’ve already done and wouldn’t want it undone (and so happy I did it while young and in shape)!
It was December, so it was cold, and we were wearing about 2000 layers of clothing, because we didn’t really bring any winter clothes. Who knew it was so cold in China? This seems to be a repeating problem for me – first time I didn’t expect the cold, this time I didn’t expect the heat. So, both times left me standing here dressed in completely the wrong clothes!
This time I had a private driver from Beijing, who helped with the tickets, although I believe I would have figured it out myself too, there were so many English signs everywhere. We bought tickets for the cable way (“the sitting one”) and the toboggan for the way down. 120¥. Perfectly fine. I would have 2 hours up there and that was perfectly fine too. He showed med on the map where I’d be “entering” and where to go next. You can’t really get lost up there, but still… 🙂
I don’t remember all that much about Mutianyu from 1994, but today, 2017 – hallelujah! What a stunt!
My driver walked me through the “stuntstreet” to the bus which would take me further up – to the cable way. Along this walking street there were plenty of sales booths and even a Burger King and several other restaurants. I was completely stunned. Judge by my surprise when I found exactly the same T-shirts I bought myself visiting the wall 23 years ago! I want to remember I paid 5¥ per shirt then, today they were 30. 🙂
The trip up with the cable way was magical, of course. Wonderful view. The cable way I’d chosen went to the 6th tower, there is another one to tower no 14, and all in all you can walk between tower 1 and 23 on Mutianyu.
I, however, only ran around the 6th and up to the 8th, I believe. My driver had suggested I’d walk up to the 23rd, but yeah helloooo!!! That wouldn’t give me any time to take any nice photos or anything. So I chose to enjoy the view and photograph some more 😀 instead of dragging myself up to the highest tower.
There are also some less restored parts of the wall open for the tourists, and I’d like to visit them too. Some day. Mutianyu and Badaling are the 2 best restored parts. Badaling is crowded with Chinese people – I’ve seen horrible pictures on the internet from Badaling, where it seems you can’t even move a toe! So, I don’t think I’d like to go there. But the unrestored parts seem very appealing. You know, ruins and me… great combo!
This is what happens when you ask someone to take a photo of you…!
Better to get a good old selfie!? 🙂
I’d also like to spend the night on the wall, just to get to shoot the sunset and sunrise, must be incredibly magical. Let’s see if I’ll get to do that in December when I’m back in Beijing, although it will be really cold up there then, at least it was last time I was here… Otherwise it will have to wait until next time.
We’ll see what I have time for, I’d prefer not to shorten my stay here in Yangshuo, so it might just have to be another visit to China in the future… 🙂 Rather not wait another 20 years then!
What do you think? Did you enjoy all the commotion at the Great Wall or would you have preferred it slightly simpler?