Great wall of China, one of the new seven wonders of the world has always been in my wish list. Finally, I manage to step onto it and strike off my wish list.
Mutianyu (慕田峪) is 70km away from Beijing. It is about 2.5km long and contains a total of 22 watchtowers, one of the longest fully restored portions of the Great Wall. It was built by the Northern Qi Dynasty in 550–577 and fortified under the supervision of General Xu Da during the Ming Dynasty.
There are public transport getting to Mutianyu but we decided to join in a tour group to avoid the hassle. The entire tour takes about 9 hours including a coach ride to Mutianyu, exploring the wall (4 hours), lunch and get back to Beijing city. The 2 good things are, the tour guide speaks both English and Mandarin, and there is no souvenir shopping.
At the mountain base, we took a cable car to checkpoint 14. We took the left journey to reach checkpoint 20. The toilet is only available in checkpoint 14 and 7. Please wear comfortable shoes and equip with plenty of water.
I feel the sense of satisfaction on the first step onto the great wall. The scenery is amazing and I am stepping onto a history that built 1400+ years ago. The weather is cooling and the walk is comfortable only until I reach the last part on checkpoint 20. It is an almost 80-degree steep stone stair to the top of the watchtower. We have to climb with our hands in order to get to the top. Do not rush and follow the queue.
The Great wall journey is fun and definitely, a must go if you are in Beijing. There are certain parts of the stairs in the watchtowers which is pretty narrow but they are manageable. Go slow and you will be fine.