Mutianyu Great Wall
Mutianyu Great Wall was initially built in the Northern Qi Dynasty around 560A.D. It was rebuilt and restored with solid granite during the Ming Dynasty which makes the wall a stronghold to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs.
Mutianyu Great Wall Features
Mutianyu Great Wall is remarkably intact which is built mainly with solid granite. It is 7-8 meters high and the top is 4-5 meters wide. It snakes 2 kilometres through the hillside which allows you time to explore the surrounding orchards, pines, trees, mountains and the towers scattered along the route. Comparing with other sections of Great Wall, Mutianyu Great Wall possesses unique characteristics in its construction.
1. It has 22 watchtowers at 100 meter intervals, which signifies the importance of this stronghold in the past, as more towers are scattered here than at other sections of the Great Wall.
2. Both the outer and inner parapets are crenellated with merlons, so that shots could be fired at the enemy on both sides - a feature very rare on other parts of the Great Wall.
3. It has three connected watchtowers, with the central tower looming high over the structure. Each tower has its own gate. The three watchtowers are connected each other inside and compose a rarely seen structure among all sections of Great Wall.
4. Mutianyu is famous for the superb views as the area is surrounded by woodland and streams and the views of the wall vary in four seasons.
Today, Mutianyu Great Wall is open to visitors. Cable car is available to help visitors. The slideway which rushes down from top of the mountain and goes through a slideway of 1580 meters, give you an opportunity to experience exciting and breathe-taking thrills while enjoy the beautiful views of the Great Wall.
Settled beneath the mountain pass are the villages of Mutianyu, Beigou, Xinying and Tianxianyu that are so small. They are easily missed by passing tourists. The residents are largely direct descendents of the builders of the Great Wall of China during the Ming Dynasty and little has changed in this rural part of China since then.
These are working villages and the people farm the lands. The main products from the area are pears, chestnuts and apricots that you can see growing from the steep hills and people live off the land and gather wild mushrooms and other plants for food.
Residents of Mutianyu, Beigou, Xinying and Tianxianyu have become accustomed to visitors wandering a round their villages and are happy to greet visitors with a smile, although don’t expect much in the way of chit chat, unless you speak Chinese of course.
In all fairness, the language barrier is slowly decreasing, as in 2007, the Mayor of the village signed an agreement with Shelburne Falls in Massachusetts. In 2010 talks began about the best way to get an exchange programme running between both places, so that students can experience first hand the lifestyles, economy and history of each village. This is a really exciting prospect for two very different places to experience a very different culture.
Locals are rightfully proud of their heritage and section of the Great Wall and you may as well visit one or two of the villages when travelling to the wall from Beijing.
This is a lovely part of the wall to visit for a leisurely stroll and some peace and quiet.
Mutianyu Great Wall Tours
Mutianyu Great Wall is 90km (56 miles) northwest, 1.5 hours drive from downtown Beijing. Mutianyu Great Wall is a less-crowded section with superb view due to its forest area. Cablr car is available if you need.