The Mutianyu Great Wall has so much to offer those who visit it. But that doesn’t mean you have to travel with a large group during a guided tour. Most would agree that the best way to experience the wall is on a self-guided tour with one or two of your friends. You can move at your own pace and stop to enjoy everything along the way.
If you’re interested, then we’ve got a few pointers to help make your trip as enjoyable as possible. These guidelines are by no means mandatory but are recommended by most who have already taken the tour themselves.
1. Choosing The Right Time.
If you’ve already booked your trip, then it’s a bit late for this step. But if you haven’t, then you’re in luck. The Mutianyu Great Wall is beautiful no matter what time of the year that you visit, but certain times will be more enjoyable.
For example, The months of February and March are known to experience dust and sandstorms that could easily take away from the fun of the trip. The months between December and January are the coldest. And the months of June and July experience the most rain. Ideally, you should attempt to schedule your tour either during May or November.
2. Take Advantage Of The Shuttle Bus.
A lot of first-time visitors decide to avoid the shuttle bus and simply hike to the entrance of the Great Wall. They expect to see a lot of beautiful scenery along the way. Unfortunately, they soon realize is an up-hill hike without much to see. The hike to the entrance is about 3 kilometers long and it winds up the side of a hill.
It can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour to make the hike and reach the entrance. After which, you’ll probably be pretty exhausted. That will make it more difficult to enjoy the 2.2 kilometers of Great Wall that you came to see. The shuttle bus is pretty cheap and it only takes about ten minutes to reach the entrance.
3. Plan To Spend A Few Hours On The Wall.
As mentioned, you’ll have about 2.2 kilometers of Great Wall available to you. Along that length is a total of 20 towers that have been rebuilt. Each of those towers is roughly 200 meters from the next. It’s easy to spend 2 hours walking from one tower to the next. People often spend much more than that because they stop to take pictures and have a rest.
If you also plan on hiking up and down the wall, then you’re looking at around 4 hours minimum for your tour. Keep in mind, that’s not leaving time aside for food or other refreshments. So make sure you’ve planned your schedule accordingly. You don’t want to show up too late and feel rushed to leave before you get to see it all.
4. You Can Bargain With The Shops.
If you’re from America, you might not be used to bargaining with shop owners. It’s a bit different in Mutianyu. You can often bargain with the souvenir shop owners along the wall. You might get items reduced by half of their cost if you’re good enough. The point is that you won’t know if you don’t try. It’s not frowned upon in China.
Enjoy Your Tour.
Once you’ve experienced the Mutianyu Great Wall for yourself you’ll realize why the same tourists come back year after year. It’s an impressive monument built on a beautiful stretch of land. It’s also some of the most affordable fun that you can have on a vacation.
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