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Great Wall of China

20 bytes added, 05:08, 22 March 2016
Beijing
If, after exiting the cable car, one turns to the left and hikes up stairs for about an hour, one can reach the unrestored, "wild" wall. Signs will tell you that visitors are not admitted to this area of the wall. The terrain gets rougher, there's bushes growing in the way and some parts are so destroyed, one has to actually climb to go on. Please note that mobile phone reception drops off sharply here and there's only very few to no people around, so in case of an emergency, you'll be on your own. Good hiking gear advisable. Frozen and slippery in winter. Loose Rocks.
Because several English-language guidebooks now recommend Mutianyu over Badaling as less crowded and less overdeveloped, a few tour companies (notably G Adventuresand Intrepid Travel) have switched to Mutianyu as their preferred Great Wall segment for their China tours. If at all possible, try to book an escorted group tour with a Mutianyu visit as an integral component. That will provide the most convenient and seamless experience, since small tourist motorcoaches with the appropriate paperwork can take you directly from a Beijing hotel to a small parking lot very close to the cable car base station. The driver will wait with the motorcoach while your tour guide takes your group up to the Great Wall, then when you are all done, you get back on the motorcoach and go directly back to Beijing.
Other than that, Mutianyu is generally easiest to reach via taxi. The only direct public bus to the Mutinyau Great Wall section is a special service of the 867, which only runs during the tourist season (15 Mar-15 Nov). As of May 2012, it departs at 07:00 and 08:30 from the Dongzhimen outer bus station which you can get to by turning left out of the main bus station (arrive at Donzhimen subway, take "H" exit) and going for a 10 minute walk round the other side until you see a parking lot full of buses on your left (don't cross the street). To make it clear the 867 is not numbered when you come up the stairs from the subway. It is a totally separate bus terminal outside the main building. This is where the 867 leaves from, it is not easy to find and you will be hawked heavily by private taxis and mini buses. As of July 2014, route 867 had a very aggressive driver verbally forcing all tourists off at stop around 12km from Mutianyu to waiting hoards of hire minivans. Bus 867 stop sign at Mutianyu has been removed by scammers, and bus comes at 14:00 with same driver but number blanked off front, again angrily refusing to return to Dongzhimen, and drove back to stop 12km from Mutianyu avoiding all in between stops to again force tourists off. Be very wary of this route.
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