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Great Wall at Mutianyu

by bbowie Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 3:03 PM

What is the best way of getting to the Great Wall at Mutianyu? I would prefer not to go on a bus tour. For example, is it possible to hire a car and driver for the day? Roughly how much would that cost? Are there other ways of visiting Mutianyu? Thanks

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20 Answers
  • DSwede's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by DSwede Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    I went to Mutianyu with public bus. Bus #916 leaves Dongzhimen for Huairou (~12Y). If you want more remote wall, take connecting bus #961 to Huanghua. Either way, you haggle with a taxi in Huairou for the remainder of the trip for much less than cost from Beijing.

    More details are here:
    "Great Wall with fewer people - Mutianyu" - Great Wall - Mutianyu Tip by DSwede

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    The above response is pretty clever and is a good way to control your own destiny. A taxi back to Bejing should be a lot less than a taxi FROM Beijing.

    If you still want to get a driver guide, these people are pretty good. These are all English speaking and regulated and licenced, and their past hisory and cost etc. is all on the pages.

    http://www.synotrip.com/tour-guides

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  • bbowie's Profile Photo

    by bbowie Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    thanks for the reply, DSwede

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  • stevemt's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by stevemt Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    If you want a guide, try Alvin, he is gtrat, many VT people have used him

    email is alvinbenton@yahoo.com

    He really is a great guy

    Have fun in Beijing

    STEVE

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by angiebabe Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    I was recommended to go try a particular hotel for their tours which I did and as it was a hotel that tended to have Chinese guests the tour was made up of Chinese tourists from around China and Malaysia - only the 2 Malaysians and the tour guide could speak English - it was a small group but it had more of a Chinese angle so the restaurant we went to out at Badaling was more geared to being local Chinese dishes than what is considered to be what foreign tourists will be happy with, and I had a really great day out with a very Chinese flavour and the guide spoke very good English though Ihad been studying Mandarin for a long time at that stage - the next day I took another tour with them and was the only client so an extra bonus to end up with my own personal tour guide for the day!....so not all tours are as restrictive or groupified as usually assumed!

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    That is a great tip Angela. As a tour director I can really appreciate a tour with a local point of view.........d:o)

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by angiebabe Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    thanks youre always very welcome Erik!!.

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  • muratkorman's Profile Photo

    by muratkorman Online Now Mar 13, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    I was also very sceptical about visiting Mutianyu section of the Great Wall with a tour. However, I was very satisfied with it at the end of the day. It's true that you are also taken to some touristic attractions such as silk makers or jade jewellery, but in general I was very impressed. You can check my Beijing page for details.
    "A monumental city" - Beijing by muratkorman

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  • Homanded's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by Homanded Online Now Mar 14, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    I second Alvin.
    We first discovered him back in 2005, have used him several times and began recommending his services to VT'ers ever since.
    I've yet to hear a negative about him.
    If you do contact him, please let him know his friend Homer says hello.

    Last time I was there, 2 years ago, he drove myself and 12 friends to Mutianyu in a very comfortable AC van/transport.
    We spent a wonderful time on the wall and it was an experience indeed for our friends.
    He is fluent in English and knows quite a bit of history on both the wall as well as other local sites including Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Lama Temple, etc.

    Homer

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  • iclee's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by iclee Online Now Mar 14, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Hi bbowie,

    I've been to Mutianyu several times in different seasons and Badaling a couple of times. Mutianyu is the better choice because it's less crowded (met Nicalos Cage there) and more authentic for my taste.

    We invited Alvin to be our guide all the time because we were so satisfied with his proactive and affordable service. We were there last Dec2012 and I paid $250/2 days. We paid extra for the van and driver because we were a party of 11. In the past,  know that if it just a group that can fit in a car then you just need to pay for toll, gasoline and guide cost.  Feel free to email Alvin at alvinbenton@hotmail.com or alvinbenton@yahoo.com.  He usually responds in his time zone and can also be reached through his mobile.  Check my Beijing pages and you'll see him, too.  Btw, he does not usually take tips.  In case, you can influence him to accept, make sure to put it inside a sealed letter envelope because in his own words "it is decent to give it that way"  (I've seen him give it that way to our van driver and told me so).

    On Mutianyu: we passed by a lovely provincial fruit market where we bought loads of fresh fruits for munching.

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 14, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Hey Homer, and all of you recommending Alvin, - I hope you don'r mind if I add him to my private guide lexicon. I have been collecting privte driver/guides, for decades. Many on my list have literally faded or died off.

    The kicker was "iclee",s note regarding how he prefers to receive and give tips. That is classic, and tells a lot about the man. Thanks.

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  • Homanded's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by Homanded Online Now Mar 14, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Absolutely Erik.

    We first discovered him when he was yet an unknown.
    He was driving a little beat up old VW van.
    We were so impressed by him and as the above poster said, his humbleness when it comes to taking tips that we began recommending him.
    His popularity soon took off and he has indeed remained the same.

    On our trip, at the end of it, and knowing about the tip thing, we stuffed all the money inside an envelope to give him at the end.
    He took us out to a fantastic Peking Duck dinner the night before with our guests...
    When Ed and I went to leave, he had stuck the envelope once again, unopened into our back pack which had been sitting on the floor.
    When I eventually made contact with him again, after arrival, he told us it was his privilege and it was he who was thankful to us for all the business we'd referred to him throughout the years through VT (it's the only site I've ever used to referred him through).
    He asked us to return the money to the rest of the party and tell them that the duck dinner had been on him as he was so thankful for having met them.
    That's the kind of classy guy he is.

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by Odinnthor Online Now Mar 14, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Well Homer, he just went to the head of the list of my China guides. Frankly I had lost contact with those I used there. I used a lot of guides that were struggling during the beginning of China opening up. I was one of the very first to bring tourist to China, back in the day when there were no tourist services to speak of. Back then the best guides worked under the radar, and thei effectiveness was more about their talents circumventing govenment BS, often at a risk of loosing freedom. Some of those guys were quite amazing.

    Those pioneers are getting old now............so I need new blood.........d:o)

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  • doublewide's Profile Photo

    by doublewide Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    You can hire a driver and guide to get there or get there by bus. Tourism Bus 867 goes to Mutianyu from from dongzhimen outer. The bus transfer depot is just outside of exit B. There are signs, in English, throughout the subway station pointing you toward the bus transfer depot and exit B. Check out this post for more tips: wildgreatwall.com/mutianyu-b... Remember that Mutianyu bus 867 runs during tourist season from March 15 to November 15 every year.

     

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  • DSwede's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by DSwede Online Now Mar 15, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    Thanks for this last one, I would not have known this. I last went in February, well outside of the tourist season. So at least the buses that I mentioned operate all the year.

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  • YoungQ's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by YoungQ Online Now Mar 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Well, you can rent a car in Beijing downtown and drive it to the foot of Mutianyu Great Wall, but I think the best section of China's great wall (chinahighlights.com/greatwal...
    ) is Badaling Great Great.

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  • doublewide's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by doublewide Online Now Nov 19, 2013 at 3:07 AM

    This could be a bad news for you but I have to say that Mutuanyu Great Wall tourism bus stops running since 28th Oct 2013, around two weeks early than the estimated time (Bus 867 normally runs daily from March 15 to November 15 every year during tourist season). Check out this post for more info: wildgreatwall.com/mutianyu-b...

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  • bbowie's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by bbowie Online Now Nov 22, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Thanks for all the replies to my question. In the end we hired Simon Xiao for the day. Simon was excellent - good value for money, on time for pickup, knowledgeable, good English and helpful. It was not too crowded at Mutianyu (we were in shoulder season, not high season). We also stopped at the Ming Tombs on the way back to Beijing. I recommend Simon highly.

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  • Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by treeblanch1 Online Now Jan 11, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Hello Homer

    Great advice, have emailed Alvin and said hello from you. He has replied offering his service when we go out later in the year and asked me to say hello back.

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  • doublewide's Profile Photo

    Re: Great Wall at Mutianyu

    by doublewide Online Now Feb 19, 2014 at 2:45 AM

    Mutianyu Great Wall is around 1.5 hours (one way) from downtown Beijing and 1 hour from the airport by road. With the easier walking conditions and fewer crowds, Mutianyu is much more enjoyable to walk than Badaling.

    While according to Mutianyu Great Wall Travel Service Corporate, Mutianyu cable car service stops running between Feb, 17, 2014 and Feb, 23, 2014 for maintenance. If you are planning to ride cable car at that time, be prepared to adjust your travel plan to chair lift or toboggan to make your visit more enjoyable. Check out this post for details:  wildgreatwall.com/mutianyu-t...

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