How to get to The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

How to get to The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

Trekking the Great Wall is a highlight of China.

We chose to visit the Mutianyu section of the Wall, which is around 70km North East from Beijing.

Mutianyu is popular because it is far enough away from Beijing to avoid the stifling large crowds (like at the Badaling section of the wall), but close enough to reach from Beijing in a round day trip.

And of course the views are incredible:

The incredible view of The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

The incredible view of The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

…and, once you’ve trekked up the Great Wall at Mutianyu, you can take a toboggan ride down from Tower 6, which adds to the fun:

Tobogganing down the Great Wall at Mutianyu

Queuing up to take the toboggan down the Great Wall at Mutianyu

After a great deal of research, we decided to go by ourselves and not with a tour group.  A round trip to and from Mutianyu cost us a fraction of what we would have paid to go with a tour.

Tours offered to Mutianyu are usually around 300 yuan (£30) per person which includes transport, some sort of meal and a guide.  This fee will not normally include the entrance fee to Mutianyu (currently 58 yuan or £6 per person), nor the tobogganing ride down (currently 80 yuan or £8 per person).  So all in, a tour costs around 400-500 yuan (£40-50) per person.

There is unfortunately very little information available about getting to Mutianyu using local transport in Beijing.  Our best resources were fellow travel bloggers and reviews for Mutianyu on Tripadvisor.

Information available in online blogs and in Lonely Planet suggests taking the 867 bus directly to Mutianyu.  When we went, we found that the 867 bus no longer goes all the way to Mutianyu.  The 867 bus stop is also a little complicated to find.

Instead, we advise going to the main bus station at Dong Zhi Men (it’s also on the Beijing subway).  When you come out of the Dong Zhi Men subway station, the large bus station is close to it.

The correct bus to Mutianyu (and do not let anyone tell you otherwise – see below!) is the 916 from the main bus station.  This costs around 11 yuan (£1) per person.  The ride is around 1 hour to the final stop.  Then at the final stop, there is a large industry of mini vans and taxi drivers who will take you directly to Mutianyu.  We paid 10 yuan (£1) per person here, but you may need to haggle this with them.  This part of the journey is around 20 minutes.

The Great Wall of China Scam industry to avoid!

Unfortunately there is a large industry in scamming tourists at the Dong Zhi Men bus station which we warn you to watch out for!  We were caught out by it which delayed our journey by a few hours:

Upon arriving at the bus station, there are some ladies who claim to work for the official bus station and show you a badge on their left arm as evidence of this:

Women like this claim to work for the bus company but are scammers

Women like this claim to work for the bus company but are scammers

This is false and they are scammers trying to entice you to take another bus (usually the 980) to a random Chinese countryside (Miyun) no where near Mutianyu.  They board the bus with you, take your money for the ticket to give to the driver (so making it all look official).  Then they tell you to get out at random stop where they then try to encourage you to part with a larger sum of money to take a private taxi to another part of the wall where you do not want to go.

At this point we figured out we’d been scammed and just walked away and found a genuine minivan driver in Muyin to take us to Mutianyu for 40 yuan (around £4) each.  Whilst we did not loose too much in terms of money, we did lose almost 2 hours of time.

To avoid these sweet looking old ladies (whose English is very good), we noticed afterwards there were genuine official ladies working at the bus station.  They should have a name badge on their front and should also carry an ID.  If you ever encounter them, demand to see their ID before choosing to trust them.  Our lady in the photo above admitted she didn’t have any ID and laughed when we sussed her out.

The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu was one of our highlights on our trip so far.  The views are incredible, the hike up a good cardiovascular work out and there is a sense of accomplishment and achievement at visiting one of the Great Wonders of the World:

The Nomadic Boys accomplish The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

The Nomadic Boys accomplish The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

We made friends along the way with a few other travellers and together we made the trip to Mutianyu:

Our Mutianyu Great Wall group selfie

Our Mutianyu Great Wall group selfie

Our group photo en route to Mutianyu

Our group photo en route to Mutianyu

Our Mutianyu group photo at the Great Wall of China

Our Mutianyu group photo

Our Mutianyu group photo at The Great Wall of China

Our Mutianyu group photo

Some final photos of us posing at the Great Wall of China:

Sebastien admiring the view of The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

Sebastien admiring the view of The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

Stefan admiring the view of The Great Wall of China at MutianyuStefan admiring the view of The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

Stefan admiring the view of The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu

Sebastien posing Mutianyu at The Great Wall of China

Sebastien at Mutianyu

Stefan at Mutianyu at The Great Wall of China

Stefan at Mutianyu

The Nomadic Boys at Mutianyu - Great Wall of China

The Nomadic Boys at Mutianyu

For more, watch our China travel video as we ate our way from Beijing in the North all the way to the south via Pingyao, Xi’An, Shanghai, Yangshuo through to Shangri-La:

8 Comments

  1. You two make everything look like a Blasssst! We need to party one day!

    Reply
    • Aww thanks Chelsea 🙂 Party you say? Bring it on g friend!!

      Reply
  2. Hi Guys, could you kindly share how you return from Mutianyu to the 916 bus stop?

    I was unfortunately one of the victims of the scam you mentioned (scammed to take bus 980 and paid a lot to get a driver to drive us to mutianyu) when I went there with a friend last year.

    This time round I am going with my parents, so I’m feeling really lost.

    I would truly appreciate your help. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Joy. We just found a minivan at Mutianyu and split the cost between the 5 of us. We haggled him down a bit.

      Reply
  3. My partner and I visited Xian and Beijing last Sep. Wish I had come across your blog a year earlier! We would have told that evil woman at dongzhimen bus stop to piss off. Unfortunately we got on bus 980. We were absolutely furious when we found out we had been sent the opposite way. The taxi driver in Miyun wanted 560 yuan to take us to Mutianyu. We managed to haggle it down to 260 but decided we weren’t going to let him make any money from us. We took the bus back to Beijing and made our way to Badaling instead. What an experience!

    Reply
    • NOOOOO! So sorry to read it happened to you as well! Those women really need to be stopped. The amount of time you waste cause of them is awful. Nice one for not paying them a cent!

      Reply
  4. This is such useful info! Bookmarking it for our trip to Beijing. Were there plenty of places to eat around the entrance to the Great Wall in Mutianyu? We’ll be travelling with kids (obviously!) and think the toboggan ride sounds like an absolute winner. Any idea what time of day the buses start running?

    Reply
    • It’s very touristy so throughout the day, but as with most things in China, the earlier you go the better to avoid the large crowds. Lots of food available 🙂

      Reply

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