Archives For Great Wall of China

What could possibly go wrong when you are going to see one of the New Seven Wonders of the World? Well, how about rain! Yes, rain causes a few discomforts when you are visiting the Great Wall of China, like getting wet, walking on slippery stones, and not being able to use the toboggan slide coming down the mountain.

But there is good news! The crowds are smaller, it is cooler, and it gives a completely different perspective of the Great Wall. Would you like to see what I mean?

Taking the Good with the Bad

I have been to the Great Wall of China on perfectly clear days, and you can see all of the surrounding mountains and valleys below. To some, it may seem a little disappointing to go to the Great Wall when it is raining, but I appreciate the change the rain brings and the unique views it offers. I have read that the Mu Tian Yu section of the Great Wall is about 3425.2 feet above sea level, so you can understand that you are literally in the clouds.

Taking the Good with the Bad

Since the Great Wall of China is over 13,000 miles long, you can’t see all of it anyway, so I enjoy the eerie yet calm view on days when it rains. It is hard to believe that the section in the photograph above is over 2,000 years old!

Taking the Good with the Bad

When I am at the Great Wall, the view off in the distance reminds me of the beginning to the old television show MASH. If you can recall the scene as the helicopter flies in and you can see the rugged mountains in the background — well, to me, the two scenes are the same.

There are so many things you can’t control when you are traveling, so I encourage you to find the good side of what may alter your plans. Who knows, you may like the change better than your original plans!

I hope to see you on the Great Wall one day… rain or shine!

New and Improved

August 30, 2016 — Leave a comment

Much planning and work has been done to the new entrance of the Great Wall of China at the Mu Tian Yu location. I completely understand how they wanted to “spruce up” the former facility, but I think some of the charm was lost in the transition.

Instead of small booths for all types of vendors with awnings, now there are nice new brick facilities. These are well maintained, so I have to give the cleaning crews credit for a job well done.

New and Improved brick facilities at the Great Wall

Now you can even get a pizza at the Great Wall! I never thought I would see that day! This restaurant has great service, and the interior is all wood, as you can guess from the photograph below.

New and Improved Dining at the Great Wall

One of my favorite treats to get after climbing the Great Wall is dried fruit. My favorite is the dried strawberries, and they are amazingly sweet! The vendors selling the dried fruit will give free samples, and they know that once you have tasted their fruit, you will want more!

The new entrance is further down the hill from the old location, so you have to buy an inexpensive bus ticket to take you a little further up the hill. Sometimes you may have to wait on a bus, but usually not for very long. There is also a new parking deck and ticket office at the new entrance, and the restrooms are very clean. You should definitely use the restroom before going up on the Great Wall, because you have very few options once you are on the wall!

New and Improved Entrance to the Great Wall

 

 

 

The New Entrance

September 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

In the past when you wanted to go to the Great Wall of China at MuTainYu near Beijing, you would drive almost all the way to the entrance before the parking lots were in sight. From there you would walk through an area of huts and some permanent structures that had shops and restaurants. As you worked your way up the hill, you would come to an area where you could purchase your tickets, all 3 of them. You need one ticket to enter the park, one for the gondola ride up, and another one for the luge ride down. If you didn’t want to take the luge run down, you could take the gondola or the ski lift, which was an open air bench much like the gondola, but not enclosed.

Now the entrance has been moved a little further down the hill, and some of the charm of the mom and pop huts has been lost, in my opinion. At the new entrance there are nice new clean buildings where you can purchase your tickets for the entrance, gondola, park entrance, and van ride to the old entrance. As you can see from my list, you now need to get a ticket for the bus ride to the entrance and back to the parking area. You will also need to buy your luge ticket at the old location, because it is run by a separate company.
The New Entrance1
At the new parking area you will find the mom and pop huts have been replaced by new buildings. You can still buy the delicious dried fruit there and get souvenirs, but there is definitely a different feel to this location compared to the old one.
The New Entrance2
One challenge I see with the new system is with the buses. Nobody wants to wait for their bus, especially if you are about to see the Great Wall of China. I have never had to wait long for the bus going up, but on my last trip, I had to wait WAY too long for the ride down. Hopefully you won’t have to wait in the hot sun like my friends and I did to go back down the mountain.
The New Entrance3
Enjoy your time on the Great Wall of China, and I highly recommend taking the luge run down the mountain!

As you probably know, the Great Wall of China covers mile after mile of land in China, so the topography will change from section to section. The area I am speaking of today is just north of Beijing, in some mountains.

If you can remember the beginning of the TV show MASH when the helicopters were flying into the medical base, well, that land reminds me of the area where the Great Wall of China was built north of Beijing. To build the Great Wall on top of a mountain ridge is very impressive to me. To consider when it was built and the lack of modern resources to accomplish this task, now that is amazing!

As you can see in the picture below, the terrain is very steep in some areas along the Great Wall. In the second picture, you can see a distant valley, and I am told that the farmers in these areas wouldn’t have to pay taxes when the Great Wall was being built, but they would have to feed the workers as they worked on the Great Wall in the farmer’s area.

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In this final picture, the incline lets you know how steep the mountain is. Thankfully, there are vendors on the Great Wall selling cold drinks!

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