Sunday, July 5, 2009

Jun 21 Mu Tian Yu Great Wall

I decided to visit Mu Tian Yu Great Wall again, since it was raining during my trip 2 years ago.

Nothing much need preparation except transportation. If not mistaken, a taxi/rented-car with driver cost around RMB 500 2 years ago. Due to previous uncomfortable rented car experience, there are two choices available: bus or taxi. So when we took taxi to/from work, if we enjoy the taxi driver ride, we will ask for the price. It ranges from RMB 600 - 750, including toll and parking fee. Oh yes, if you will ever rent a car or taxi to great wall, need to verify if the price includes toll and parking fee, if not you will usually requires to pay more. On the other hand, I was curious on the experience of taking a bus there, and it seems to be quite straight forward. Due to a major concern, we'd decided to take bus. It is more flexible. In case if weather turn bad, we can still postpone our plan. If we reserve taxi, feel not so good to change plan last minute.

We leave our house on 6am, take bus to DongZhiMen, then take 916 bus to HuaiRou bus station. That journey took around 1 hour and 40 minutes. Before we reach HuaiRou bus station, the driver asked us how do we plan to go GreatWall. In my mind, I was thinking taxi should be easily available there, thus I just answered him. Then he offered to drive us there, normal price is RMB 40 per person, but he will charged us RMB 30 per person. I was a bit shocked when heard the offer, I would prefer official taxi though, thus by giving some reason, turned down his offer.

After reached the bus station, a lot of people coming and asked if we need a ride to great wall. Well, none of them is driving 'official taxi'. We shake our head while trying to spot for official taxi. Finally found one at the opposite road, so we walked there. While we walked there, there was an uncle who keep following us and talked to us, although we keep rejecting the offer. Oh no, that official taxi is under repai. Well, let's take breakfast and get some information from the restaurant waiter. After talking to him, manage to find out those unofficial rented car is the normal way to go to MuTianYu great wall here. After breakfast, the uncle come in to the restaurant. (He is so keen to get the business, he 'spy' on our condition outside while we were taking breakfast, once we finish, he came in and talk to us). After few minutes of negotiation, manage to get RMB 70 for return trip. Here we come MuTianYu.

The ride is about 30 min, going up slope at later part of the journey. While we were in the car, we chat a little bit. The uncle is just curious which country is SH from. He guessed Korea :D then we told him is Malaysia. He also trying to offer us some trip to other places, but we didn't buy any, our target is MuTianYu Great Wall for today! After that, we seldom chat as SN and I were busy chatting. Pity SH forced to enjoy the scenery along the road :p

After uncle parked the car, I just recalled I forgot to clarify the parking fee with him, aiya. I remembered the parking fee is not too expensive, fortunately (It was RMB 5). There are two ways to reach the great wall, hike or cable car. To go down, there will be 3 ways, hike, cable car or speedway.

It took us around 20 min to reach great wall, all stair case like below:

I am glad that my stamina has improved compared to 2 years ago :D Thanks to the determined training to hike KK last year :D

During my last trip, there were map showing how long is the opened section length. Unfortunately those map are not clear anymore, so just walk and walk up there.

We hike up as indicating by the light blue line, upon reach, turn right to reach to one end of the trail. After that, follow green line to hike to the left hand end, took cable car down from there. We did not complete whole open section as we missed out the red line portion. By the way, those blue, green and red line are added by me to illustrate better :D

We started on10.30am and reach foot hill around 1.45pm. Maybe question pop up in your mind, why did I mentioned 'end' at both left and right side of the great wall. Isn't great wall long? Well, great wall is long, but not all great wall are under maintenance/restoration. Only the green + red portion are maintained. When we reach the green line end, there is sign board to request visitor to stop. You may see some tree/bushes grown up at the not maintained great wall as below:

After talking to a local colleague here, get to know that those great wall are called 野长城 (wild-great wall in mandarin, which means abandoned great wall), and one of his hobby is to hike those abandoned great wall, the scene is usually nicer, fresher air and challenging :D

If I got to know those earlier before it is getting too hot, I will probably plan to join some local hikers group to visit those abandoned great wall, but it is too late to say anything now, it's just too hot now. Also, he mentioned the nicest great wall is 箭扣长城 JianKou great wall. Why I never thought of searching 最美的长城 in baidu again? I did that 2 years ago but it was not in the list that time. Off a bit, there was a recent case that someone striked by lightning at JianKou great wall :p He was using handphone during rainstorm.

There is only restroom near cable car station. But the weather is dry and sweat a lot, so I don't feel the urge to go restroom up here :p There are also some local people selling drinks, and unhealthy snacks :p If you do have any chance to come here, prepare some food :)

Some of the steps are quite steep, but don't worry, you will be able to do it from the encouragement of the nice view :D

We took bus 916 express home after that. In overall, the transportation fee is RMB 25 per person + RMB 4.8 * 2 (Single bus fare is RMB 4.8) total up to RMB 34.80, as opposed to RMB 200 of taxi fare per person.

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