How to get to Mutianyu?
October-November 2008My guidebook as well as all tourist sites of China, give one piece of advice — take bus 916 from the bus terminal Dongzhimen (东直门 - Dōngzhímén) to the city of Huairou (怀柔 - Huáiróu), and from there by minibus or by taxi to the Wall. So I did like this.
At 6:10 am I left the hotel. Beijing was sunk in morning darkness and fog, but for the lights of occasional cars there was no light at all. Practically neither were people there. The bus terminal was nearby — just next but one stop by the subway. At the bus terminal with the help of signs I quickly found the place, from where bus 916 starts off. When I reached the place I needed, the boarding was already on. As it turned out the fare in the interurban bus should be paid directly in the bus right after departure. The fair to Huairou is 12 yuans ($1.8 USD).
Minibuses run from Huairou to the Wall, but I didn't know the exact place from where, therefore, I decided to go to the terminal station — bus terminal in Huairou. This is not the most correct decision, as reaching Huairou the bus dodges there for at least 20 minutes.
At the bus terminal I was immediately approached by taxi drivers and one of them took me to the Wall. I shouldn't have agreed with him to wait for me and take me back to the bus terminal. It is a strain to walk on the Wall and keep on thinking about how many hours have passed and whether it was time to go back down.