This is what I came to Beijing for! The sun finally came out on Monday with clear skies. Great day to visit the Great Wall!
We decided to visit the part of the Wall in Mutianyu as it’s supposed to be less crowded. We just went to the bus station and took bus 936 from there instead of booking a tour to save money. Bus fare was 17 yuan total one way (13 at the bus station and another 4 near Mutianyu after they switched bus drivers), which is roughly $2.60. Bus ride was about 2.5 to 3 hours.
Once you’re there, you’ll need to pay 45 yuan ($7) to enter and if you want to take the cable car it’s an extra 65 yuan round-trip ($10). I’d also recommend to bring foods and drinks with you as it can be pretty expensive to buy them there.
The view from the Wall is simply stunning! It gets better as you get further down and higher up. Nice view of the surrounding mountains and from high up it looks like it was built in the middle of nowhere and really makes you think on how they were able to build this thousands of years ago. It was also pretty cold that day so some spots were icy, we had to be careful when walking on the shaded areas. We stopped about 2-3 miles down and walked back, but it looks like you can keep going much further.
Also make sure that you know the bus schedule if taking the public bus and estimate the time it will take you to get back to the parking lot. In our case, bus 936 leaves at 2:00PM and 4:00PM so we had to make sure we didn’t miss it.