Top 5 Reasons Mutianyu is Best to Entertain Your Kids
While it can be hard to please everyone in the family when trying to make the best decision as to which section of the Great Wall to visit. Mutianyu might just do the trick, offering something for everyone.
Whether you want a relaxing break for the whole family, or if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous. Mutianyu offers something for people of all ages and types to enjoy. It’s a particularly enticing attraction for parents with young children.
Easily accessible, yet less crowded than other Great Wall sections, Mutianyu makes for a wonderful day trip with the entire family. The following are just a few of the many reasons to visit Mutianyu with kids:
1. Mutianyu Is Less Crowded Than Badaling
Badaling may be easily accessible from Beijing, but that can actually be a problem — this portion of the Great Wall tends to attract huge crowds.
It’s tough to enjoy the landmark’s scenery and history if you’re constantly worrying about your child getting lost in the crowd.
While Mutianyu can also be busy at times, its crowds are typically more manageable — particularly for parents with multiple kids to track down.
2. Mutianyu Is the Most Accessible Section to Visit With Kids
Small children can only walk so far before they tire. Thankfully, Mutianyu offers a myriad of methods for getting around and accessing the area’s most impressive views. Cable cars make it easy to get to the Great Wall, while toboggans provide an element of adventure.
Young children may be frightened by chairlifts, but pre-teens and teenagers find them exhilarating. Sometimes, the journey is even better than the destination — such is often the case for children as they take advantage of unique options for accessing the Great Wall.
3. The Walk Is Relatively Easy For Visitors of All Ages
If you choose to spend the majority of your time at Mutianyu on foot, you’re in luck — this restoration masterpiece is notoriously walkable. As mentioned earlier, paths are accessible via cable cars/chairlifts.
Walking areas are carefully maintained, so you don’t need to worry about your kids tripping on hazards once they arrive. A few sections like the part between tower 19 and 20 are steep, but by no means inaccessible for young children.
Though plently of Great Wall hikes are avaiable (try Jiankou to Mutianyu hike if your kids are older and not scared of heights!) Mutianyu is less focused on adventure and long hikes than other sections of the Great Wall are, and more focused on simple ways to enoy the wall itself. Mutianyu is on the bucket list of many family travelers and rightfully so.
4. Public Toilets Are Clean And Easy to Find
Bladder problems always strike at the most inconvenient times. When your child begins complaining of the need for a bathroom break, access to public facilities can seem like a dire matter. No worries — at Mutianyu, you’ll find a multitude of public toilets.
Near the Subway is a decent bathroom. Another one is next to the cable car station. Not only are these facilities easily accessible, but they’re also typically quite clean (even on busy days).
Newly renovated restrooms offer both squat and sit toilets, which can be difficult to locate if you visit other areas of the Great Wall. Don’t forget to pack toilet paper and hand sanitizer, as these may not be available in all restroom facilities.
5. Several Excellent Dining Opportunities Are Located Nearby
Dining with finicky eaters can be a hassle wherever you go in the Beijing area. The more options available, the better. Several of the restaurants located near Mutianyu are kid-friendly, so you’ll find it easy to grab a meal after you’ve fully explored the Great Wall.
At the bottom of the Wall next to the Cable Car Station there is a subway and near Mutianyu tourist center there is a Burger King. Moreover, Mutianyu Village boasts a number of authentic Chinese eateries. Most are small, about 10–20 minutes’ drive from the Mutianyu car park. Here are some local restaurants around Mutianyu:
- Kao Shan Tun Northeast Farm Dish Restaurant (20 minutes’ drive from Mutianyu), Chinese restaurant, Food include Kung Pow Chicken, Sauteed Mushrooms, and Local Barbecue Fish. One of the few local restaurants opens late. 50-80 yuan per person.
- Xiaolongpu Restaurant (10 minutes’ drive from Mutianyu), dishes from around China, including Sichuan, Canton, Northeast, and even Beijing. A good place for a quick meal to or from Mutianyu. 50-80 yuan per person
- Fish Chef (15 minutes’ drive from Mutianyu)near Mutianyu Roundabout famous for the rainbow trout barbecue, 50-80 yuan per person.
How Long to Visit Mutianyu Great Wall
This walk will take you a good 3-4 hours doing it with kids at a leisurely pace depending on which route you decide to take. There are several routes (climb up/cable car/chairlift) up to the Wall, but the most popular is to take cable car up and back. This route takes 2.5-3.5 hours to complete with kids. The walk is enjoyable with some really good views.
Best Place to Take Family Photo
I suggest getting a photo in front of the small tower (where you can leave your signature on a wall specifically installed for that purpose) that you will find to the west side of the tower 14. Another good spot is the platform with 5As attraction stone sign below tower 14. Besides that you can get some great photos along the way to tower 20 or even just standing in the middle of the wall. Cable car will take you to the platform below tower 14, it could be worth it, as you can save your legs for the hike on top of the wall.
Tips for Visiting Mutianyu Great Wall With Kids
- Safety first: It can be easy to get caught up in a moment of excitement, frustration or chaos when you’re traveling as a family. The wall is around 6-7 meters (20 to 23 feet) in height, and it’s important to remember that a hazard could literally be around the corner. Follow a few safety tips to make sure that you do not put young children at risk whilst you are walking on the wall. Where you see a flight of stairs on the wall, children may see a majestic mountain that needs to be conquered. Falls can happen on the wall. Carefully watch toddlers on stairs, and teach children to always hold onto handrails and not to play or jump on stairs.
- Do not bring a stroller to Mutianyu: If you are visiting Mutianyu with a baby or a toddler, bring a baby carrier. Sure, you can visit Mutianyu with a stroller, but it will be a pain in the butt. The stones underfoot are very uneven and there are towers spaced along the wall which have many steep uneven steps to climb and your stroller will get in the way. If your little one is too small to walk for your whole visit, I recommend a baby or toddler carrier. If you will be going to Mutianyu with a stroller, make sure your stroller is a lightweight one for travel.
- Watch your kids carefully: During public holidays (like May 1st and Oct 1st) Mutianyu can get crowded and are full of people who are taking photos, walking, and resting, etc, so common courtesy isn’t always afforded to others. If your kids aren’t paying attention, they will get in the way of someone in a hurry. I recommend putting your kids in a carrier when climbing the section between tower 18 and 19 (steep section with 450 steps), as you’ll have a much more enjoyable time. If you let yur kids walk this section, you may spend all your time and attention making sure they are ok, which can impact your enjoyment of this beautiful place.
- Get to Mutianyu as early as you can: To get the most out of your day and beat the crowds, it’s recomended to get to the entrance right when it opens (like 7:30 am or 8:30 am) and go straight up to the wall. if you’re an early bird and can get to Mutianyu this early, you’ll have the wall to yourself for a few hours. Otherwise, get there after 2pm or 3pm and you’ll find that Mutianyu starts to empty by 4pm. By 5pm, you’ll virtually have the place to yourself.
- Take the shuttle bus to the entrance and back: Mutianyu ticket office/ car park is around 3km away from the entrance to the Wall. We all know that kids don’t like to walk much, so it’s highly recommended to buy the shuttle bus tickets at the main ticket office that will take you up to entrance of the wall (RMB 15 return) and back to the car park. There is only one entrances into Mutianyu, so you won’t miss it.
- Wear comfortable shoes: Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes for standing/walking for long periods-so you don’t slip on the trail. Kids may fall on the loose brick steps. Mutianyuis a place for walking and if you don’t want to be miserable, make sure you and your kids are wearing shoes that are designed for walking long periods of time, even if you aren’t planning on a strenuous hike.
- Bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen and a hat: There are some restaurants near Mutianyu parking lot, but it’s best to have plenty of your own water and snacks with you for walking and celebrating at the top! And be sure to be sun smart with a hat, sunscreen and protective clothing if it is hot.
Age should not be a restriction for visiting the Great Wall of China. Make memories to last a lifetime at Mutianyu — the perfect attraction for active families.