HUAIROU DISTRICT, BEI­JING

Mu­tianyu Great Wall

Virgin Australia Voyeur - - LOCAL'S GUIDE -

Most tourists seem to make a bee­line for the Badal­ing sec­tion of the Great Wall of China, within easy reach of Bei­jing, for its re­stored walk­ways and watch­tow­ers. Fur­ther afield is Mu­tianyu, a qui­eter al­ter­na­tive with mul­ti­ple sight­see­ing op­tions, plus eco-friendly ac­com­mo­da­tion if you’re af­ter un­spoiled views.

There are three ways to reach the Wall here: climb­ing 4000-plus steps, tak­ing a chair­lift or glid­ing up in a gon­dola. Come down the same way, or pick up speed on a sin­glerider to­bog­gan — just fast enough to get your adren­a­line pump­ing but not so speedy that the scenery blurs.

At the foot of Mu­tianyu is its name­sake vil­lage, which in­cludes Brick­yard Re­treat. This one-time tile fac­tory is a bou­tique ho­tel and spa with Wall vis­tas. The own­ers of Brick­yard Re­treat turned an aban­doned pri­mary school into a restau­rant, School­house Can­teen, where you can sip Ts­ing­tao beer on the rooftop. It’s a great base for those keen to tackle the Mu­tianyuJiankou trail, a hike cover­ing parts of the Wall few other tourists see.

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