Day 2 highlights:
- Jinshanling Great Wall
- Gubeiku Water Village
- Train to Inner Mongolia
We woke up early, checked out of the hotel and left our luggages at the hotel’s baggage counter. Ate breakfast at one of the shops next to the hotel.
After breakfast, we took the subway to Beijing Dongzhimen Long Distance Bus Station.
On our way to the bus station we stopped by a park.
There are several sections of the Great Wall that are accessible to the public. You can read more about the various sections here. The section that we wanted to visit was Mutianyu Great Wall in Huairou County, about 72 km from Beijing. We were supposed to take bus no. 916 (express). However, at the Bus Station, a lady approached us and she told us that we could take another (faster) bus to Mutianyu Great Wall. So we hopped into bus 980 (express) instead of 916 (express).
Inside the bus one guy told us that our bus was heading to Miyun County instead of Huairou county! Alas it was too late to alight because we were already on the highway and the bus driver was not really that friendly.
So we alighted at the first bus station in Miyun County. There, one of the private drivers approached us and offered to bring us around. We negotiated and for 400 Yuan (S$88) he would drive us to Jinshanling Great Wall (140 km northeast from Beijing city) then to Gubeiku Water Village and finally back to the bus stop to Beijing.
First stop: Jingshanling Great Wall
At the entrance of Jinshanling Great Wall
We had to take the cable to reach the top (700 m above the sea-level)
Took us about 15 minutes to the top
At the top, we had to follow a small path that would lead us to the actual wall
Jinshanling Great Wall section is awesome! Taking the wrong bus was a blessing in disguise.
This section stretches to about 10 kilometers. Did you know that Jinshanling Great Wall Marathon runs along this section every year?
Gorgeous and serene place
Not crowded at all unlike the other sections of the Great wall
Some parts were quite steep. We had 3 lady ‘guides’ to help us. Their intention was actually to sell postcards and souvenirs. Well, we tipped them big instead.
With the 3 lady guides
The husband was one of the happiest because he was so looking forward to visiting the Great Wall
After the Great Wall, the driver brought us to Gubeiku water village. We didn’t go inside though. Just took some photos and visited the free sections (and stopped gor some starbucks)
They had a free kid playground
At around 5pm we took the bus back to Beijing long distance bus station. We were stuck in a jam — took us over 3 hours to reach the city.
We had Yoshinoya for dinner – finally a meal that we all liked and could eat!
After dinner we proceeded to Beijing West Railway station (our hotel was opposite) to collect our train tickets and then catch our 11pm train to Inner Mongolia.
I had booked the soft sleeper train (via ctrip) which is more comfortable than the hard sleeper. It has 4 beds per compartment and each compartment has a sliding door (good for privacy).
The night went pretty well. Kids slept throughout.
It became freaking cold at night!!! I had to open my luggage in the middle of the night to find some warm clothes.