Great Wall of China (Mutianyu Great Wall)

Today I visited the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, about 90 minutes by bus from Beijing. After nearly three hours of climbing steps on the wall, I bought an "I Climbed the Great Wall of China" t-shirt for 20 元 ($3.09 USD; asking price: 285 元, $44 USD).

This section of the Great Wall is one of the older and best preserved sections of the Wall, I was told, and in no way was it a disappointment; that having been said, it might not overwhelm you, beyond the physical exertion required to climb it, because after all it is just a wall.

I was surprised how steep it is in certain sections. The steepest parts of the Mutianyu Great Wall are steep enough to kill you if you trip and fall down the steps. Seriously, it wouldn't be a stretch if you died after an unfortunately timed case of clumsy feet, and it'd be a surprise if you didn't break at least a few bones. Make sure your shoelaces are tied, kids, and use the railing.

I didn't take any photos in the steepest parts, because I was focused on not being a statistic.

I have a history of being clumsy, at times. Safety first.

This area of the Wall is known for its dense population of watchtowers. The stretches of wall between the watchtowers were built so that weapons could be fired against enemies on both sides of the wall; apparently this feature is quite rare for the Great Wall of China.

It's also apparently unusual to have so many sections of the Wall where you can go inside, so to speak, meaning inside the watchtowers. Along the Wall, there are steps here and there leading down from the Wall, toward the villages and/or wilderness below, and of course on the Wall there are many Chinese vendors selling overpriced water and Red Bull and Coca-Cola and cold beer and melted candy bars, et cetera, all of which, especially the water, get more expensive the farther along the Wall you travel. But all things considered, the Wall was surprisingly not all that commercial, besides perhaps the tobaggon ride you can take from the Wall back down toward the village below, where the real commercialism begins: Don't forget to pick up your "I Climbed the Great Wall of China" t-shirt, and don't pay more than 20 元.

Great Wall of China, Mutianyu

GSeeing graffiti at historical sites always makes my blood boil, and today neither the strenuous climb nor the weather (~91 degrees F) helped cool my disappointment.

Great Wall of China, Mutianyu

Great Wall of China, Mutianyu

Great Wall of China, Mutianyu

Great Wall of China, Mutianyu

Great Wall of China, Mutianyu

Great Wall of China, Mutianyu

Great Wall of China, Mutianyu