At Great Wall of China Mutianyu, you can actually trek to an unrestored part of the Wall. This means that this part of the wall is not opened to the tourists and has not been restored completely for our safety and a much easier walking.
In many Mutianyu maps, you can see that after watch tower 1, the area after that was stated as “non tourist area”.
Or this map. In red.
So this is where I am going this time.
I have a short video on Youtube for this trip to the unrestored part of the Great Wall.
How do you get to this part of the Great Wall ? First you need to walk all the way to Watch Tower 1. This is also known as the “large watchtower”. It is huge. It is also the end point of any tourists who walk along the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu. At least for those who are strong and fit enough.
This is because it is not a simple straight walk from Watchtower 6 to Watchtower 1. Not only is it quite long, at some point of the trek to Watchtower 1, it can be a really very steep walk up !!
Check out this photo. Luckily as this part is restored, the steps are manageable and there are bars on the side to hold on to.
At Watch Tower 1, there is actually a side path to allow you to bypass the Watch Tower 1 to walk to the unrestored area. Our target is to reach Watch Tower 0 (an unrestored watch tower).
If you walk into Watch Tower 1, you will reach a dead end. Instead, just before Watch Tower 1, you need to go to the a small path on the side. From there you can walk through a mass of overgrowth plants and from this point on, it can be a rather steep walk too. Wear a pair of good shoes.
Looking back on this path, you can see Watch Tower 1.
As you walk along the path towards Watch Tower 0, you are walking along the un-restored part of the Great Wall. Over the centuries, this wall has become broken and not maintained and has crumpled at some parts. War, weather and wear and tear have taken its toll on this amazing structure.
I feel that there must be some efforts in the past who have tried to restore the area at this part of the Wall. This is because while it is unrestored, it is NOT THAT badly unrestored (I mean the Great Wall was centuries old….). It is still visible that some work has been done (perhaps in the past few decades) but work has stopped some how and nature has taken over completely. Things have crumpled down in this part.
At some point, there are many holes so you have to be careful and some deep drop (into I don’t know where).
At the unrestored Watch Tower 0, all that remains is a watch tower that is crumpling and you need to be careful not to drop down the side of the watch tower into the mountain. And believe it or not, full of millipedes. It is quite a eerie sight 🙂
But if you can climb to the higher part of the watch tower 0, the view is magnificent. You can see both the restored parts and then more of the unrestored parts.
And in fact, you can even see how much more unrestored parts of the Great Wall there is.
Look at this. The wall is full of overgrowth plants and covering up the path in the wall.
The never ending unrestored part of the Great Wall just make you realised that this structure is so so long and so so amazing.
It is beyond understanding how humans can build this huge structure.