Meet your guide at your central Beijing hotel and settle inside your private, air-conditioned vehicle. Then, make the journey out of the city to the Mutianyu section of China’s Great Wall.
As you travel, hear interesting facts about the Great Wall from your guide. The massive structure mostly dates from China’s Ming Dynasty from the 14th to the 17th centuries, and runs for 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers) east to west across northern China. Hear how the Mutianyu segment was originally founded by the Northern Qi Dynasty in the 6th century, before being rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty.
After roughly 1.5 hours, arrive at Mutianyu and take in the sight of the wall snaking over the forested hills. Fully restored in the 1980s and punctuated by 23 original-style watchtowers, the section is usually less crowded than the Badaling section, which is closer to Beijing.
Choose to ride the cable car or chairlift up to the wall, and enjoy free time to walk along the top. Marvel at the views over the wooded hills, and inspect the watchtowers and battlements along the way. Then, descend by cable car or chairlift, or opt to ride a bobsleigh-style toboggan back down the slopes for extra adventure.
Afterward, have lunch at a nearby village, and then continue to the Hongluo Red Snail Temple, northern China’s oldest Buddhist temple, set beneath Hongluo Mountain.
Admire the pine-wooded grounds, and visit the ornate temple, whose origins lie in the 4th century. Hear the legend of the red snails behind its name, and explore the elaborate courtyards and halls, including the main, Mahavira Hall. See the stupa yard, the monks’ burial ground, and then wander around the pathways dotted with statues and giant incense burners.
When it’s time, return to Beijing, where your tour ends with a hotel drop-off.