Located in the district of Huairou, 90 km northeast of Beijing, Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is notable for its numerous watchtowers and natural scenery. Carefully restored in 1980s, as an alternative to Badaling, Mutianyu is even more appealing, though not as steep as the former. The atmosphere here is comparatively quite and peathful, packed with tourists only on weekends.
Originally built around the 5th century (period of the Northern and Southern dynasties), and reconstructed twice in the Ming period, the Mutianyu section is a good example of the Ming Great Wall. One of its unusual features are battlements at both ends of this section of the Great Wall. Besides, "branching walls" were built to allow soldiers to shoot at the enemy in two directions. To intensify its defence force, more watchtowers were added when it was reconstructed for the second time around 1570.
Although this stretch of wall is not an genuinely old one, it does recreate a complete appearance of the Ming Great Wall. The walk along the renovated wall is not so strenuous, covering as far as 2.5km, passing about 20 watchtowers until barriers block both ends.