district of Beijing, China
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Huairou District (怀柔区; Huáiróuqū) is a district in the far north of Beijing Municipality. It is a mix of rural and urban settlements. Mutianyu, one of the most popular sections of the Great Wall of China for international tourists, is located in the district.

Get inEdit

Suburban railway Huairou-Miyun Line train leaving Yanqihu railway station

By trainEdit

Huairou has no subway access, but two suburban railway lines are accessible.

  • Huairou–Miyun Line (Beijing Suburban Railway). 6:32-18:16 (from downtown to Huairou North); 7:01-18:46 (from Huairou North to downtown). Starting from Beijing North railway station at Xizhimen, this suburban line serves Huairou at two stations: Yanqihu and Huairou North. Tickets can be bought online via 12306, but directly entering the station by using Yitongxing (亿通行) mobile app is also a choice. Six trains daily from Beijing North to Huairou North, and six trains daily backwards. ¥9.    
  • Tongmi Line (Beijing Suburban Railway). 7:30 (from Tongzhou West to Huairou North); 17:33 (from Huairou North to Tongzhou West). Only one train daily from Tongzhou, and stops at three stations in Huairou: Huairou, Yanqihu and Huairou North. ¥8.    

The new Beijing–Shenyang high-speed railway also has a station in Huairou: Huairou South railway station, located in Yangsong Town which is adjacent to several film studios. The station is quite far from downtown Huairou, buses No. H6, H68 and H84 run to Huairou from the South Square bus stop.

By busEdit

Huairou is served by Buses No. 916, 916 express, and 866. The former two leave from Dongzhimen and the latter leaves from Wangjingxi Subway Station. 916 takes about two hours to get to Huairou so it is not recommended. It is also faster to get on 916 at Houshayu station of Subway line 15 and it takes about an hour to get to Huairou. 916 express is significantly faster and it takes about 1.5 hours to get to Huairou; 866 is even faster and it often takes less than 1 hour to get to Huairou (This is because 916 express takes detours in downtown Huairou to serve more communities, while 866 goes straight to the Huairou Bus Terminal). The service times for 916 express are 5:50-20:00 for Dongzhimen, 4:30-18:50 for Huairou Bus terminal, every 10-15 minutes. Those of 866 are 6:50 to 21:00 for Wangjingxi and 5:30-20:00 for Huairou, every 15-30 minutes.

Mutianyu Great WallEdit

Mutianyu (慕田峪 Mùtiányù) is not as easy as the Badaling section in Yanqing District to reach via public transportation. Getting there often involves a taxi ride, public bus or tour bus.

By busEdit

It is possible to take public buses to Mutianyu, you can take bus No. 916 express (from Dongzhimen) to Huairou Beidajie station, and walk across the street, and take bus No.H24, which takes you to the 4th parking lot of Mutianyu. Note that H24 runs only twice a day (8:40 and 15:45). You want to get on the 8:40 bus so the latest 916 Express you'll have to get on at Dongzhimen is the 7:15 one (assuming the Expressway is traffic-free). So maybe you're better off with a taxi or tour bus, unless you're traveling on an extremely tight budget. See the details about the card on in the Beijing#Get around section.

By tour busEdit

A recommended tour is the Mubus. It's really just a shuttle that picks you up from and drops you back at downtown Beijing. Costs you RMB 80.


Great WallEdit

"a ridge linked to the sky" at Xiangshui Lake Great Wall

See Great Wall for general information on the Great Wall. Sections are listed from west to east.

  • Lakeside (水长城). Popular spot for Beijingers on a weekend trip. A dam was built at this section, blasting a gap in the run of the wall. The flow of water from the dam submerges a part of the wall. So the classic view of the wall running into the distance as a thin, continuous line is interrupted by the dam. But the small man-made lake is a good place for kids to practice steering a boat when the dock at the Peninsula is open during the summer. During winter, the chance to get up close to a submerged part of the wall under the frozen lake is a unique feature.
  • Xiangshui Lake, Dazhenyu Village, Bohai Township, Huairou District. The hiking trail is a circuit and goes past partially restored segments of the Great Wall. There is a break in the Great Wall for what was once the Moshikou Pass, which was a strategic gateway. The pass was replaced by a dam constructed in the 1970s. A highlight of the Xiangshui Lake section is a segment of the wall running along a ridge that leads to the top of a cliff overlooking the gap that was the Moshikou Pass. Appropriately the segment is called the Lianyunling Great Wall, meaning “a ridge linked to the sky". It's not possible to climb the wall to the peak but from below the remnants of the wall structure looks like a shadowy mountain hideout. The underwhelming Xiangshui Lake Great Wall Plum Blossom Exhibition in early spring draws big crowds.
  • Jiankou (箭扣 Jiànkòu). Jiankou is translated as 'Arrow Nock' in English, because the shape of the mountain is like an arrow, with the collapsed ridge opening as its arrow nock. There are many famous sections of Jiankou Great Wall, such as The Nine-Eye Tower, an important command post. It has three layers, and there are nine holes which look like nine eyes on each side. The Beijing Knot (北京结 Běijīng jié) is the meeting point for three walls coming from different directions. The Sky Stair, is a precipitous stair whose angle of elevation is 70 to 80 degrees. It leads to The Eagle Flies Facing Upward, a watch tower built on the lofty peaks. It is so dangerous that supposedly even eagles have to fly facing upward to reach the top. Zhengbei Tower is the right place to appreciate the beauty of the sunrise and the sunset.
  • 1 Mutianyu (慕田峪 Mùtiányù). Summer: 6:30AM to 6:30PM, Winter: 7:30AM to 5PM. This is a magnificent section that is as equally well restored as Badaling with greener surroundings. It is a lot less crowded than the Badaling section. But the hike is a bit more difficult than Badaling. Choose Mutianyu over Badaling for your introduction to the Great Wall if you don't mind the hike. There is also a fun theme park like toboggan ride (¥55)(see below). You get choose cable car or chairlift (¥120 round-trip) or walk up the foot path to get to the watchtowers. The more modern cable car takes you to watchtower #14 (more towards of the north end and higher in elevation) while the chairlift brings you to watchtower #6. There is also a shuttle bus from the entrance complex up to the bottom of the cable car (¥15 round-trip). ¥45 for entrance to the wall.    

Other attractionsEdit

  • 2 Hongluo Temple (红螺寺; Hóngluósì), Hongluo Street, Huairou District (怀柔区红螺路; Huáiróuqū Hóngluólù) (Take bus 867 from Dongzhimen Station. The bus leaves once an hour and the ride takes two hours so plan accordingly). This is the largest Buddhist temple in northern China and was built in 378. The temple has been quite important for centuries and has functioned both as temple and monastery. It is beautifully located next to the Hongluo Mountains, which you can climb or reach by cable car. The temple grounds are big, covering almost 800 hectares. You can easily spend a whole day touring the three main scenic areas - The Hongluo Temple, Guanyin Temple and the Five Hundred Arhat Garden. They also have an alpine slide for a little fun in getting down from the higher temple areas. ¥30.    
  • Labagoumen (喇叭沟门). A mountain park with birch trees, located in the northernmost part of Huairou. A visit in October is highly recommended as it is one of the best scenic views of autumn colors in Beijing.


High and low ground options for camping at Lakeside Great Wall
  • Mutianyu toboggan ride. The toboggan down is a curious addition to the Mutianyu section and makes it feel a bit theme-parky, but it's quite fun and quite long (over 1.5 km) with an elevation drop of 100 meters. Just don't get stuck behind a super-cautious slowpoke. The toboggan run is a one-lane affair, and most of the fun is racing down like you're on an Olympic luge track. But getting trapped behind someone too afraid to go more than 10 km/h will make you regret spending the money on the attraction. So make sure to wait 30 seconds before departing after the person ahead of you even if the ride operator and people in line behind you insist you hop in and go. A recommended combination is to taking the cable car up and the toboggan ride down.
  • Hiking Jiankou to Mutianyu. The hike from Jiankou to watchtower #23, the western end point of Mutianyu, is a popular wild wall hiking route that offers breathtaking natural beauty in late September, the best time for autumn hues. The trailhead starts at Nanjili (2nd sub-group of Xizhazhi village) with a 1 hour hike to reach the ladder for climbing onto to the Jiankou section. The hike to Jiankou is atmospheric with a distant watchtower to the west that from the distance looks shrouded in myth. From Jiankou to Mutianyu the hike becomes slippery requiring at times a slow descent while holding onto the wall. In autumn, a rescue team was pre-positioned to help injured hikers. There is a small archway window a few hundred meters before reaching Mutianyu. The spot is a gorgeous photo-op with a long stretch of the Great Wall in the background.
  • Hiking beyond Mutianyu watchtower #1. From watchtower 1, the path appears to end. But only for the timid. Look out the windows. On the south side (where the sun will be), there is a completely wild and un-restored section of the wall. Hang off the window or jump to the old section of the wall, and you are on a fascinating trek. Incredible old ruins of walls, beautiful isolation, wild vistas, and most importantly: your own, real experience.
  • Camp at Lakeside Great Wall. Lakeside Great Wall allows overnight camping but not on the wall itself. However, camping is allowed on a high viewing area next to a watchtower. Another camping spot is around the BBQ restaurant near the boat docks of the Peninsula. The spot has the advantage of being close to restrooms but hardly feels like camping near the wall.
  • Goose'N'Duck Ranch (怀柔县怀柔北宅; éhéyāzhuāng), 怀柔县怀柔北宅; Huáiróuxiàn Huáiróuběizhái, +86 10 5928 3045, . Ranch with activities including go-kart racing, horseback riding, archery, paintball, both outdoor and indoor swimming pool, bowling, table tennis and party games. Overnight accommodation has poor reviews. One day package including food, beverage and internal transporting ¥260; Two day package including food, beverage, internal transportation and accommodation ¥600.


  • Labagoumen farmer's market. An extensive makeshift farmer's market is located outside of Labagoumen at least in October. Labagoumen is extremely far north in Beijing, attracting farmers from the local rural area to bring out for tourists fruits, beef jerky, raw honey, and homegrown eggs (100 RMB for a box of eggs).





  • Yanxi Nightless Valley, Huairou. An area of small forest lodgings.




This district travel guide to Huairou is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.