We do Christmas hikes every year, and in 2014 we hiked from Jiankou to Mutianyu on Christmas Day.
The weather was great - not a white Christmas, but in Beijing the next best thing: a blue sky Christmas!
The hiking team started off at Jiankou, and hiked up to one of the tallest Great Wall towers in the area. From the top: superb views of the surrounding mountains, with a long line of Great Wall running along the ridgelines.
From there we hiked on, following unrestored Great Wall all the way over to the Mutianyu Great Wall, which we found almost empty of people – quite a change from the summer season, when it's full of visitors.
After finishing the hike we headed on to a nearby restaurant for a big meal – not a traditional Christmas meal, but delicious nonetheless!
And after the meal … the dumpling-making competition! This is another thing we do every year, and it's great fun. We start with a dumpling-making demonstration, and then it's time to try your hand in a timed contest. This year we awarded three prizes: Most Traditional Dumpling; Most Artistic Dumpling; and Most Dumplings in total!
See all the photos below.