Ming Tombs 明十三陵
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Introduction

En route from Beijing to Badaling Great Wall are the Ming Tombs, making them an easy stop-off. There are 13 tombs in total spread over a large area, of which three (Changling, Dingling, Zhaoling) are open to the public. 

The details

Sacred Way

Visitors to each tomb first walk along the Sacred Way, a walkway lined with large stone statues of various animals and people. Along the way you will also pass several gates and memorial archways.

Tickets: 20 RMB (winter), 30 RMB (summer)
Opening hours: 8:30 – 18:00.

Changling Tomb

The Changling tomb is the final resting place of the third Ming emperor, Zhu Di, also known as Emperor Longye  (the Emperor of Eternal Joy). As well as being the largest of the Ming tombs it is also one of the best restored. Inside the great hall, you can see some of the 3,000 artefacts unearthed there, including a huge statue of Emperor Longye.

Depending on the time of your visit, you may be lucky enough to witness a traditional-style ceremony honouring the emperor, in which colourful monks and actors dressed as soldiers with splendid flags carry out a mock sacrifice. It provides an interesting insight into how local people traditionally worshipped the emperor.

Tickets: 30 RMB (winter), 45 RMB (summer).
Opening hours: 8:30 – 17:30.

Dingling Tomb

The mausoleum of Zhu Yijun, the 13th Ming emperor, the Dingling tomb is the only one to have been fully excavated. Although above ground less buildings survive, visitors can enter the underground chambers and admire the famous gold and phoenix crowns unearthed there.

Tickets: 40 RMB (winter), 60 RMB (summer).
Opening hours: 8:30 – 18:00.

Zhaoling  Tomb

Meaning “bright tomb”, Zhaoling is the tomb of the 12th Ming emperor, Zhu Zhaigou. The architecture has been heavily restored, consisting of several palaces and side halls around peaceful courtyards. The centrepiece is the Blessing and Grace Palace, a grand hall reminiscent of the Forbidden City.

Tickets: 20 RMB (winter), 30 RMB (summer).
Opening hours: 8:30 – 17:30.

Practical info

Recommended visit: 1 hour per tomb

Transport: bus 872 from Deshengmen bus station (德胜门站) (subway line 2 -> Jishuitan exit A -> walk east for 450m towards the Deshengmen arrow tower, the bus station is under the tower).

Top tips:

  • Each tomb is a different stop off the bus, you can take the bus between the tombs or walk if you have more time.
  • Take bus 789 between the Dingling tomb and Badaling great wall.

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