touring the ming tombs near beijing

It just doesn’t stop to amaze me how much history and beauty there is in China – and countless Unesco World Heritage sites such as these Ming Dynasty tombs dating back to third emperor Yongle from 1402. Overall the tomb area, nested by the Tianshou Mountain in Beijing’s Changping district covers an amazing area of 40sq km (nearly 9900 acres), and currently it is possible to visit three of the tombs plus the sacred entrance way.

As always, the best time to go is during the week when one gets to visit the sights without queuing and huge crowns – and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the area and the surrounding mountains.

MIng tomb tour

Of the 13 Ming tombs currently three are open for visitors plus the sacred passageway with its stone statues – and it all costs about $20 (15 Euros). The tickets are also a nice memento, and in most places they are actually prepaid post cards – such a clever idea!
Map of Ming tomb area
The area is extensive and designed based on the feng shui principles. The open tombs are towards the right side of map – Chang Ling, Ding Ling and Qian Ling
Sacred way and stone stone statues
Sacred entrance with carved stone statues of animals and warriors
Stone statue
A stone statue
Tomb area
All tombs follow pretty much the same design. Dingling is the only one they have excavated by far
silk burning stove
A beautiful silk-burning stove
money sacrifice
People throw a lot of money, similar things can be seen in temples with coins, but more notes within the tomb area
Ming tombs
Entrance to a tomb building
tomb from the outside
Tomb from the outside…
…and Ding Ling tomb from the inside – also here the floors area covered in money in places
Inside Ding LIng
Inside Ding Ling tomb
Tomb area
All buildings are very delicate and ornate
Entrance to the next courtyard
An entrance to the next courtyard scattered with old trees. Greenery adds to the fell of tranquility in the area
Views from one tomb to another
One can see the next tomb looming by the mountains…

My review of Ming Tombs near BeiJing/ 頁庫存檔 : Good-Excellent
Address: Ming Shisan Ling Area, Changling Town, Changping DistrictBeijing 102213 (about 30miles/50km outside city centre)

“This place is an important part of the Chinese history – it is amazing how well things have been preserved as many artifacts were found intact in the one tomb that has been excavated by far. The area is beautiful, pretty clean and tranquil and suits well also for the kids. There are few places to buy refreshments and some street vendors, but visitors are not being hassled like in some other places. Take a good 4-6 hours to enjoy all the sights, breath the clean(er) air and explore the past.” 
Here’s a great link that I found useful for getting some background into on the Ming Tombs:

Leave a Reply