Ming Tombs and Pagoda forest, a trip in mountains at only 50 km from Beijing

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Ming tombs ( 明十三陵 Míng Shísān Líng, which means in chinese the 13 Ming tombs) are scenic area where lie the mausoleum of thirteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). At the end of the Yuan Dynasty, a general called Zhu Yuanzhang took control of the army and proclaimed himself as the first Ming Emperor. During this period of time, Ming Dynasty will develop the country, the architecture (Forbidden City, Porcelain Pagoda, … ), start to make business with Europe and at the end of their reign with America. That time period was the China’s golden age.

Scenic point

Sacred Way

It’s a symbolic alley that you have to take before to approach Ming tombs. You can skip it but it’s a wonderful place since you arrive at the Great Red Gate and wandering into the stone statue and garden. (30min – 2h)
Then for going to Dingling, there is a bus at the exit that you can take which go directly to Dingling tomb.

 

 

 

Dingling tomb

The only tomb which has been excavated in China. The most interesting part is the stone Underground Palace, but don’t expect to be in front of a treasure! It is not as magnificent as Changling tomb, as well that it is not as intimate as Zhaoling tomb. Don’t hesitate to walk on the round path and contemplate the other tombs. (1h-1h30)

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Zhaoling tomb

At only 10 minutes by walk from Dingling tomb passing behind a wonderful Buddhist temple in the village. It’s the most intimate place of the Ming tombs and not the worst. You can pass 3 hours in that temple without seeing anybody. (30 min- 1h)

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Changling tomb

You will need to take back the bus from Dingling to Changling. It’s the biggest and most preserved tomb. The Emperor was also one of the most well-known because of the Porcelain Pagoda or Forbidden city construction, the reopen of the Grand Canal, the Yongle Encyclopedia and the adoption of Confucianism philosophy.

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Pagoda forest (Yinshantalin) 银山塔林

Not too far, if you came by car, you can easily go (10 km from Dingling tomb) or you can take a bus to Changping Dongguan then take a small bus.

beijing-hikers-tours caption yinshan-pagoda-forest

How to get there?

  • Private car from Beijing : 45 min to 1 hour (600-700 RmB)
  • Bus 872 from Qianmen, direct to Dingling: 1h30-2h (12 RmB)
  • Subway line 13 to Xier’qi then transfer to Changping line until Ming tombs station (2km from Sacred Way): 1h30 (10RMB)

Admission fee

In the Ming tombs scenic area there is 14 places (13 tombs and sacred way), and only 4 can be visited between 8am to 5pm.

  • 40 RMB for Dingling
  • 30 RMB for Changling
  • 20 RMB for Zhaoling
  • 20 RMB for Sacred Way
  • 100 RMB for combo ticket

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ming_tombs

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/beijing/ming_tomb.htm

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