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Beijing ATTRACTIONS See all

Ming Tombs (Ming Shisan Ling)

The Ming Dynasty Tombs, or Ming Shisan Ling, are located outside of central Beijing and are home to the tombs and mausoleums of the Yongle Emperor. Currently, these tombs are a UNESCO World Heritage site, and are listed as part of the World Heritage object, Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

The Emperor, who built the Forbidden City, also chose the site for these Ming Tombs mausoleums according to the art of Feng Shui. Back in the Ming era, this secluded valley north of Beijing was closed to visitors and heavily guarded. The ground was considered so sacred that not even an emperor could ride a horse there.

Three tombs are open to the public; only one, the Dingling, has been excavated (sadly, with artifacts being badly damaged). The other two tombs are more atmospheric.

The highlight of the experience is probably the Spirit Way, the long approach to the mausoleums. You'll notice it's slightly curved: this was to fool evil spirits, who can only travel in straight lines. There are marble pillars to act as beacons to the spirit and a series of guardian animals, including camels and the mythical qilin, often called the Chinese unicorn.

Practical Info

If you want to go to the Ming Tombs under your own steam, take bus 919 from De Sheng Men Xi station, get off at Chang Ping Xi Guan station, and take bus no 314. Get off at Dingling Tomb or Changling Tomb station.

Tours & Tickets

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Great Wall of China at Badaling and Ming Tombs Day Tour from Beijing

4.5 star rating: Recommended 158 Reviews

See two of China's most popular destinations, the Great Wall of China and the Ming Tombs on one unforgettable guided day trip from Beijing. You'll visit the ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $72.99
$80.00 Save $7.01

Private Tour: Ming Tombs and Great Wall at Mutianyu from Beijing

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 10 Reviews

On this full-day private tour, visit two of China’s most famous sites -- the Ming Tombs and the Great Wall at Mutianyu. See the Chang Ling Tomb, an impressive ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $78.99

Private Tour: Great Wall of China at Juyongguan and Ming Tombs from Beijing

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

See the best of China’s ancient civilization on this private full-day trip from Beijing to the Great Wall of China and the Ming Tombs. At the Great Wall, ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $87.00

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