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Sooner Apr 29th, 2002 10:01 AM

Ming Tombs - Describe your experiences there
I am looking for a description of the Ming Tombs that is not from a guidebook. I would enjoy your description and your opinion on how interesting they were to visit. I only have 2 days in Beijing and wounder if I would be better off visiting some other sight.<BR><BR>Thanks In Advance<BR><BR>Sooner

Peter N-H Apr 29th, 2002 10:48 AM

If you only have two days then definitely give the Ming Tombs a miss. Essentially each tomb consists of a series of halls on rising ground, culminating in a circular walled mound reached by steps behind a tower, which houses a memorial stone (stele). In one case the tomb has been excavated, but there's little inside the underground chambers, which you shuffle through with thousands of other people.<BR><BR>The 'spirit way' leading to the site, with its lines of seating and standing guardian figures is quite impressive, although more so when it used to be overgrown than in its modern spruced up state.<BR><BR>I hear a fourth tomb has now opened to the public, but unless that happens to be an enclosure with a group of concubine tombs then the pattern of the layout will be much the same as the others.<BR><BR>The Ming Tombs really get the attention they do because they are not too far from the Badaling Great Wall site, and so included on very many half- and one-day tours.<BR><BR>(If you ever find yourself in Beijing for longer, then the Eastern Qing and Western Qing tombs really are worth visiting--more varied, less visited, and far more atmospheric. But these are a little over 100km to the east and southwest respectively, and require a day trip.)<BR><BR>Peter N-H<BR>

Al Apr 29th, 2002 11:48 AM

I would agree with Peter on that. The tombs are not interesting, as the chambers are pretty empty. The Sacred Way is impressive but not worth a trip just to see that. Spent the extra hour or two somewhere else.

John G Apr 29th, 2002 07:59 PM

I went to see the Ming Tombs and I thought they were somewhat boring. I did the walk along the path lined with the huge stone "guards." It was a very pretty walkway, with flowers and trees, but not all that interesting. There is some sort of statue of a turtle or something that if you rub the head you will have long life and if you rub the back you will become very rich. I accidently chose the back. I hope I don't regret it. ;)

Ada Apr 30th, 2002 04:40 PM

If you only have 2 days, I agree with everyone else that you should see something else. There is more than enough to see within the city limit. Like Peter said, many go because it is part of the tour to Badaling Great Wall. If you really want to go outside the city, The Great Wall would be much more worth while, which would take up almost a whole day, unless you hire a driver, then I think you can do a half day.

tt Sep 17th, 2002 06:05 AM


Kris Sep 17th, 2002 08:58 AM

One more vote for passing on the Ming tombs if you only have 2 days. I thought the sites within Beijing were much more interesting. We saw very little at the Ming Tombs, the only interesting part was the sacred way.

Mike Sep 17th, 2002 03:00 PM

Yes, I would miss the tombs. It's like everyone says, not much there. Oh, but lets not forget the ever so present venders. Seems as if the drivers always park so that you have to walk past those pesky vendors.

henry Sep 19th, 2002 01:01 AM

2 days is too little to do anything in Beijing.<BR>I suggest Forbidden City,Tianamen Sq & Wangfujing St.Next day,go to Great Wall!

Bob Sep 21st, 2002 12:56 PM

I agree with all above. We just returned last week. Saw the Tombs because they were on the way to the WALL Tour. Not that big of a deal if you are limited on time. I wanted more time in the city of Beijing and would have traded the Tombs for this but we were on a tour.

tt Oct 25th, 2002 11:59 AM


Allison Oct 26th, 2002 08:19 AM

My husband and I just returned from China....our ONE BIG REGRET was that our visit to the Great Wall was only 1 1/2 hours and was cut short because of a planned visit to the Ming Tombs. They were nothing more than ANOTHER TEMPLE (they all look alike after awhile), a few artifacts, and a big ugly, sandy hill in the middle of which lies a dead emperor. I would not have missed anything if I had skipped the Ming Tombs. The Great Wall and the Li River in the City of Guilin were the highlights of an otherwise enjoyable trip.

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