Who could have thought that a cemetery can be one of the world's most visited tourist destinations.

Not far from the Badaling Great Wall of China and kilometers away from Beijing City lies the Ming Tombs. The Ming Tombs is the general name given for the Mausoleums of the 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty.  Each mausoleum is replete with cultural and historical value and since according to our tour guide, its architectural designs are similar although sizes may vary, we were taken to the most magnificent one, the tomb of the last emperor - the Changling Mausoleum.  

Inside the mausoleum made us realize how great these emperors could have been as they were valued so much by their people and even preserved their greatness in a showcase of their lives and contributions made for the Chinese Ancient Civilization.

Our tour of the Ming Tombs is still part of the package tour that we have availed for the Great Wall of China.  I apologize for not being so attentive while the presentation is being made by our tour guide, as we are actually not used to availing of tour packages as we believe everything can be researched.  Our game plan is just to take many photos as we can and research what has been taken afterwards.  Nevertheless, we did partly enjoy the tour though.  It's just that if we were on our own we could have spent less time here and spent more time at the Great Wall of China.

For travelers who don't want to avail of tour packages, here are the suggested ways on how to get to the Ming Tombs:

By Bus:

1. Special tourist Bus 872 (formerly 925) run directly from Deshengmen to Changling every 30 minutes in peak hours from 07:10-19:10.

2. Take bus 345 (快), 919 (支) 1 at De Sheng Men Xi Station, get off at Chang Ping Dong Guan Station, and take bus 314, Changping 23 to Ming Dingling Tomb Station or Changling Tomb Station.
By Sub-way:

Take Subway Line 5 to Tiantongyuan Bei Station, get out of the subway station and shift to bus Changping 23 to Ming Zhaoling Tomb

A part of us was also grateful that a visit to these tombs have been part of the tour package, otherwise, we could have missed this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Opening Hours:

Ming Changling Tomb: 8:30 to 17:30
Ming Dingling Tomb: 8:30 to 18:00
Ming Zhaoling Tomb: 8:30 - 17:30
Ticket-selling stops about half an hour before the tombs are closed. In low season (Nov. 1 - the next Mar. 31), opening hours and ticketing hours are half an hour ahead of the above schedule.

Admission Fees:

Ming Changling Tomb: CNY 30 (Nov.1 to the next Mar. 31); CNY 45 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)
Ming Dingling Tomb: CNY40 (Nov.1 to the next Mar. 31); CNY 60 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)
Ming Zhaoling Tomb: CNY20 (Nov.1 to the next Mar. 31); CNY 30 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)

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