- Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Tours Type
- Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
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On your way to the Great Wall, consider stopping at the Ming Tombs. As the final resting place of 13 of the 16 Ming Dynasty emperors (who ruled between 1368 and 1644), this ancient burial site continues to undergo archeological work. Only three of the 13 tombs have been fully uncovered and are visible to the public. Each is stationed in a separate small hill along the Sacred Way, a road roughly four miles in length. But the tombs' historical significance is only part of their allure. At the foot of Mount Yan, the tombs’ location is breathtaking with hilly scenery.
Most travelers agree that the Ming Tombs aren't worth the trek, unless you are en route to or from the Great Wall. Also, some visitors criticize the site's signage and tiny museum, calling them insufficient. One TripAdvisor user states, "I must admit that the tomb itself has nothing much in it. Almost all of the treasures in it have been taken out."
Located north of Beijing, you can reach the tombs via public buses, but this can take around two hours from the city center. Consider renting a car or taking a guided tour that departs from Beijing. The tombs and the Sacred Way maintain slightly different hours; however, most of the site opens between 8 and 8:30 a.m. and closes between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. every day. Each tomb also charges separate admission that ranges from 30 CNY (about $4.75 USD) to 60 RMB (about $9.50 USD), depending on the season. For more information, consult the Ming Tombs official website.