Having to decide which side of the Great Wall you’d like to see, the Badaling tour includes an extra bonus – a visit to the Ming tombs. I’d generally recommend staying away from Badaling and go the less crowded parts of the wall, but visiting the Ming tombs is definitely worthwhile, if you can somehow manage both.
It’s a very large complex of about 120sqk about 50km from Beijing that includes 13 mausoleums of Ming dynasty Chinese emperors. Feng Shui dictated that it be located in a serene surroundings between beautiful mountains and valleys. Seems like a lovely place to rest in eternity.
The UNESCO heritage site introduces :
It represents the addition of three Imperial Tombs of the Qing Dynasty in Liaoning to the Ming tombs inscribed in 2000 and 2003. The Three Imperial Tombs of the Qing Dynasty in Liaoning Province include the Yongling Tomb, the Fuling Tomb, and the Zhaoling Tomb, all built in the 17th century. Constructed for the founding emperors of the Qing Dynasty and their ancestors, the tombs follow the precepts of traditional Chinese geomancy and fengshui theory. They feature rich decoration of stone statues and carvings and tiles with dragon motifs, illustrating the development of the funerary architecture of the Qing Dynasty. The three tomb complexes, and their numerous edifices, combine traditions inherited from previous dynasties and new features of Manchu civilization.
If you’re with a tourguide, you’ll receive exotic stories of politics, love and betrayal, as you make your way through the compound. With Chinese dynasties, it’s better than any soup opera you’ll find on TV.
Inside the buildings there are various exhibitions with occasional relics, some of them even original.
If you’re in need of a map of the place …
This post is the last of my Beijing visit series. Hope you enjoyed it. A summary will follow up shortly.