Beijing2016 Day 3: The Ming Tombs (明十三陵)

beijing

Day 3: The Ming Tombs (明十三陵)

Destination: Ming Tombs (明十三陵)

We stopped by the convenience store to buy lunch before we headed off on a long subway ride to the Ming tombs. The tombs are far from the center of the city and so it took several transfers until we got off at the station.

When you come out of the station, you will see a hole in the wall that looks like an entrance. It’s hard to miss because it’s right in front of you. Don’t go that way because the hole isn’t supposed to be there. If you go down that route, you’ll be pestered by locals who all swear that they can give you a ride to the Ming tomb for a super cheap price. You will also have to walk for a few blocks to the next closest bus stop. Instead, turn left and follow the road and you’ll be at the bus stop for the Ming tombs in a few quick steps.

We didn’t know and went down that the rabbit hole and had to walk a few extra blocks in the sweltering heat.

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The view from the Ming Tombs

I didn’t really take any pictures inside the tomb because I felt uncomfortable taking touristy pictures of what is supposed to be someone’s final resting place.

The Ming Dynasty Tomb is the final resting place for thirteen of its emperors and only some of them are currently opened to the public. We chose to go through the Dingling Tomb. Inside, Emperor Zhu Yijun and his two Empresses were laid to rest several centuries ago. During the Cultural Revolution, his and his two wives’ remains were dragged out of the tomb and burned to ashes. Today, when you visit the tomb, you will see replicas of their coffins.

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We took a quick lunch break after visiting the tomb. Before we left the area, we noticed a tour group crossing through a gate that was situated in the middle of the exit. They patted themselves and crossed the gate, yelling “I have come back!”

I tried looking this up after I returned, blessed is google search, but I didn’t find anything on it. It’s most likely a local tradition that signifies that you have returned to the world of the living.

We then made the long journey back to our hotel and basically fell asleep for several hours. It was sheer willpower and hunger that made me roll off my bed and put on something more presentable. We took the subway down to Gui Jie or Ghost Street, which is a famous street filled with restaurants.

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The gate back to the world of the living

I already had my heart set on one particular place. Last summer, I had the chance to visit Shanghai and my friends took me to eat skewers at here. Basically, you order a whole bunch of different skewers and you put it on this rotating pit that will cook your meat. You also get a whole bunch of spices and sauces to dip your meats in.

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You can also order other  ready to eat dishes while you wait for your meat to cook. I ordered a whole bunch of lamb kabobs but they never came in time and we had to leave so that we could catch the last train back to our hotel.

Next time I guess. 😦

End Day 3

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