Thirteen tombs of Ming Dynasty in Beijing

Great Red Gate at the Ming Tombs

Great Red Gate at the Ming Tombs by David Crow. Sourced via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution License.

The Ming Tombs are a common inclusion on any tour of Beijing. Most tour buses to the Great wall, till also stop off at the Ming Tombs. However, I doubt most tourists really understand what they are visiting. The Ming Tombs are in fact the Chinese equivalent of the pyramids of Egypt. The sheer size and scale of these burial sites is very impressive.

The Ming Tombs are clustered in a valley in Changping county, about 30km north of Beijing. There are 13 tomb sites in total, which are spread over quite some area. It would be impractical to try to visit all of them in one go. Instead most tourists choose just one of the tombs from the many. 

Map showing location of Thirteen tombs of Ming Dynasty in Beijing

Above: Location of Thirteen tombs of Ming Dynasty in Beijing in Beijing, Beijing, China