Top 10 Hot Spring Resorts in Beijing

July 27th, 2021
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Plan your Beijing Spa tour? One of the popular attractions are the hotspring resorts dotted around the outskirts of Beijing. Most of the hot spring resorts are clustered around Xiao Tang Shan in Changping District of Beijing.

The waters from these hot spring resorts are believed to be therapeutic and a soak or a sip in the waters are supposed to cure almost any ailment. Mineral-rich natural springs are set on a comfortable temperature for pools and tubs, and parks, frequented by locals and travelers.

As international travelers, you won’t miss one of your must-to-do activities – Hike or walk on the Great Wall of China. You may combine your Great Wall hiking with your relaxing soak into the waters of a hot spring resort, creating a perfect Beijing tour.

1. Jiuhua Spa & Resort 九华山庄温泉度假村

Built on the original site of the formerly imperial hot spring resort, the hot spring from Jiuhua Spa & Resort is lauded as one of China’s four major hot springs, abundantly rich in minerals and elements which are beneficial to the wonders of medical treatment. Rejuvenate Your Spirit at the hot spring.

The unstable microelement in the water will form something of pellicle on the skin. It has a good effect on curing skin disease, pigment deposition, The Jiuhua hotspring comes from 1230 meters underground, and the temperature of the hot-spring keeps around 40 degrees Celsius. It has modern outdoor Jacuzzi type hot tubs and indoor pools inside rooms and the outside hot spring pools of various sizes.

Jiuhua Spa & Resort

Add: 75 Shunsha Road, Xiaotangshan Town, Changping District, Beijing 北京市昌平区小汤山镇顺沙路75号
Tel: 010-59793144
Official Website:
How to Get There:
Self-drive: Drive along Badaling Expressway and get off at Beiyuankou (北苑口)of Xiaotangshan, then drive 2km and you will see the Daliushu Roundabout (大柳树环岛), then turn right for 500m, total 40km.

2. Longmai Hot Spring Resort 龙脉温泉度假村

“Longmai” literally means “the Pulse of a Dragon”. The Longmai Hot Spring Resort is located not far from Jiuhua Spa & Resort, and both of them are built on the original site of the formerly imperial hot spring bathing area.

The hot water of the Longmai Hot Spring Resort is composed of 56 minerals and micro-elements necessary for one’s body. The hot spring has effective treatments on arthritis and respiratory disease. Frequent soaks in the waters will make your skin fine and smooth, unique effects on your beauty maintenance.

There are 80 pools nestled in the bamboo forest with much privacy. In all these featuring pools, you are able to enjoy happy privacy. It has both indoor and outdoor hot spring pools.

The indoor hot spring hall takes an area of 20,000 square meters with a plethora of water activities including Water Amusement, 3m Springboard, Sauna, Hot spring pools, man-made waves, drifting, Alpine slide, children’s park, high-temperature sand, beach bathing, slab bathing, milk bathing, aloe bathing, Spa slat bathing, medicinal bathing, mint bathing and more.

Longmai Hot Spring Resort

Add: Xiaotangshan Town, Changping District, Beijing 北京市昌平区小汤山镇
Tel: 010-56028788
How to get there:
Self-drive: Drive along Badaling Highway and exit at Exit 11 (Xiaotangshan exit), turn right at the first intersection, and then go east (Baishan, Xiaotangshan direction), and get to Xiaotangshan town where the hot spring resort is located.

3. Chunhuiyuan Hot Spring Resorts 春晖园温泉度假村

Chunhuiyuan Hot Spring Resorts has the same springhead – Xiaotangshan hot spring. Xiaotangshan has been famous for its hot springs for over 300 years. Local legend has it that the imperial family of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) went there to relax. People have used hot spring water in therapeutic baths for more than 200 years to treat rheumatism and other ailments. For foreign tourists, this is perhaps one of the most memorable cultural experiences and it will certainly spoil you.

Stay overnight at Chunhuiyuan Hot Spring Resort is a good idea to escape the busy city life and rewind yourself. Basically there are three kinds of accommodations – Lakeside Villa, Villa Hotel and Chunhuiyuan Warm Spring Hotel. Each room of the hotels has a private hot spring indoor bath pool. Lakeside Villa is a row of one floor building by a small lake with 20 rooms. Each room is well furnished with an indoor private hot spring bath pool. You can reserve a room with with a full size outdoor Jacuzzi style tub. experience complete relaxation and renewal in my stays.

The outdoor hot spring pools of variuos sizes

Add: Yuzhuang Village, Gaoliying, Shunyi Bridge. 北京市顺义区高丽营镇于庄
Tel: 010-69454433
Public Bus: Take bus 942 from Dongzhimen Transport Hub and reach its final terminal
Self-driver: Drive along Jingcheng Expressway and get off at the stop of Huosha Road (火沙路).

4. Beijing Jinyu Badaling Spa Resort 北京金隅八达岭温泉度假村

Beijing Jinyu Badaling Spa Resort is located in Yanqing District, about 80km north of the Beijing dwontown. It is adjacent to the Badaling Great Wall, Longqing Gorge, Wild Duck Lake, Shijinglong Ski Resort, Songshan other tourist attractions. It is a leisure complex including spa, business conference reception, leisure and entertainment.

The Resort covers an area of about 200,000 square meters with the Guishui River crossing through. The hot spring water originates from 2,000 meters underground with outlet temperature reaching 54 ℃. The warm waters is of good quality and rich in fluorine, sulfur, iron, silicon and many other kinds of mineral substance and microelements needed by human body.

The hot spring resort is a unique spa park with an area of 6,000 square meters. It has 32 indoor and outdoor hot spring pools. And the Resort also has more than twenty different-sized conference rooms and multi-functional halls equipped with advanced simultaneous interpretation equipment and other facilities, suitable for both domestic and international professional meetings. Meanwhile, the recreation center has many leisure and entertainment activities, such as table tennis, badminton, tennis, beach volleyball, real CS, KTV, swimming, fishing, skating, boating, etc.

Beijing Jinyu Badaling Spa Resort (Photo Credit:

Add:1 Guishui Beijie, Yanqing County, Beijing 北京市延庆区妫水北街1号
Beijing Bus Route: Take Bus 919 ( choose the slow Bus, not express bus) at Deshengmen Bus Terminal and get off at the last bus stop.
Self-drive Route: No. 62 Exit on Beijing-Xizang Expressway – northward from Yingchengzi Toll Station – Yingbin Roundabout, then passing through 6 traffic lights, you will arrive at the resort.

5. Fengshan Hot Spring Resort 凤山温泉度假村

Fengshan Hot Spring Resort is a 4-star resort-type hotel. It is located to the south of Mangshan Mountain and to the west of the Ming Tombs Reservoir, perched between the green mountains and sapphire waters. Bestowed with miniral-rich hot springs, Fengshan Hot Spring Resort has been turned into a shangri-la, separated from the hustle and bustle of the city.

This garden hotel is composed of service items including meeting rooms, hot spring therapy, amusement facilities, drinking and beverage, dining and hotel accommodation. Its 21,000 square-meter hot spring paradise features a typical hot spring with 72 kinds of items. The hot spring comes from the 3800 meters deep undeground. These hot springs containjing a few elements and minirals, which are good for one’s health.

Fengshan Hot Spring Resort (Photo Credit:

Add: 10 Mangshan Road, Changping District, Beijing 北京市昌平区蟒山路10号
Hotel Room Rate: RMB 480
Tel: (010) 60713942
How to get there:
Public Transport: Take bus 919 (支线) from Deshengmen Bus Terminal and get off at the Fenghuang Winter Resort.
Self-drive: Drive along Badaling Expressway and exit at the Exit 13C. Continue to drive to the east and turn too te north at the reservoir

6. Yunheyuan Hot Spring Resort 运河苑温泉度假村

Yunheyuan Hot Spring Resort is a four-star tourism resort officially approved by the National Tourism Administration. It integrates business, recreation, leisure, holiday, food and tourism. Yunheyuan provides an elegant venue for meetings of various sizes and a peaceful resort holiday makers.

The resort has 144 sets of different types of luxury rooms, 15 different styles of a european-style villas, many large, medium and small conference rooms. The resort enjoys good reputation of cooking – the meat dishes, fresh raw seafood meals, north and south flavor of special vegetables.

Yunheyuan Resort hot spring is well known for its hot spring extracted from natural geothermal water two kilometers deep underground. The Hot spring temperature is nearly 60 degrees Celsius, and it is rich in minerals.

The Water World at Yunheyuan Resport (Photo Credit:

Add: Chaobaihe Park, Baimiao Village, Songzhuang, Tongzhou District, Beijing北京通州区宋庄镇白庙村潮白河公园
Tel: 010-59793104
Public Transport: First take Subway Line 1 and get off at Dawanglu Station, exit from Exit B, then take Bus 930 and get off at Yanjiao (燕郊), then take the locak taxi for 5 yuan to the resort.

7. Nan Gong Spring Season Hotel Beijing 南宫温泉度假酒店

Nan Gong Spring Season Hotel is a 5-star standard hot spring hotel. This tourism and leisure hotel is located in Wangzuo Town, Fengtai District, Beijing.

Nan Gong Hot Spring Water World has an international standard swimming pool, waves making pool, water amusement garden,hot spring massage pool, frifting and water playing slides. In addition, there are available wooden board bathing, gym, sauna and many more.

Nan Gong Spring Season Hotel Beijing (Photo Credit:

Add: 39 Fugong Road, Wangzuo Town, Changping Strict, Beijing
Tel: 010-83315566
How to get there:
Bus lines: Bus line 321 (from Liuli Bridge), 339 and 662; 983 (Zhongguancun)
Self-drive: Drive along Jinggangao Expressway(京港澳), and get off at the exit 19A and continue to go for a 3-km.

8. Beijing Longxi Hotspring Resort 北京龙熙温泉度假村

Beijing Longxi Hotspring Resort is a five-star holiday hotel. It is located in Daxing District of Beijing, adjacent to the Beijing-Kaifeng expressway. Beijing Longxi Hotspring Resort has a large golf res. It also has move ten large, medium-size and small meeting rooms as well as multi-functional halls.

There are 274 sets of luxurious guest rooms and eight villas with different styles, which are comfortable, elegant and full of the breath of times. And in four dining halls with various styles, you can make a taste of healthy and nutritious Chinese and foreign food, and truly experience the fashionable, healthy, leisure and elegant atmosphere.

Beijing Longxi Hotspring Resort (Photo Credit:

The highlight of the resort is the 10000 square meters Hot Spring World. There are totally 41 hot spring pools in outdoor and indoor buildings. Of the 41 pools , there are 16 medicinal pools.

Add: Panggezhuang, Daxing District, Beijing.
Tel: 86-10-89282222

9.Flowery Bay Magnetic Spa Resort 花水湾磁化温泉度假村

Flowery Bay Magnetic Spa Resort is located in Gaoying Town, Shunyi District, Beijing. It is ringed by the fruit trees in large numbers with picturesque environment and beautiful views. It is the only natural magnetic hot spring resort. The magnetic waters has impressive treatment effects on the diseases including heart disease, arthritis, respiratory disease, rheumatism.

The Hot Springs Resort & Spa also offers many lodging options, a wide range of recreational options and an abundance ofspa and sparkling mineral water pools.

Flowery Bay Magnetic Spa Resort (Photo )

Add: 99 Beigao Road, Gaolingying Town, Shunyi District, Beijing 北京市顺义区高丽营镇北高路99号
Tel: 010-010-69456668
How to get there:
Public Bus: take bus 942 from Dongzhimen Bus Terminal directly to Flowery Bay
Self-drive: Drive along Jingcheng Expressway and get off at Bai Ma Road (白马路), continue to drive on the right and follow the sign to the resort.

10. Beijing Wendu Water City 北京温都水城

Hongfu Hot Spring Leisure City is a 5-star hot springs hotel, about 20km north of Beijing city center. It is located on the north of Wenyu River, the mother river of Beijing. More than a luxury hotel, Hongfu Hot Spring Leisure City is a green and leisure tourist mecca incorporating a huge water amusement park, therapuetic mineral waters, sightdeeing tourism and business meetings.

The hot water city is equipped with facilities & services designed to hold weddings, family gatherings, reunions, retreats, meetings, trainings and much more.

Beijing Wendu Water City (Photo Credit:

Add: 55 Wangfu Street, BeiQijia Town, Changping District, Beijing
Tel: 010-81788888
Reference Price: RMB198
How to get there:
Public Bus: Line 839, 803 and get off at Hongfu Community
Self-drive: Drive along Badaling Expressway and get off at the exit of Huilongguan (回龙观出口), then drive east to the resort, 1km east of Huilongguan Community.


Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Car Rental in Beijing
Beijing Day Tour
Beijing Tour Packages
Great Wall Tour
China City Tours
China Tour

Further Readings

How to Plan a Trip to Beijing
Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
Top 10 Tourist Scams Beijing
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

Top 10 Attractions in Guizhou

July 26th, 2021
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Plan your Guizhou tour?  With the total area is 170,000 square kilometers, Guizhou Province, known as Qian for short, is situated on the eastern part of Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in southwest China. Guizhou Province has a subtropical humid climate.  The capital city of Guizhou Province is Guiyang.

The location of Guizhou Province in China

More than 15 minority groups settled in Guizhou and most of the amazing scenic areas are located in these settled minority areas.  In addition to enjoying the scenery, visitors can discover the rich and varied folk cultures of the different minorities.

The Road Map of Guizhou Province

No. 1: Huangguoshu Waterfall (黄果树瀑布)

Huangguoshu Waterfall, which is also known as Yellow Fruit Tree Waterfall, is one of the largest waterfalls in China and Asia, located on the Baihe River in Anshun, GuizhouProvince.

The main waterfall is 67 meters high and 83.3 meters wide. The scene changes while you are standing in different places. There is a cave in the rare wall of the waterfall called “Water-Curtain Cave”. In Chinese, we call it “Shui Lian Dong”.

Check out my another article How to Visit Huangguoshu Waterfall for more information.

It allows visitors to not only view, but also hear and touch the waterfall. Huangguoshu Waterfall is one of few waterfalls that can be viewed from every side in the world. Huangguoshu Waterfall is a really famous attraction and definitely worth a visit.

Entrance Fee: CNY 180 (including Waterfall, Tianxingqiao Bridge and Doupotang Scenic Areas).
Opening Hours: 08:10-18:00
How to get there: There are long-distance buses from Anshun Train Station, South Station and West Station to Huangguoshu Waterfall every day.

No. 2: Qingyan Ancient Town (青岩古镇)

Qingyan Ancient Town, which is located at the south suburb of Guiyang (the capital city of Guozhou Province), is one of the four ancient towns of Guizhou.  It is about 29 kilometers away form the downtown area. Bcause of its long history and strong cultural atmosphere, ingyan Ancient Town is regarded as the most attractive town of China.

Check out my another article How to get to Qingyan Ancient Town for more information.

Qingyan Ancient Town

Qingyan Ancient Town covers an area of 3 square kilometers. Qingyan Ancient Town has a well-planned architectural style, hundreds of sites of relics, and an influential local culture. As a military garrison during ancient times, Qingyan Ancient Town was built of stone.

What’s more, there are Buddhists, Nazarenes and Romanists in this town. Qingyan Ancient Town is really a good place for you to learn about Chinese ancient culture.

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: All day

No. 3: Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village (西江千户苗寨)

Miao people are everywhere in southwest China, mostly in Guizhou Province.  Xijiang Qianhu (1000 Househoods) Miao Village is the largest Miao village in China.  It is located on the north side of Leigong Hill, about 35 km south of away Kaili city in Guizhou Province.

Check out my another article How to get to Xijiang 1000-Household Miao Village`for more information.

Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village

It is said that there are over 1,000 families with a total population of around 6,000 people living in the village, hence the name of “Qianhu” which literally means “One Thousand Families” and 99.5% of the local people are Miao nationality.

Layer upon layer of wooden-stilted houses are constructed along the slopes of the hill. The pretty Baishui River is winding past the bottom of the mountain. Wind-rain bridges link the banks of the river. It is a mesmerizing Miao village.

No. 3: FAST Radio Telescope 平塘天眼

FAST Radio Telescope (Pingtang) is located in the Dawodang depression, a natural basin, 50km southwest of Pingtang County, 160km south from Guiyang, 226 km from Xijiang 1000-Household Miao Village, Guizhou Province.

FAST Radio Telescope

It is nicknamed as “天眼 Tiuanyan” in Chinese , or the Heaven’s Eyes. It is the world’s largest filled-aperture radio telescope and the second-largest single-dish aperture, after the sparsely-filled RATAN-600 in Russia.

Mobile phones, digital cameras, smart wristbands, walkies and other electronic devices are not allowed to enter the large radio observation platform.

No. 4 Libo Zhangjiang Scenic Area 荔波樟江风景名胜区

Libo Zhangjiang Scenic area is located in Libo County, 270km southeast of Guiyang, Guizhou Province, covering an area of 118.8 square kilometers. It is composed of large and small seven-holesscenic areas(Daqikong and Xiaoqikong), Shuichun River and Zhangjiang River.

Xiaoqikong Scenic Area in Libo

The scenic area is characterized by rich and diverse karst landforms, beautiful and peculiar Zhangjiang River waterscape, flourishing and dense virgin forests, and various rare species of plants and animals. It is the first World Natural Heritage site in Guizhou province, combining the unique natural scenery with the local Buyi, Shui and Yao ethnic characteristics.

No. 05: The Dragon Palace Cave (龙宫洞)

The Dragon Palace Cave Scenic Spot (also called Longgong Cave) is 27 kilometers southwest of Anshun city en route to Huangguoshu Waterfall in Guizhou Province.

The Dragon Palace Cave is a magnificent underground cave system with lakes, waterfalls and stalactites, covering an area of almost 60 square kilometers.

The Dragon Palace Cave
The Dragon Palace Cave

The scenic spot has four main areas, namely, the Rape Lake, the Whirlpool, the Leech Pass and the Dragon Palace itself. It is a comfortable place for people to relax because the radiation frequency in this region is the lowest in China.

Entrance Fee: CNY 150
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
How to get there: There are shuttle buses from Anshun West Station to the Dragon Palace Cave

No. 06: Chishui Danxia 赤水丹霞

Chishui Danxias is located in Chishui City in northern Guizhou Province.  It is well known both at home and abroad for Chishui River War where the Red Army traversed in the road of the famous Long March.

Chishui is rich in natural resources. Chishui Scenic Spot covers an area of 116 square miles and boasts a wide variety of green forests, waterfalls, rivers and creeks, lakes and plants. Chishui city is also famous for its unique Danxia Landform.

Chishui Danxia landform has been recognized World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2010.

Chishui Scenic Spot
Chishui Danxia landform

The abundant natural resources and the rich historical and cultural background together with the convenient traffic have made Chishui an ideal tourist attraction for visitors all over the world.

Entrance Fee: CNY 100
Opening Hours: 08:00-18:30 How to get there: you can take a bus to get to the Chishui Scenic Area

No. 07: Zhaoxing Dong village 肇庆侗寨

Zhaoxing Dong village is one of the largest Dong village in China, with some beautiful Drum Towers , Wind & Rain Bridges and traditional stages.  Enjoy the traditional singing and dancing performance of Dong people at night.

Zhaoxing Dong village
Zhaoxing Dong village

72 km (48 miles) south of the county town of Liping, the village is seated in a valley surrounded by green mountains. The Zhaoxing River flows through the village.

No. 09: Mount Fanjing 梵净山

Mount Fanjing, named after the “Pure Land of Brahma”, is located at the junction of three counties of Yinjiang, Jiangkou and Songtao in Tongren City, 285km northeast of Guiyang, Guizhou Province.

It is also recognized as a World Natural Heritage Site by the 42nd World Heritage Congress on July 2, 2018.

Mount Fanjing

The heritage site is 402.75 square kilometers in size. It boasts rare wildlife and native forest ecosystems represented by Rhinopithecus roxellanae brelichi and Davidia involucrate Baill. With a forest coverage rate of 95%, there are more than 2,000 species of plants, 31 of which are under state protection.

Fanjing Mountain is also the site ( Daochanag) for the famous Maitreya Bodhisattva Ashtra in China.

No. 10: Maling River Grand Canyon Guizhou 马岭河峡谷

Location: in Xingyi, southwest of Guizhou Province
Uniqueness: the largest waterfall cluster in China

The Maling River Waterfall is composed of over 60 waterfalls along the Maling River Grand Canyon. The canyon is 74.8 km long with an average depth of more than 100 mand a width of 80-200

The gorge around the Malinghe River is a national scenic spot in south western part of Guizhou. It was formed during the Yanshan movement of the earth.

Maling River Gorge in Guizhou
Maling River Gorge in Guizhou

With fantastic views, precipices and waterfalls, the gorge is absolutely fascinating. Boat rides down the river provide great views of the beautiful scenery.15 km-long Maling River Gorge is located 10 km from Xiny.  It has stunning and spectacular scenes with its limestone karst landscape and its more than 100 waterfalls cascading down to its deep valleys.

Tip:  Hassle-free Escorted Guizhou

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself bus route and prefer the hassle-free guided tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Guizhou:

Guizhou Tour
Guiyang Tour

Further Readings

Top 10 Attractions in Guizhou
How to Visit Huangguoshu Waterfall
How to Get to Qingyan Ancient Town
How to Get to Xijiang 1000-Household Miao Village
When is the Best Time to Visit Guizhou?

Any questions,  just drop a line.

How to Visit Ming Tombs in Beijing (updated 2021)

July 25th, 2021
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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Ming Tombs in Beijing. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!

Ming Tombs Tourist Map from www.maps-of-china

Before we talk about how to visit Ming Tombs, people are more interested in knowing whether Ming Tombs are worth visiting. Well, as far as I know, people are quite divided on this. Some dislike; some feel they are ok and others say they are a must see. So different people with different cultural and social backgrounds have their own different opinions on the question.

For many visitors, the visiting of Ming Tombs is not as important as that of Forbidden City, Summer Palace and the Great Wall of China. It is not worth a separate trip.

But in my opinion, generally it is quite worth having a glimpse on a combined journey to or back from the Great Wall or Summer Palace since the location of Ming Tombs is quite accessible on the way to the sections of the Great Wall of China – Juyongguan, Badaling and Mutianyu, and also not far from Summer Palace.

Of course, their accessibility is not the only reason for being worth visiting. Listed as a UNESCO world cultural heritage, Ming Tombs provide people a kind of real experience. That tells why this place is a popular place for native Chinese, especially those who are attracted by its history.

If you are going to visit the Tombs, then how to visit them? What homework you should do before you come close to them? Maybe the following Ming Tombs travel tips will be useful for you:

Tip 1: Grab some basic knowledge

Ming Tombs here refers to the 13 tombs in Ming Dynasty where 13 out of 16 emperors in Ming Dynasty were buried successively there. There were totally 16 emperors in Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 AD).

Why 13 emperors were buried there instead of 16?  Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming Dynasty was buried in the Xiaoling Mausoleum in Nanjing; Zhu Yunwen, the Emperor Jianwen disappeared and Zhu Qiyu, the Emperor Jingtai was buried at Jinshan Hill in the western suburbs of Beijing. All other 13 Ming Emperors were buried in this tomb area, hence the area popularly being called the 13 Ming Tombs, or simply Ming Tombs.

Of all the 13 Ming Tombs, at present only 3 Ming Tombs are open to the public, namely Dingling, Changling and Zhaoling ( “ling” literally means “Tomb” in Chinese). So before you are going to visit Ming Tombs, you’d better know which of the 3 tombs you should visit, which are located separately quite a distance. The three tombs are also a little different in terms of ticket prices and value.

The three dimensional image of Ming Tombs (Picture Credit:

Of the 3 Ming Tombs opened to the public, only Dingling ( often called Underground Palace) has been excavated. There is down a long staircase into a chamber with some stone thrones and a few large plain red boxes which are the burial caskets in the so called underground palace.

Tip 2: Of the 3 tombs, which one you should visit?

Because all the 3 tombs are located separately quite a distance, usually you only have time to visit one of the three tombs. So which one? If you have no problem with your knees and feet, and are fairly good at walking, you are advised to visit Dingling – the underground Palace.

The Exhibition Building at Dingling Tomb
The tower at Dingling
The stela in the tower at Dingling.
The underground Palace in Dingling

You have a long walk from the Dingling Entrance before you get to the Tomb itself, where you walk 8 flights of stairs down. The walk to the tomb can be hard and long during high season, but normally takes about 15 minutes.

If you are wheelchair users or have some difficulty in walking, just forget Dingling, and choose Changling instead. Changling is the largest tomb of all the 13 Ming Tombs. There are a wide collection of artifacts and valubles unearthed from the tombs.

The Entrance to the Changling Tomb

Changling is the tomb where buried the Third Emperor Zhu Di with his queen Nee Xu. Changling is not excavated yet. But its grand hall on the ground is worth visiting. The construction of the hall started in 1409 and finished in 1427. As for Zhaoling, you can simply skip it since it is almost  renovated.

Tip 3: Sacred Way is highly recommended

For me, the best part of Ming Tombs tour is the walk down Sacred Way which is lined with large statues that are several hundred years old. These are huge statues of lions, camels, elephants, etc, and as well as stone statues of officials and officers, lining up on both sides of the Sacred Way.

To visit either Dingling or Changling, you’ll first pass by the Sacred Way, or “Spirit Way” leading into the complex of the 13 tombs.

Though the Sacred Way is supposed to be 7.3km. But don’t be afraid of its length. The highlight of the Sacred Way which you have to pay the entrance ticket to enter is only 800 meters long. So it is a 800-meter long walk.

Basically you enter the southern gate and exit from the northern gate. So if you have extra time, you are recommended first to visit the Sacred Way.

Dagongmen (大宫门)- Great Red Gate ( the southern gate )
The Sacred Way
The Statue of an Elephant
The Stone General on the Sacred Way

The Sacred Way is part of the Ming Tombs complex. Sacred Way means the road leading to heaven. The Emperor, known as the Son of the Heaven, who descended from Heaven to his country through the Sacred Road, also would return to Heaven through this way.

Tip 4: Admission fees and opening hours

Sacred and Ming Tombs are located in Changping District, about 50km north of Beijing.

Entrace Tickets

Dingling Tomb:  RMB 40 (November.01 – March. 31); RMB 60 (April. 01 – October. 31)
Changling Tomb: RMB 30 (November.01 – March. 31); RMB 45 (April. 01 – October. 31)    
Zhaoling Tombe: RMB 20 (November.01 – Machr. 31); RMB 30 (April. 01 – Oct. 31)
Sacred Way: RMB 25 (November.01 – Machr. 31); RMB 35 (April. 01 – Oct. 31)
Tickets selling till half an hour before closing time.

Opening Hours( Ticket selling time):

Dingling Tomb: 08:30 – 16:30
Changling Tomb: 08:30 – 16:30
Zhaoling Tomb 8:30 – 16:30
Sacred Way: 8:30 – 16:30

Tip 5: How to get there

Bus 872  Deshengmen Bus Terminal

The Bus 872 starts from Deshengmen Bus Station which is located on the north square of Deshengmen Arrow Tower (德胜们箭楼) lying on the mid-way of the northern second ring road. It is worth getting up earlier to catch an early morning Bus 872 for Ming Tombs.

How to  go to Deshengmen Bus Terminal

Several buses can bring you to the Deshengmen Bus Station. But the bus system in Beijing could be daunting even for the local Beijingers. It is advisable to take the Subway Line 2 to reach Deshengmen Bus Station. The the closest subway station to Deshengmen Bus Station is Jishuitan (积水潭) of the loop-type Subway Line 2.

You get off at the station of Jishuitan (积水潭), exit from the Exit A. Then walk along the sidewalk in the east direction for about 450 meters, soon you will see a high tower – the Deshengmen Arrow Tower. Deshengmen Bus Station is just below the northern side of the tower.

The compound of Deshengmen Arrow Tower is within a roundabout. So you have to cross a road to reach the bus station. You have to be careful crossing the road since the road has no traffic light at the time of my writing.

By the way, on your 450-meter walk from the subway station of Jishuitan to the Deshengmen Arrow Tower, you will pass alongside the Deshengmenxi Bus Station (different from Deshengmen Bus Station) and you just ignore it!

You will be also distracted by some privately owned buses or mini-buses operated in the name of official Badaling-bound buses. We strongly suggest you take the official buses within the Deshengmen Bus Station for safety and reasonable price.

Don’t be surprised if you find the queue in front of the bus 872, especially on the weekends or national public holidays.

Bus 872 is below the west side of Deshengmen Tower

Bus 872 Timetable

First Bus and last bus from Deshengmen to Ming Tombs: 09:15-16:15
First Bus and last bus from  Ming Tombs to Deshengmen: 08:00-15:00
Bus Fare: 8 yuan
The Bus 872 leaves every 10  minutes
The Bus 872 has 15 bus stops,  Dingling (last but two stop) and Changling ( last stop), taking about one hour.

Bus 872 for Ming Tombs

Tip 6: How to plan your Ming Tombs Tour?

It is better to incorporate your Ming Tombs into a journey covering other tourist attractions also. How to incorporate? Usually Summer Palace can be combined with Ming Tombs trip on a one day tour in Beijing.

The most common is blended with the trip to one of the sections of Great Wall of China – Juyongguan Great Wall, Badaling Great Wall or Mutuanyu Great Wall on an a day trip in Beijing.

Tip 7: Avoid Public Holiday and Weekend

For local Chinese, Ming Tombs are just as important as Forbidden City and Summer Palace, never missed on their trip to Beijing. On weekend, especially during the public holidays, Ming Tombs can be very crowded!

Take greater precaution when you go down the 8 staircases to the underground palace at Dingling Tomb.

Tip 8:  Bus 879 Between Dingling (Ming Tombs) and Badaling Great Wall

If you’d like to go from Ming Tombs ( Dingling ) and Badaling or vice versa, you can take the Bus 879 listed below:

1) Dingling Tomb ( Ming Tombs) to Badaling Great Wall

Fist Bus:8:00 am
Last Bus: 4:00 pm
Bus Fare: 9 yuan
The Bus 879 leaves every half an hour
The Bus 879 has 25 bus stops from Dingling (Ming Tombs) to Badaling Great Wall ( the last but the third ) taking about one and half hours, about 40km.

1) Badaling to Dingling ( 定陵):
Fist Bus:9:30 am
Last Bus: 5:30 pm
Bus Fare: 9 yuan
The Bus 879 leaves every half an hour
The Bus 879 has 25 bus stops from Badaling to Dingling ( Ming Tombs ), taking about one and half hours from Badaling to Dingling (定陵), the last bus stop ( about 40 km ).

If you’d like to go to directly from Deshengmen to Badaling Great Wall,  take the Bus 877 ( see the link: Badaling Bus 877).

Tip 9: Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Car Rental in Beijing
Beijing Day Tour
Beijing Tour Packages
Great Wall Tour
China City Tours
China Tour

Further Readings

How to Plan a Trip to Beijing
Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
Top 10 Tourist Scams Beijing
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

Further Readings