Next stop on this first day of touring in Beijing was the Ming Tombs. It was close to 3:30 when we arrived.
There are 13 emperors from the Ming Dynasty buried in the tomb complex. We went to the original one for (the 3rd emperor Zhu Di ) named Changling.
It was a beautiful place and at 600 years old is in great shape.
Interestingly, it was uncrowded because Chinese tourists avoid it due to connotation with death. We were given 45 minutes to wander and sightsee at our leisure.
The silk burning stoves are in the square in front of Ling’en Hall.
I loved the marble staircase as it was very decorative.
Even the drainage spouts were artistic!
The main hall was huge and had displays inside. I was especially enthralled with the ceiling and columns.
Each column is made from a single tree. The hall was where sacrificial rites were carried out.
The Lingxing Archway was next and is a symbol of the gate to Heaven.
Past the archway were five sacrificial vessels and include an incense burner, two flower vases and two candles.
The last building was the Minglou also known as Soul Tower. I climbed it and was rewarded with a great view…
and this stele.
I didn’t walk the enclosed wall around the burial mound as time was short. After using the washroom, I was back at the meeting place with minutes to spare. Alas several people were late (sigh).
One of the other people on my tour made some fantastic videos of his photography of the major sites. Here is Doug’s video from the Ming Tombs.
Peking Duck Dinner
The only other event on the calendar today was the Peking duck dinner. First we drove by the 2008 Olympic complex and saw the swimming building which we were told is called “the bubbles building”.
The colors changed continually and I caught two different colors. (I apologize for the poor quality but this was a drive by in a bus photo opp.)
We stopped by a bridge where those that wanted could cross and get a shot of both the birds nest and swimming complex together.
One or two people had to be tracked down by our guide John because they didn’t return promptly.
The restaurant was close by where we were seated on the second floor.
First we were served our beverages. Sinorama provided one glass of red wine for this special meal in addition to the usual choice of beer, coke or sprite. It was interesting how they served the non-wine drinks. Our server asked who wanted beer and had them put their glasses on the lazy susan, filled them and so on.
We had sweet and sour something (Pork?)…
Scallops with celery, boiled cauliflower with broccoli…
Two soups (neither one very good — radish soup and tomato egg drop)…
The least Chinese but very popular dish at every table was french fries with ketchup.
Then the peking ducks were brought out for carving. Fortunately, we were right by the chef carving it and had a great view.
Our table was served three plates of duck along with paper thin pancakes, sliced onion and celery and a dipping sauce.
One of the employees made one pancake that was supposed to tell us how to do it but she didn’t say anything and did it so fast we were glad to have been taught how on the bus. The duck was delicious and I had two pancakes worth.
The restroom here was the worst I visited the entire trip and that’s including one without running water. The ladies room had two stalls, one squat and one western. The western one didn’t flush and there wasn’t any toilet paper. I was glad to have my packed tissues and wipes and shared supplies with a tourmate.
Leaving the restaurant we had a great view of the “nails” buildings which have the 5 Olympic rings on top. It was lit beautifully and were told there’s a revolving restaurant on top of one of the towers.
It was a 40 minute ride back to the hotel and we arrived by 7:40 pm. I was exhausted and after posting a few pictures on Facebook and checking in with my husband hit the sack. There’s another busy day tomorrow!
Stats from Apple Health on phone
Steps today: 13,309
Distance: 5 miles
Flights climbed: 31