"Old Terraces and Stone Animals" Nanjing Things to Do Tip by sherwoodFL

Nanjing Things to Do: 302 reviews and 651 photos

The Ming Tombs, otherwise known as Ming Xiaoling or Tomb of Hongwu, were a real highlight of Nanjing. The tomb itself is a manmade (and fairly impressive) hill; getting there you cross some lovely courtyards and gates. What was special about these, at least in the summer of 2007, was that they were not reconstructed and painted to the nth degree, as we had seen in the other tombs on our tour. Instead, the terraces had grass growing on them, you could see the bases where pillars used to be, and the fantastical waterspouts had definite signs of age. These made for gorgeous pictures and a real sense of age. The only place this was not wonderful was right at the end of the tomb, where you had to climb upwards through a tunnel with stairs to stand on top of the last gate. The tunnel had no light or handrails and the stairs were worn and very slick with puddles. The view was worth it, however - just be careful. Also, do not come and go without walking down the Sacred Way - guides will want to skip it! It is lined with beautiful animal statues, imaginatively carved and each one different - not to be missed. If you follow the Sacred Way all the way from the tombs and then cross a road (this is going backwards, of course) one final turtle, with accompanying stele, of course, is in a little brick enclosure in the middle of the woods. We found it deserted and a perfectly gorgeous spot for pictures. All together, you could spend several hours very happily at the Ming Tombs, particularly if you are a photo enthusiast.

Address: Zijin Shan - Purple Mountain
Phone: 444 6111 ext 2024

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 23, 2007
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