Saturday, April 22, 2017
Day 3 - Nanjing/Hangzhou Trip 2017- Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum (How to go to Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum by public transport)
Day 3, after breakfast, feeling energetic after a nice good sleep in the nice cozy bed in the hotel, we started our day 3 sightseeing. We decided to visit Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum and Sun Yat Sen Memorial, they are both in the same area. Linggu Temple is in the same area too but we had to give up on visiting Linggu Temple cause too much walking and climbing, we two old folks cannot walked too much. So if you are energetic and have strong legs, do visit all three attractions. Take the subway line 2 and get off at the Muxuyuan Station and exit at EXIT 1.(Visitors may take bus line 20, 203 or 315 to Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty.) Once outside the metro station, there's a tram ticket office. We bought one way ticket to Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum (RMB10). But in our excitement, we two old folks alighted too soon, we alight at the wrong stop, we alighted at Soong Mei Ling Museum. Looking at the tram bus stop, we saw that Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum is the last stop and Sun Yat Sen Memorial is the second last stop. At this point, we had to wait for the next tram and explained to the driver we alighted wrongly, and hopefully they let us board without paying again but then we saw a huge map nearby. So we decided to look at the map. Although we are old and a bit clumsy but we are smart in reading the map hahaha. If one will to look at the map, Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum seems to be on one's right but hey, need to look at the red dot and see that's where we are and the road is behind the red dot. So we need to visually turn the map 180 degrees or upside down and read the map, so this time the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum is on the left across the road from where we were standing. So asking around, it seems that the Mausoleum is only ten minutes walk from where we were, so we decided to walk to the mausoleum and lots of signboard (some quite confusing) to direct us there but dont mistaken Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum(The ming tomb) and museum of the ming tomb. Unless you have a lot of time, dont go to the museum, head straight to the ming tomb. Head straight to the Ming Tomb and not the museum. Too many signboards can be confusing too, just walked straight down the road or follow the crowd. The admission ticket is RMB70 and half price for my hubby who is over 60 (not sure about children's admission fees). Its middle section runs east-west and is called Shi Xiang Road. It is lined with several pairs of stone sculptured animals guarding the tomb. Each animal is postured differently and each conveys an auspicious meaning. For example, the lions, king of the animals, show the stateliness of the emperors, the camels, symbol of desert and tropical areas, indicate the vast territory of the dynasty and the elephants imply that the policies of the dynasty are to meet the desire of the grass root and the stabilization of the dynasty. (Source: TravelChinaGuide.) It's was drizzling and very misty and cold that day. The whole place looked a bit eerie and mysterious. Hubby had a fall cause of the slippery road but not serious. Lots of mystical stone creatures to protect the late emperor at his resting place. Beyond the animals is a pair of decorative columns called Hua Biao that are carved with dragons. From here the Sacred Way turns into a north-south direction and becomes known at Weng Zhong Road. This location is marked by stone carved statues of ministers and generals. Different from the straight sacred ways in the former dynasties, the Sacred Way at Xiaoling Mausoleum goes in different directions making it unique and unprecedented in Chinese history. (Source: TravelChinaGuide.) The tomb of the late emperor and the queen lies behind the stone. The tomb lies somewhere in the forest, they decided not to exhume the tomb and leave it as it is. Besides sightseeing the tomb, we do have fun time admiring and taking photos of the many beautiful flowers.