When we first took the subway in Shenyang, I noticed that my plastic card bore a shot of the Imperial Palace. “Cool!” I thought. “It’s a good idea to show the city sights on the tickets.”
A few days later, I realized there were only two versions of the subway ticket—the Imperial Palace and the North Tomb. There aren’t that many sights in Shenyang.
We visited the Imperial Palace early during our stay, when the weather was still nice and warm. But for some reason, we didn’t feel like going to the North Tomb, the burial place of the founder of the Qing dynasty. Feng had visited a few few times, and he described it as a “big empty space with a tomb at the end and fuck, I was freezing last time they took me there.”
But Feng’s family really wanted to take us there. Like, really. It was kind of a daily joke, every day we were making an excuse to skip a visit to the North Tomb—the weather was too cold, Mark was tired, we wanted to go elsewhere, etc.
Eventually, we had to give in. And so we went, with Feng’s aunt and cousin.
It was damp, cold and Mark hadn’t napped.
Recipe for a disaster? Well, actually, no. (Sorry?)
It was a holiday so the place was packed with families. Like North Americans, Chinese love entertainment more than historical sights (unlike Europeans who, I find, take sightseeing very seriously as if they were back at school). We were greeted by vendors selling food (duh, food is everywhere is China), toys and helium balloons. Nothing to do with the Qing dynasty or the tomb itself, but who cares!
Beiling is actually a huge complex with many historical buildings with traditional architectures and ornamentation leading a central mount—the tomb itself.
It was very cold so we didn’t linger too long but found the walk interesting, especially the view from the wall.