Mausoleum of the Southern Yue King

A site of historical importance that is well worth visiting, this is the excavated mausoleum of the Emperor Wen, a ruler of the Southern Yue Kingdom (Guangzhou and the surrounding area) during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 25 Mausoleum of the Southern Yue KingAD). It is the earliest and largest Han Dynasty mausoleum to be discovered. Since most records of the Southern Yue Kingdom had been destroyed long ago, there was no hint that this mausoleum existed. That changed in 1983 when Xianggang Hill (Elephant Hill) was being leveled for construction and the workers stumbled on the tomb some 20 meters beneath the summit. In 1988 the tomb was opened to the public along with a museum displaying the many artifacts that were recovered.

If you like you can skip over the various exhibitions in the first building you enter and head straight for the tomb, where the emperor was buried along with several of his concubines and servants. It’s only small, but still manages to capture the imagination. Then head to the part of the museum where the excavated artifacts are on display. Here are such relics as brassware, pottery, gold seals and jade ornaments, as well as the emperor’s burial shroud – made of more than 2000 pieces of jade stitched together with silk. The excellent information in English about the each of the relics really enhances the experience. Such a museum could very easily be dry and uninteresting, but the Mausoleum of the Southern Yue King is truly fascinating.

Admission: ¥12. Open: 9:00-17:30.

Address: 867 Jiefang Bei Lu. Subway: Yuexiu Park (Exit D2). Tel: +86 (020) 3618 2920.

Directions: From Exit D2, follow the street as it veers to the right and keep walking straight. The Mausoleum is about 5 minutes walk from the subway.

Show the taxi driver: 请带我去南越王墓, 谢谢。地址:解放北路867号。     (Please take me to the Museum of the Southern Yue King. Thank you.)