Chengde, a prefecture-level city under the jurisdiction of Hebei Province, is a city full of vitality and vigor, about 230 kilometers from Beijing. Located at an altitude of 327 meters in a basin framed by curious rock formations, and benefiting from a privileged climate, it is a place where the pace of life is quiet, far from the stress of large cities.
Speaking of the tour in Chengde, the locals proudly recommend them to you: the world’s largest surviving royal gardens – the Mountain Resort, the world’s largest group of royal temples – the Eight Outer Temples, and the essence of the Great Wall-the Jinshanling Great Wall.
Area: 39,519 km²
Average annual temperature: 9 degrees
Geography: Located on a northern plain
Population: 3,350,000 (2020)
Altitude: 327 m
Ethnic minorities: Mainly populated by Han, Manchus, and Mongols.
Economy: Tourism, Coal.
What to Visit in Chengde?
The most famous attraction in Chengde is undoubtedly the Mountain Resort.
In addition to the Resort, the city has eight temples built during the Kangxi period, between 1713 and 1780. They are all located on the hills north of the city center, and their views alone are worth the detour.
If you lack time to see all, we recommend visiting the following two temples. The temple of Putuo Zongcheng is nicknamed the small Potala of Chengde and covers an area of 220,000 square meters. Several of its halls and pavilions are covered with gold or copper tiles, which bring splendor and radiance to the entire site.
Another essential temple is the Puning Temple, also called the temple of Universal Peace or the temple of the Great Buddha, which was built following the model of the temple of Samye, the first Buddhist foundation in Tibet. Its typical architecture and position leaning against a mountain make it a splendid monument to visit.
For your journey between Chengde and Beijing, you can visit the Great Wall of Jinshanling. It is one of the oldest sections of the great wall with a distinctive character of being built in brick and the walkways paved with terracotta slabs. Different from the Mutianyu and Badaling, this section is less crowded and keeps its authenticity.
Finally, the Eastern Qing tombs are essential Chinese heritage. The site is home to China’s largest, most comprehensive and best-appointed complex of imperial mausoleums.
When to Go to Chengde?
The best season is spring or autumn. Autumn between September and November is certainly the ideal period because there are fewer tourists. However, Chengde is pleasant to visit all year round. In summer, it is hot but bearable. In winter you have to adapt your clothes, for the air is dry and cold. Many hotels offer attractive prices, but temperatures can drop well below zero degrees.
How to Get to Chengde?
Although there are the flights between Beijing and Chengde, you are suggested to take a private car, it takes 3 hours from Beijing, and you can visit Jinshanling Great Wall on the way back.
You can, of course, take the High-Speed trains which connect Chengde with Tianjin, Shenyang, Baotou, Ulanhot, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, etc.
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