Blogs from Chengde, Hebei, China, Asia


Asia » China » Hebei » Chengde June 8th 2013

When we were leaving Datong in the morning things were looking pretty good – the weather was beautiful, sunny with blue skies (until now we haven’t been that successful with the weather, so were more than positively surprised!) and my stomach seemed to have settled for a moment (small bug it would seem, still decided to skip some meals just in case though – long journey ahead!). So full of optimism we headed to Jinshanling... Somewhere along the way we seemed to have run out of luck though as once we got to Jinshanling it was all misty and looked like it was going to rain any moment now… And it just happened so suddenly??? One moment clear blue skies, we drive into a tunnel, get out of it shortly after and it’s all grey and ... read more
peaking through window...
the Great Wall of China
on the Great Wall

Asia » China » Hebei » Chengde October 28th 2010

This is not going to be a very long blog because a lot of the trip involves endless waits in airports or train stations and while we can wax lyrical about the beauty of a named 47 that would be admitting to a very geeky youth. So we booked a couple of ‘soft seats’ to Chengde. Obviously when I say soft I mean in the same way as laying on a pile of bricks is ‘soft’ or ‘soft’ as in iron is softer than diamond. The 4 hour journey was in aid of a visit to the Summer Palace; the places that countless Emperors and Empresses went to escape the heat of Beijing. Had we thought about it this meant that it was cooler than Beijing and, as Beijing was hovering just above freezing, urmm, this ... read more
Wrapped Up
Sex Temple
Sledgehammer Rock

Asia » China » Hebei » Chengde July 30th 2010

At first glance Chengde, appeared to be every travellers nightmare. Standing at the train station we were concerned that something had been lost in translation and we had ended up in the wrong town. Scores of unfinished buildings, rubble and litter made parts of the town look like a glorified building site. This perhaps made the contrast of the mountain resort even more striking. Slap bang in the middle of the town is an extremely large expanse of land which is walled off from sight, enter through the gates and you can see the play place of emperors - From 1703 the Qing dynasty made this their summer resort - full of beautiful, temples, lakes and gardens it is truely breathtaking. Surrounding the resort are a selection of Buddist temples, with different emperors trying to build ... read more
Home to Asias largest Buddah
anyone for fish?
one of the 8 outlying temples

Asia » China » Hebei » Chengde May 26th 2010

Chengde: My Kingdom for a Temple Chengde is the old summer retreat for the Qing Emperors. Up in the hills 200km north-east of Beijing, it is noticeably cooler than the capital and was an excellent base for hunting forays. It was also an excellent location for international conferences amongst the finely-suited politicians of China’s past. Royal Gardens The city was therefore built to impress; it was designed as an 18th century equivalent of a nuclear deterrent. The Mongolian chieftains, Tibetan commanders and Uighur warlords would be invited along, shown the collection of impressively-scaled temples and fine palaces, before being allowed to stroll around what is still the world’s largest enclosed imperial gardens. Here they would allow you to contemplate the power on show, and extrapolate for yourself the likely ability of the Qing to knock you, ... read more
Flags, with traditional Buddhist symbols
Temple Musician

Asia » China » Hebei » Chengde April 16th 2010

Chengde is an historical city built around the mountain resort and temples used by the Qing emperors. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mountain resort was built over 100 years from 1704. It is cooling in summer and used as the summer palace for the Qing Dynasty Emperor to escape the heat. It was also the shelter for the Chinese Emperor in 1860 when Beijing was invaded by the western powers. The temples around the mountain resort were ordered built by the Qing dynasty emperor and their first stop to Chengde was to offer prayers in the temples. The resort itself has section where the emperor work and live. The rest of the area is beautiful garden landscape. It was also here that the Qing dynasty emperor Xianfang had sign the treaties that ... read more
Puning Temple
Puning Temple
Mountain Resort

Asia » China » Hebei » Chengde May 24th 2009

The Syracuse University Abroad program went on our last group trip together to Chengde. ... read more
Cool bridge
More scenary
Pretty flower bed

Asia » China » Hebei » Chengde September 13th 2008

On our way from Beijing to Chengde we stopped at the Jinshanling area of the great wall. This is definitely the least ‘touristy’ portion of the wall I have ever been to. There were about five other people besides our group anywhere to be found on the wall. It was awesome. We spent about three days in Chengde. When we arrived there we visited a minority student college where we chatted with students who were English majors. We stayed at a hotel on the side of a mountain that overlooked the city. During our time in Chengde we visited the summer palace of the emperors (this is the summer palace where most former empoerors actually spent most of their time, the one in Beijing was only used during the summer primarily by Dowager Cixi), a ... read more
Jinshanling Great Wall
Minority College in Chengde
Students at the college

Asia » China » Hebei » Chengde July 22nd 2008

Hello everyone! Here we are in Chengde. Anyway, from the title you might have thought we were staying at a Resort! haha. If only that were the case... We went and saw where the Emperors of the Qing dynastry went for their summer holidays. Posh place. It took about 100 years in the 1700's to build all the buildings and the gardens. It was pretty. Lots of good Feng Shui. We baked today (as we have everyday). Kwesi's shirt changes colour to a slightly darker blue. Good thing he doesn't smell when he sweats! We walked a long way today. Yes, I dragged my butt... Kwesi was the drill sargent. I think Kwesi is in at least 200 family photos by now. It's a non-stop line-up to have your photo taken with him. It can be ... read more

Asia » China » Hebei » Chengde July 9th 2008

I pay my second visit to the Great Wall, this time near the far Eastern end, and to the more modern parts, built of stone during the Ming dynasty. The plan is to do a 10km hike along a stretch of it (thus accounting for 0.1% of it's original length). I set off at a brisk pace, as we're being followed by women with big bags trying to seel us tourist tat. It's quite a hot and humid day and the wall is incredibly steep in places, but these women do this professionally. Although I manage to get my particualr follower (a Mongolian girl by the name of Twee) out of breath and red-in-the-face, she keeps up. I sing Pink Floyd songs for most of the two hour walk, enjoying the amazing scenery and noting that ... read more
The Wall
The Wall

Asia » China » Hebei » Chengde July 9th 2008

I arrive in Chendge late in the evening and the town has been quite badly flooded. Fortunately, most of the water has subsided by morning and the weather brightened a little, but the streets are still covered in mud. I visit the Imperial Palace and Summer Villa, and stroll around the very beautiful park and grounds. They have deer running wild that bite if you get too close (take my word for it...), ponds FULL of goldfish and some amazing pagodas, with many tiled rooves. In the afternoon I got to the Puning Si, a Tibetan style temple containing a 22m high, many-armed Buddha, one of the world's biggest wooden statues. It's a working temple and there are hundreds of monks around, hacking and spitting. I also get to turn my first (hundred) prayer-wheel(s).... read more
Prayer wheels
Monks spend a lot of time in their beds

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