- Located in Hebei
province and 250 miles from Beijing, Chengde is a historic mountain
resort developed for the Qing royal family.
Chengde is one of the 24 historical cities protected by the State
Council and is an UNESCO Heritage site.
The Imperial Summer Resort in Chengde covers an area of 5.6 million square
meters, which is larger than the Summer Palace in Beijing.
- Chengde City
- ** The following
ratings are based on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best.
|Recommended Days of Stay: 1
- When to
- Tourist Season
- May through October;
Coldest Months - January and February, with temperature as low
Hottest Months - July and August, with temperature as high as
In and Out
- By Train -
Chengde can be reached from Beijing by express train in 5 hours;
Chengde, previously known
to Chinese as Rehe (Warm River) and to Western visitors as Jehol,
Chengde is a small town developed very early in the Qing Dynasty as a small
royal lodge to relax in and to curry favor with the Mongolian nobles
in the area. Chengde was later developed into the great "Summer Mountain
Retreat" in a vast walled enclosure surrounded by eight 'outer temples'.
Chengde had been the chosen summer vacation spot for Qing emperors ever
since it was constructed by Kangxi Emperor in 1703.
- The Main
Palace and Garden * * * * *
- The Imperial
Summer Resort has nine courtyards.
The Nanmu Hall is the place where the emperor received subjects
and envoys. There are two waiting rooms, one for foreigners
and one for relatives and tribal leaders. Among the exhibits
are an elephant dotted with pearls and brilliant blue kingfisher
The Refreshing-at-Mist-Veiled-Waters Pavilion was the imperial
bedroom. The empresses' pavilions are on either side.
The beautiful Garden is ideal for taking strolls. All the trees
planted in Qing Dynasty are carefully tagged with identification
numbers. The Imperial Summer Resort is a microcosm of entire
China's lake, grasslands and mountains.
- The Eight
Outer Temples* * * * *
- The Eight
Outer Temples are a mixture of Manchu, Mongolian, Tibetan, and
Han Chinese architecture and religions. The steles in front
of the temples have Manchu writing in front, Chinese in back
and Mongolian and Tibetan on the sides.
The Round Pavilion was built in 1766 to mimic the Temple of
Heaven. There is a rare statue of two copulating gods from the
tantric sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
Patterned after the Sumeru temple in Tibet, the Puning Temple
contains a copy of the spectacular 1,000-headed and 1,000-armed
GuanYin. Other artifacts of significance are about 100 larger-than-life-size
arhats and a big bronze cooking pot that used to feed 1,000
lamas. There are also red-robed lamas chanting every morning
in the Puning Temple. Out of Tibet, this is probably as original
as it gets.
Xumifushou (Longevity and Happiness) Temple was inspired by
the Tashilhunpo/Zhaxilhunbu Temple in Shigatse, Tibet. The sixth
Panchen Lama used to live here and Qian Long Emperor celebrated
his 70th birthday here.
Putuozongcheng Temple is patterned after the Potala Palace.
The elephant in front of the temple symbolizes the Mahayana
sect. The five pagodas on several buildings symbolize the five
school of Buddhism.
Donggang Zi Dian (East Hall) contains statues from the Red Hat
sect of Tibetan Buddhism. This particular sect's religious ritual
includes having sex with a person other than one's spouse. The
temple was built to celebrate birthdays as well as visits by