This week we had the chance to have a rest thanks to the Qingming festival (清明节; qingmingjie). During Qingming, Chinese families visit the tombs of their ancestors to clean the gravesites, pray to their ancestors, and make ritual offerings.
But what can you do when you only have two days off?
Today I will talk about my trip to Chengde, and how you can escape from the noisy city of Beijing to a nice little and calm city at only 200 kilometers from the Capital of China.
Transport from Beijing to Chengde (北京 – 承德)
As I have already explained on my previous articles, I usually use Ctrip.com to book my flight or train tickets to travel in Asia. It’s safe and practical (you can have the app and website in English). For this short-trip I have also booked the hotel on Ctrip. But I will explain that later :).
We took the fastest train from Beijing to Chengde (K7711 / 4h35) on Thursday morning. it was very cheap, even during the Qingmingjie holidays (81 yuan / person/ hard sit). The way back was also the fastest train (K7712 / 4h23) on Friday for the same price. The departure is at the main train station of Beijing near Jianguomen subway station (建国门) on the Line 1.
Where to sleep in Chengde?
I wanted to sleep in a nice room and in a natural environment. AND WE FOUND IT! At the last minute we found a really nice guesthouse where you can sleep in Yurts! The guesthouse is located IN the imperial palace of Chengde! The staff was nice the room was clean and big.
BONUS: You have the possibility to book your night with tickets for the entrance of the imperial palace included. It’s wayyy cheaper than the usual price (20 dollars for two tickets against about 55 dollars for two persons at the entrance). This time, I didn’t find something that could suit me on Booking.com. There were only Chinese luxurious hostels. So we searched on Ctrip and found this nice Resort. I recommend it they have their private entrance of the Chengde Mountain Resort and you can go in twice with your special ticket 🙂 !
What can you do in Chengde?
The place is nice, but I think that you can almost visit everything in 2 days. We stayed 1 day and a half and we took our time to visit the parc and two temples.
- The Chengde Mountain Resort ( 避暑山莊; Bìshǔ Shānzhuāng)
Literally: « Mountain Villa for Avoiding the Heat », the Chengde Moutain Resort is composed by palace, gardens pagodas etc… During the Qing dynasty, the emperors always went in Chengde to avoid the summer heat of Beijing. the parc is beautiful and we even saw deer!
hoooooow! and we were super close!
- ThePutuo Zongcheng Temple(普陀宗乘之庙; Pǔtuó Zōngchéng zhīmiào)
It’s the most famous temple of Chengde. And it worth it! The architecture of the temple is half Tibetan, half Chinese. And the result is amazing, I really liked it. The roof are gold and during spring there are beautiful flower trees. I recommend it !!
- TheXumi Fushou Temple (须弥福寿之庙; Xūmí Fúshòu Zhī Miào)
Literally: « Temple of Happiness and Longevity »). The price of this temple was included with the Putuo zongcheng Temple ticket. I really liked the huge gold dragons on the last building.
Hope you liked this post :)))))