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Chengde: Imperial Summer Retreat

Chengde is located in Hebei Province, about 230 kilometers from Beijing. Lush forests, break rock formations, and unique temples make a trip to Chengde an outdoor adventure and cultural tour.  If you thought the Summer Palace was a nice place to escape the city swelter, you should head further north to Chengde, a town that boasts China's largest imperial summer retreat complex.

Related Tours:

Private Chengde Day Tour from Beijing by First Class Bullet Train
Private Chengde 2 Days Tour with Jinshanling Great Wall from Beijing by Van

Chengde things to do:
Imperial Summer Resort

The Imperial Summer Resort, “Escape the Heat Mountain Villa,” is a park that has been Chengde’s main attraction since 1703. Set in a mountain valley surrounded by an ancient wall, the parkland includes its own lake, pine forests, hunting ground, and pavilions. While first established by Emperor Kangxi, the renowned mountain resort reached its prime in the 1790s during the reign of Emperor Qianlong- one of the most famous Qing Emperors. They each ordered the construction of 36 scenic spots, from moon-gazing pavilions to rocks carved with Tang calligraphy.

Eight Outer Temples

Eight Outer Temples were once 12 temples, but today, only eight remain open to visitors. In their heyday, the temples had imperial patronage and supported a large and vibrant spiritual community. The eight temples are all set in the hills north of the town center, where the mountain scenery, not to mention the fantastic Buddhist art, also makes it worth the trip.  Those temples show distinctive architectural art. Putuo Zongcheng Temple is an imitation of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. It is known as the “Lesser Potala Palace.”

Temple of Universal Peace (Puning Temple), also named Great Buddha Temple, features China’s giant wooden statue of Thousand-Hand and Thousand-Eye Guanyin Bodhisattva.

To greet the sixth Panchen Lama, who came to celebrate Emperor Qianlong’s 70th birthday, the emperor ordered the building of the Temple of Happiness and Longevity (Xumifushou Temple ) as a temporary palace for the Lama according to Tashihunpo Monastery in Tibet’s Shigatse City.

The Temple of Universal Happiness (Pule Temple) combines architectural styles in China’s Central Plains and Tibet. Its front temple takes on the Tibetan style, while its back temple, where Yab-yum is worshiped, imitates the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest at the Temple of Heaven.

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