#1 in Best Places to Visit in China – Chengde (previously named Jehol or Rehe) in the Hebei Province used to be main summer resort of the Qing Dynasty. You will find numerous historical buildings there and just as 400 years ago, wonderful scenery can be observed from most of the spots of Chengde.
The building of the resort took almost 90 years (1703-1790) and the area of it covers up impressive 5 640 000 sq. meters. It has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since the area is so large, there are numerous amazing sites and objects, including many temples, gardens, lakes, etc.
In Chengde you will find China’s largest royal garden that has remained till nowadays. With the area of 564 000 sq. meters, the Chengde Summer Palace is even bigger than the one in Beijing. The Summer Palace displays the tradition of building Chinese royal gardens as it is a mix of different landscapes, thus representing the diversity of the land of China. The Chengdu Summer Palace was built in the 18th century and, fortunately, many of historical items (royal buildings, gardens, temples) have remained throughout the centuries, serving as an example of royal Chinese architecture.
Chengde has become a popular destination of those who are interested in Buddhism because of the Buddhist temples that are situated there. The most renowned one probably is Putuo Zongcheng Temple. It holds a great resemblance with the Potala Palace in Tibet. Other temples to visit are the Puning Temple, Xumi Fushou Temple, Puning Temple and Pune.
Chengde is also an excellent destination of those who love mountains and all sorts of activities in heights. The tourists like to visit the Sledgehammer Peak, but you can also simply spend a great time in some of the Chengde’s valleys, mountains, forests or grasslands. Since Chengde is only 230 km away from Beijing, visiting this region can be well combined with a trip to the capital.