Chengde (承德) – Summer Imperial Resort & Eight Outer Temples
Chengde is the site of the summer imperial resort where Emperor Qianlong takes time off to hunt in the old days. It’s approximately 4-1/2 hours north of Beijing by train from Beijing Station (北京站). It is located in Hebei province. The Summer Imperial Resort and the Eight Outer Temples are the main attractions of this place. They are also World Heritage Sites. From what I read, the average annual temperature is 8 degrees Celsius.
My travel buddy and I went there last December 30, 2007. We took the train which departed at 630am and arrived Chengde at 1048 am. When we arrived at the station, we were welcomed by strong chilly winds and colder temperatures. We headed straight to the ticket counter to purchase our return ticket for the next day. The line was so long and slightly chaotic. There were only 3 windows open and the hall is in dire need of cleaning.