Archive for the ‘Chengde Travel’ Category

Best Travel Options Between Beijing and Chengde

Sunday, December 4th, 2016
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While planning your Beijing tour, you may consider an interesting side trip to Chengde (承德). Now we are going to assist you in choosing the best travel options between Beijing and Chengde. There are three major ways of traveling from Beijing to Chengde – take the train, the bus and driving. We’ll help you analyse the advantages and disadvantages of each transportation option.

Chengde is an important scenic and historical city, only 250 km northeast of Beijing. Though it is possible for you to make a day trip from Beijing, we suggest you stay overnight to see its magnificent landscape and feel the  splendid culture and history behind it.

1. Travel From Beijing to Chengde by Train
There are 4 daily trains running between Beijing Railway Station ( one of the four major stations in Beijing ) and Chengde Railway Station (the only available station in Chengde). Of the four trains, only Train No.7711 starts from Beijing and ends at Chengde as its final destination while other three pass by Beijing and Chengde.

Beijing Chengde Train

Beijing Chengde Train

We recommend you take the Train No.7711 (7:56 – 12:31) from Beijing to Chengde and the Train No.7712 ( 19:15 – 23:38) back from Chengde to Beijing. The train takes about 4 and half hours. You can buy your tickets online in advance or at any of the train stations on the spot.

Advantages: Safe, Comfortable and affordable prices ( US$ 8 – 15 depending different seats )
Disadvantages: Tricky to get tickets, longer train ride time, and only one direct train

 

 

2. Getting from Beijing to Chengde by Bus
The bus service from Beijing to Chengde is more frequent, an easy and affforable option for travelers. The long-distance service for Chengde operates only at two of the bus terminals in Beijing – Sihui  Transportation Hub (四惠交通枢纽) and Liuliqiao Long-Distance Bus Station (六里桥客运主枢纽).

Sihui Bus Terminal

Sihui Bus Terminal

There are about 30 daily buses starting from Liuliqiao Long-Distance Bus Station ( first bus at 6:40 and last 18:20); 20 daily buses leaving from Sihui Long-Distance Bus Station (first bus at 7:10 and last 18:10). Just purchase your bus tickets in person at the two bus stations.

Liuliqiao Long-Distance Bus Station
Add: A1, Liuliqiao Nan Li, Fengtai District, Beijing

Sihui Long-Distance Bus Station
Add: No.68, Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District

 

 

Advantages: Frequent and affordable prices ( US$ 15  )
Disadvantages: A bit tricky to get to the bus terminals, less comfortable than train

3. Driving from Beijing to Chengde

Beijing-Chengde Expressway

Beijing-Chengde Expressway

You can drive directly from Beijing to Chengde along the expansive expressway – Jingcheng Expressway. Jingcheng Expressway is 209.1km in length with 132.4 km in Beijing and 76.7 in Chengde. Its completion has made Beijing Chengde driving two hours, two hours less than previous old highway.

Its speed is minimum 50 km/h, maximum 120 km/h. The expressway has 6 lanes (3 up, 3 down) for sections closer to Beijing, 4 lanes for other sections. So you can hire a car with driver to visit Chengde and possibly you can make a day trip to Chengde from and back to Beijing by car.

 


Advantages
: Fast, flexible and value-added if you travel on a small group to split the cost
Disadvantages: Expensive, possible congested traffic

4. Guided Excursions to Chengde from Beijing

Little Potala Palace

Little Potala Palace

250 km northeast of Beijing lie two UNESCO world heritage sites – Eight Outer Temples listed 1994 and Mountain Resort listed in 1997 under the jurisdiction of Chengde, a prefecture-level city in Hebei province.

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself trip and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided excursions from Beijing to Chengde:

Beijing Chengde 2 Day Tour by Train  Starting US$ 205 p/p
Beijing Chengde 2 Day Tour By Car or Van  Starting US$ 230 p/p
Beijing Chengde One Day Tour by car or van  Starting US$ 110 p/p
Beijing Chengde Jinshanling Great Wall 2 Day Tour   Starting US$ 215 p/p
Beijing Chengde Eastern Qing Tombs 2 Day Tour  Starting US$ 290 p/p

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Chengde
Top 10 Attractions in Chengde
How to Visit Chengde in One Day
Chengde Outdoor Winter Activities

Any questions, just drop a line.

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Friday, April 8th, 2016
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Among  the dozen of the notable Great Wall sections around Beijing, Jinshanling Great Wall has always been one of my favorites.  It is less crowded than Badaling Great Wall and more original than Mutianyu Great Wall.

I’m crazy about Mutianyu Great Wall too, especially hiking from the broken and overgrown Jiankou Great Wall, a mecca for the Great Wall hiking enthusiasts. Beside its picturesque scenery, Mutianyu Great Wall is more entertaining with the exciting toboggan rides and comfortable cable cars or skiing lifts.

Mutianyu Great Wall has won the first place of all the attractions in Beijing according to the rated reviews posed by real travelers on Tripadvisor. In the past several years Mutianyu Great Wall has been very popular with the mass travelers, kids and seniors in particular. But, I often think that things would be slightly different if Jinshanling Great Wall were an attraction in Beijing.

As matter of a fact, administratively Jinshanling Great Wall doesn’t belong to Beijing. It is located in Luanping County, Chengde City, Hebei Province, 154km to the northeast of Beijing’s Tiannamen Square. The relatively longer distance further away from Beijing is maybe one of the reasons why Jinshanling Great Wall looks much more quieter.

As the old saying goes that “Good wine needs no bush.”, Jinshanling Great Wall has never been quiet for the Great Wall aficionados, especially the experienced travelers and hikers. It is a perfect combination of  the Great Wall section, both restored and original.

Years ago people could hike all the way eastward from Jinshanling Great Wall to Simatai Great Wall. Unfortunately, at present the stretch from Jinshanling to Simatai is still unopen mainly due to the closure of the west section of Simatai Great Wall.

Personally I’m sorry for the magnificent Simatai Great Wall which has become a backdrop of Gubei Water Town, an over 4 billion yuan investment project – a replica of the Wuzhen Water Town in the Southern China.

Jinshanling Great Wall is open to the public all year round. Spring definitely is a good time for Jinshanling Great Wall hiking. Every mid-April sees Jinshanling blanketed by white elegant apricot blossoms, attracting a consistent flow of travelers.

Blooming apricot trees, fresh suburban air, and mesmerizing Great Wall of China. If you visit Beijing in mid April, visiting Jinshanling Great Wall is a smart choice!

Getting to Jinshanling Great Wall by public transport is still very tricky.
Take Bus No. 980 Express (980快) from Dongzhimen Transportation Hub
Destination: Jinshanling Great Wall 金山岭长城.
Very Important Notice: Actually the Bus 980 Express stops at Miyun County ( 密云汽车站 ), and then you take a mini bus from the downtown Miyun to Jinshanling.
Bus Fare: RMB 15
Minibus Fare: about RMB 50 ( you have to share a mini-bus for Jinshanling Great Wall)

Alternatively, you may join in the local group tour visiting Jinshanling Great Wall, Check Jinshanling Great Wall Group Tour for more information.

See below the photos of the Jinshanling Great Wall with blooming apricot trees.

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

 

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

 

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

 

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

 

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

 

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

 

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

 

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Apricot Blossoms at Jinshanling Great Wall

Add on
Apricot Blossoms at Badaling Great Wall.

Any questions,  just drop a line.

Chengde Outdoor Winter Activities

Saturday, January 30th, 2016
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Plan your Chendge tour? You may hesitate to visit Chengde in winter. As you know, Chengde is noted for its Mountain Resort, a trump card in Chengde attracting numerous holiday-makers in summer from all the corners of China in addition to burning joss sticks at the eight outer temples and riding horses at Mulan Weichang Grassland outside Chengde.

So any interesting things to do in winter in Chengde? Actually, there are a bunch of things worth your time including skating on the lakes in Sumer Resort, appreciating flower lanterns, bathing in hot springs and skiing. If you happen to visit Beijing in winter, a side trip to Chendge eithert by bus or train is highly recommended.

1. Skating on the lakes in Mountain Resort 
In winter you find the parts of the lakes in Mountain  Resort turned into skating surfaces as well as hockey fields for the enjoyment of the local residents and visitors.  Strap on your skates and take to the frozen surface of the lakes in Summer Resort. The Summer Resort Hockey Tournament will be held in the former imperial summer resort.

Riding a school-kid sized chair with no brakes and no steering, a kind of chair-sleds.

Chair-sled in Chengde

Chair-sleds

Playing hockey at Summer Resort in Chengde.

Playing hockey at Summer Resort in Chengde

Playing hockey at Summer Resort in Chengde

2. Dingsheng Imperial Lantern Festival
Lantern festival is a typical Chinese traditional festival which falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month, usually in February or March. It was originated in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 25) and  it has become a festival with great significance. Now it is held around China each year.

Chengde Dingsheng Imperial Lantern Festival is held in Dingsheng Cultural Industry Garden in Yuanbaoshan Scenie Area, Shuangluan District, Chgengde (承德双滦区元宝山风景区鼎盛文化产业园). It is the largest imperial lantern festival in the northern China.  The festival is open during February 01- 22.

Dingsheng Imperial Lantern Festival

Dingsheng Imperial Lantern Festival

3. Bathing in Hot Spring
There are legions of hot spring resorts in Chengde.  You may bath in the outside forest hot springs or indoor hot springs. It is cool and comfortable to soak yourself in hot springs during this winter season, an excellent way to wash off the dirt and relax your body.

Experiencing the outdoor hot spring at Longhua Fengshui Bay Hot Spring Resort (隆化枫水湾温泉度假村).

 Longhua Bay Hot Spring Resort

Longhua Bay Hot Spring Resort

Soak in an indoor hot spring resort

Soak in an indoor hot spring resort

Soak in an indoor hot spring resort

4. Skiing at Chengde No.01 Ski Resort 
Chengde Baoyuanshan Ski Resort ( 承德元宝山滑雪场 ) has a good location, only 2 km away from the center of Chengde. It has 5 totally trails including 3 advanced (1700 meters), one intermediate (150 meters ) and  one primary level (100 meters).

Every trail is equipped with a good snow–made system. Each year a juvenile ski tournament will be held at the ski resort.

Skiing at Baoyuanshan Ski Resort

Skiing at Baoyuanshan Ski Resort

All photos from internet, any questions,  just drop a line.

Tip:  Hassle-free Chengde Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Chengde:

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Chengde
Top 10 Attractions in Chengde
How to Visit Chengde in One Day
Chengde Outdoor Winter Activities

Any questions, just drop a line.