Chengde Trip, My Trip to Chengde (First Day)On the morning of July 01, 2008, I start my I-don't-know-how-many-time-th trip to Chengde, one of my favorite places to plunge into the Qing Dynasty history and dip myself into the Tibetan culture.
The only fast, direct and air-conditioned train N211 ( now the train has been changed for K7711 ) linking Beijing and Chengde leaves at 08:07am and arrives in Chengde at 12:29am. The 256-km railway between Beijing and Chengde takes us over four hours due to the mountainous area and the zigzag railroad. The Beijing-Chendge highway is finished, so renting a car or self-driving to Chendge is also a good choice of traveling Chengde. But the train ride is safer and more comfortable.
The Beijing Train Station Exterior
The Beijing Train Station Interior
The Train N211 from Beijing to Chengde
The soft-seat rail car interior
The train arrives on time at 10:40am. People have to first go through the ticket check gate. When I step out of the train station, I feel the open place in front of the station is a little crowded, and messed up. The main building of Chengde Train Station looks shabby as a great historical city. Many taxis park randomly here and there on the square. And most of the taxis running on the street are a bit rundown. I take a taxi to go to my hotel - Puning Temple Hotel. From its hotel name, you can say it is not far from Puning Temple. Actually Puning Temple Hotel is just linked to Puning Temple on its east, a Han-Tibetan Style hotel. On the way to my hotel, I come across some banners hanging on the streets to the effect that"One Year, a big step for Chendge and Great Change for Chendge in three years!". So the local government fully understands the long way they have to go before they build Chengde into a clean and modern city, improving the environment, upgrading the local people' housing condition, raising the city management level and more.
People moving through the ticket checking gate
Chengde Raiway Train Station
Many taxis park randomly on the square
I choose Puning Temple Hotel for my one-night stay at Chengde mainly because of its unique Han-Tibetan style structure. Its exterior is made in Chinese style while its interior all in Tibetan style. All the staff are dressed in Tibetan style clothes. This hotel has over 90 rooms, big, simple and clean. The weak point is that its breakfast is not very good, little western food. The hotel looks a part of the Puning Hotel, closely connected. Surprisingly, this hotel has a swimming pool!
A hotel signboard on the outside cornern of Puning Temple Hotel
The carved archway in front of Puning Temple Hotel
The main entrance to Puning Temple Hotel
The front desk of Puning Temple Hotel
The double stanard room
The hotel corridor
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