Archive for the ‘Hebei 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.

Exterior Scene of the Eastern Qing Tombs

Friday, February 12th, 2016
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Along with the Western Qing Tombs, the Easternb Qing Tombs were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000. The Eastern and Western Qing Tombs are an imperial mausoleum complex of Qing Dynasty ( 1644 – 1912 ), the last dynasty in Chinese history.

About 125km to the east of Beijing, the Eastern Qing Tombs are located in Zunhua City, Hebei Province. The Eastern Qing  Mausoleum Complex is the largest  extant group of imperial tombs and buildings properly laid out. Here are buried 161 people including five emperors: (Shunzhi, Kangxi, Qianlong, Xianfeng, and Tongzhi), 15 empresses, 136 imperial concubines, three princes, and two princesses of the Qing dynasty.

Among the massive and delicate ancient buildings in the Eastern Qing Tombs, there are over 580 single buildings including the extant widest  stone archway, the best preserved 0ver-6000-meter spirit way and the elaborate underground palaces in China.

The Eastern Qing Mausoleum Complex was built after the imperial architectural rules and systems of Ming Dynasty ( 1368 – 1644 ). When you enter the imperial complex, you will first see the stone archway, the largest extant one in China, devoted to the first emperor of Shunzi who ruled over China in Qing Dynasty.

If you are planning your Hebei tour, a day trip to the Eastern Qing Tombs is highly recommended.

The largest extant stone archway in China, 31.35 meters wide and 12.48 meters  high.

The largest extant stone archway in China

The largest extant stone archway in China

 

Just north of the stone archway is the red gate, the grand palace gate where the imperial spirit way of Xiaoling Tomb starts.

The grand palace gate

The grand palace gate

 

The over-6000-meter Spirit Way of Xiaoling Tomb ( for Emperor Shunzi ) is the longest spirit ways in the Eastern Qing Tombs and China as well.

The spirit way meanders from south to north lined with 18 pairs of vivid stone statues of officials, officers and animals.

The over-6000-meter Spirit Way of Xiaoling Tomb

The over-6000-meter Spirit Way of Xiaoling Tomb

 

Walking further north, you will see the Divine Merit Stelae Pavilion with gable and hip roof with multiple eaves. The stelae record the performance of Emperor Shunxi.

The Divine Merit Stelae Pavilion

The Divine Merit Stelae Pavilion

 

The Dragon and Phenix Gate, the Qing pattern archway, comprises 6 stone pillars and 4 sections of glazed walls with three gates, a kind of firy archway.

The Dragon and Phenix Gate

The Dragon and Phenix Gate

 

To the east of Shunzhi’s mausoleum are Jingling (Kangxi Emperor) and Huiling (Tongzhi Emperor).

The  Jingling Tomb (Kangxi Emperor)

The Jingling Tomb Exterior

The Jingling Tomb Exterior

 

Huiling (Tongzhi Emperor)

Huiling (Tongzhi Emperor).

Huiling (Tongzhi Emperor).

 

To the west of Xiaoling Tomb ( Shunzi ) lie Yuling (Qianlong Emperor), Ding Dongling (Dowager Empress Cixi and Empress Ci’an), and Dingling (Xianfeng Emperor).

Yuling Tomb Exterior (Qianlong Emperor)

Yuling Tomb Exterior (Qianlong Emperor)

Yuling Tomb Exterior (Qianlong Emperor)

 

Ding Dongling Tomb Exterior (Dowager Empress Cixi and Empress Ci’an)

Ding Dongling Tomb Exterior

Ding Dongling Tomb Exterior

 

Dingling Tomb Exterior (Xianfeng Emperor)

Dingling Tomb Exterior

Dingling Tomb Exterior

 

How to get there from Beijing
Entrance fee: 152 yuan ( including electric buggy service ).
Opening Hours: 08:30 -17:00)
Add: below Changrui Mountain in Zunhua City
Self-Drive Route(about 2 hours): Jingping Expressway (京平高速) -Jinyu Expressway (津蓟高速)- S302 Xibang Road (喜邦路).
Escorted Private Day Tour: Beijing Eastern Qing Tombs Day Tour

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

Add On
Visit the Eastern Qing Tombs in spring