Archive for the ‘Hebei Travel’ Category

How to Visit Eastern Qing Tombs from Beijing

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
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Enlisted as World Cultural Heritage Site, the Eastern Tombs of the Qing Dynasty are located 135 kilometers east of downtown Beijing. It is the largest existing imperial mausoleum complex in China, with the most complete system and the most appropriate layout.

135 km drive eastward from downtown Beijing to Eastern Qing Tombs

The whole burial site is surrounded by the mountains on its four sides – Changrui Mountain, Jinxing Mountain, Huanghua Mountain, and Yingfei Daoyang Mountain, extending 80 square kilometers with good fengshui.

The whole burial site is surrounded by the mountains on its four sides ( Internet )

The basic layout of the Eastern Qing Tombs is composed of three areas: spirit way, palaces, and offering kitchens. The Spirit Way is 6,000 meters long, much longer than the Spirit Way in the Ming Tombs in the suburban Beijing. Altogether, the construction of the whole mausoleum took 247 years ( 1661 – 1908).

The over-6000-meter Spirit Way ( Internet )

Totally, five emperors in Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) – Shunzhi, Kangxi, Qianlong, Xianfeng, and Tongzhi, were buried here accompanied by 15 empresses, 136 imperial concubines, three princes, and two princesses of the Qing dynasty who were also buried here.

The tomb of Ding Dongling was where Dowager Empress Cixi was buried.

Ding Dongling Tomb Exterior ( Internet )

Yuling is the tomb of the Qianlong Emperor, the fourth emperor of the Qing dynasty(1644-1911), is considered the the most splendid one of all the royal tombs in Chinese history. It has a ornate and delicate chamber which is composed of nine vaults divided by four solid marble doors lying at a depth of 54 meters. All the walls, ceilings and gates are carved and painted with Buddhist figures and over 30,000 words of Tibetan scripture and Sanskrit.

Yuling Tomb Exterior (Qianlong Emperor) ( Internet )

Ticket Information

Peak Season ( April – Oct )

Combo ticket: 108 yuan/person
Covering: Main Goddess Road of Xiaoling Mausoleum, Yuling Mausoleum (Qianlong), Dingdong Mausoleum (Cixi), Yuconcubine Garden (Xiang concubine), Xiaoling Mausoleum (Shunzhi), Jingling Mausoleum (Kangxi), Erlang Temple.

Low Season ( Nov – Next March )

Combo ticket: 80 yuan/person
Covering: Main Goddess Road of Xiaoling Mausoleum, Yuling Mausoleum (Qianlong), Dingdong Mausoleum (Cixi), Yuconcubine Garden (Xiang concubine), Xiaoling Mausoleum (Shunzhi), Jingling Mausoleum (Kangxi), Erlang Temple.

Electric Sightseeing Car : 30 RMB ( from the entrance to the sights inside the compound )

How to Get to Eastern Qing Tombs from Beijing

No direct public buses going from Beijing to the imperial mausoleum complex. Some travellers use the long-distance buses starting from Sihui Long-Distance Bus Station in Beijing, which is opposite to the Exit A of Sihui Station of Subway Line 1, but it is a bit daunting and time consuming, giving that you have to get off at the toll gate, then take a taxi there. So self-drive or hiring a car is highly recommended.

Self-drive or private vehicle ( 130 km driving to the east )
Starting from Dongzhimen, take Airport Expressway — Jingping Expressway (over Pinggu) — Jinjji Expressway (over Jixian) — S302 Xibang Road, and arrive at the ticket office, totally about 130 kilometers. It is about 93 kilometers from Dongzhimen to the exit of the expressway, and 37 kilometers to the ticket office after exiting from the expressway.

Note: On public holidays there are shuttle buses in front of the Xuanwumen Church in Beijing going to the Eastern Qing Tombs.

Hassle-free Beijing 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 Beijing guided tours:

Beijing Eastern Qing Tombs Day Tour
Huangyaguan Great Wall and Eastern Qing Tombs Day Tour

Car Rental in Beijing
Beijing Day Tour
Beijing Tour Packages
Great Wall Tour
China City Tours
China Tour

Further Readings

Best Time to Visit Beijing
How to plan a trip to Beijing

Exterior Scene of the Eastern Qing Tombs

Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
Top 10 Tourist Scams Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

Best Travel Options Between Beijing and Chengde

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby featherWhile 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

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 afffordable 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

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

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

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.

Top 10 Attractions in Zhangjiakou

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby featherPlan your Hebei Tour? Located in the northwest of Hebei Province, the low profile and often neglected Zhangjiakou (张家口) is now in the limelight, which is mainly caused by two factors 1) Beijing Zhangjiakou Highspeed trains have been put into operation; 2) Beijing and Zhangjiakou together  hold the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. It is worth a few day’s visit to the booming city.

220km north of Beijijng, Zhangjiakou was historically a vital north gate of Beijing with strategical importance. Zhangjiakou literally means “Family Zhang’s mouth” which refers to the ancient fortress by the Great Wall built by the commander named Zhangwen. His successor, Zhangzhen,also with the same surname of “Zhang” , opened a small mouth ( door ) in the northern wall of the fortress, hence the name of Zhangjiakou for the fortress.

Developed from a small garrison town, Zhangjiakou is now a booming city which administrates 4 districts and 13 counties. With Yinshan Mountain passing through, Zhangjiakou is geologically divided into two parts – the north high Inner Mongolian Plateau also known as “Bashang” and the south low and medium basin known as Baxia.

The word “Bashang” is often equivalent of grasslands. The north of Zhangjiakou boasts the cool and breezy grassland, which attracts numerous holidaymakers in summer. Baxia, or the basin in the southern area of Zhangjiakou gives birth to some of the China’s best skiing and snowboarding. Each winter skiing lovers flock here to stretch their bodies.

In addition to its natural resources, Zhangjiakou is rife with historical sites with the epitome of the Great Wall of China. Plan your Zhangjiakou tour? Zhangjiakou is easily accessed by plentiful rails and highways linking Beijing, Datong, Hohhot and other major cities in China.

We’ve rounded up the Top 10 Attractions in Zhangjiakou. Hopefully the Top 1o list will be helpful planning your own Zhangjiakou trip.

1. Zhangjiakou Great Wall
Zhangjiakou has a nickname of “Great Wall Museum”. Some experts say the most of the Great Wall we see in Zhangjiakou is the Ming-era Great Wall connecting the Wall on the east with Beijing and Datong on the west with a length of 1023km. Along the Wall there used to be fortresses, passes and horse markets. Dajing Gate is one of the four most important passes along the Great Wall of China, just north of Zhangjkiakou.

Dajing Gate at the Wall

Dajing Gate at the Wall

2. Zhangjiakou Ancient Fortress
Zhangjiakou Ancient Fortress, a former fortress in Ming Dynasty gave birth to today’ Zhangjiakou. The Fortress was built under the supervision of Commander Zhangwen in 1429.

The fort had a perimeter of over 2km, 11 metes high with two gates on the east and west. In 1460 an interior castle was built inside fort. It became a fortified garrison town where a large military forces stationed. Today the fortress is still perched in the city center of Zhangjakou, a showcase of Zhangjakou’s development.

Former Zhangjiakou Fortress

Former Zhangjiakou Fortress

3. Bashang Grassland
North of Zhangbei County in Zhangjiakou, Bashang is the nearest prairie destination to Beijing, located about 240 kilometres from northern Beijing. The special climate and geographical position at the junction of the Inner Mongolia Grasslands and the North China Plain give Bashang its unique natural landscapes and make it a popular destination for tourists visiting Zhangjiakou.

Bashang is one of the most ideal sites to escape the hustle and bustle in city life. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the stretch of grasslands as well as riding horses freely on the grassland. In addition to that, activities like camel riding, shooting, archery and campfire parties are also available here.

Bashang Grassland

Bashang Grassland

4. Zhangjiakou Ski Resorts
The southern Zhangjiakou, or in the Chongli County, there are four famous ski resorts with international standard including Wanlong, Yunding, Duolemei and Changchengling.

Another ski resort under construction is known as Taiwu Four Season Ski Resort. Each year skiing lovers flock here from home and abroad. Up to 2020, the whole county plans to build totally 228 skiing trails of about 500 km long and 84 cableways.

Wanlong Ski Resort

Wanlong Ski Resort

5. Xuanhua Ancient City
Xuanhua is now a district of Zhangjiakou, but in the past Xuanhua was a fortified city defending Beijing to the west, popularly known as “The First City West of Beijing”.

Originally built in 888, it was repaired and reconstructed for many times in the successive dynasties. It is now well known for its Qinyuan Mansion, Zhenshuo Mansion and Ancient City Wall. You may have a birds’ view of the ancient city while climbing up Zensuo Mansion.

Xuanhua Ancient City

Xuanhua Ancient City

6. Jiminyi Ancient Post Station
Jimingyi is located in Huailai County of Zhangjiakou. Jimingyi ancient post station is the only remaining ancient post station in China which dates back to the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368). It was a major transit post station on the route from Beijing to Datong, Shanxi Province, until 1913.

The ancient post station still retains its original layout. It is a square-shaped town with a 2 km long wall and two gates, one in the east and the other in the west. In recent years, the State has invested tens of thousands of yuan in restoration of the post station. The local government has set up the Jimingyi Relic Site Administration Committee to strengthen its protection of it.

Jimingyi Ancient Post Station

Jimingyi Ancient Post Station

7. Tianmo Desert
Tianmo Desert lies in Huailai County of Zhangjiakou, the nearest desert about 90km to the northwest of Beijing. Tianmo Desert is mainly composed of two magnificent snad hills – East Sand Dragon Hill and West Sand Dragon Hill, both average height of over 30 meters.

Hills, gobi, deserrt and lakes constitute a particular landscape. Standing on the desert, you will have a clear picture of the limpid Guanting Reservoir and the green Jundu Mountain. Entrance fee: RMB 30.

8. Chicheng Hot Spring
Located 140km northeast of Zhangjiakou’s city center, Chicheng is historically known as “First Hot Spring Outside the Great Wall”. Chifeng Hot Spring is nestled in the green valleys and hills abut 7.5km west of the county downtown.

The average annual temperature here  is between 12.6℃ and 26.1℃. People can enjoy warm spring without burning coal and have the comfort of the cool without fanning themselves. Among the verdant ridges and peaks with luxuriant trees, there are gurgling streams and dimly visible temples. Having a bathing in a warm spring pool is a good way to rewind yourself.

Chicheng Hot Spring

Chicheng Hot Spring

9. Little Wutaishan
Situated on the border between Zhulu County and Huixian County, The East Terrace of Little Wutaishan is 2882 meters high at the sea level, the highest peak in Hebei Province. Little Wutaishan resembles the famous Wutaishan, which is also composed of  five high terraces ( five peaks).

To differentiate itself from Wutaishan, it is named “Little Wutaishan”. Little Wutaishan features the landscapes of gullies, streams, verdant forests as well as rich historical sites. Little Wutaishan is a perfect place for fmilu outing and leisure activities.

Little Wutaishan

Little Wutaishan

10. Guanting Reservoir
Guanting Reservoir is located on the border between Huailai County of Zhangjiakou and Yanqing County of Beijing. It is the first large scale reservoir ever built since 1949 in China.

Perched between two mountain ranges, Guanting Reservoir is spacious in size with clear water. Its water resources mainly come from Yonging River. The reservoir plays an important role in flood protection, irrigation and electricity production. Now the reservoir has become a hot spot for holidaymakers, a great place for leisure and sightseeing travel.

Guanting Reservoir

Guanting Reservoir

Add on
Top 10 Attractions in Hebei 

Any questions, just drop a line.