Day 1 : Beijing-Chengde-Beijing (by car or van) (L)
At about 6am your English-speaking tour guide and driver will meet you at your hotel to make the 4 hr drive to Chengde. With a pleasant climate, time-honored history, beautiful natural sceneries and historical sites, Chengde well deserves its position as one of the most famous tourist cities in China. It is an ideal place for sightseeing and hunting, as well providing welcome relief from the summer heat.
Just as the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses is the key scenic spot in Xian, the Mountain Resort of Chengde, the largest royal garden in China is the hot place of interest in Chengde. To the east and north of the Mountain Resort are the Eight Outer Temples, the largest cluster of royal temple in the world, with the architectural styles including the Han, Mongolian, Uigur and Tibetan, etc. UNESCO listed the Mountain Resort and the Eight Outer Temples as a world cultural heritage site in 1994.
Because of its importance, the Mountain Resort will be our first point of interest. It was built in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and took about 90 years (1703-1792) to construct The Mountain Resort, also called the Rehe Temporary Palace, is situated north of Chengde and 230 kilometers (143 miles) from Beijing. It covers an area of 564 sq meters (218 sq miles) and was originally built for the royal families to spend the hot summer months. When compared with the grand and solemn Forbidden City, the mountain resort is characterized by its simplicity and elegance. It is a grand architectural complex that consists of numerous palaces, the largest royal garden in China and wonderful scenery, combined with a pleasant climate.
Following lunch, we'll continue our tour by going to the Putuo Zong Cheng Temple. To the north-east of the Mountain Resort of Chengde lies the Eight Outer Temples. Eight of the temples were administered by Lifan Yuan, an administration department for the affairs of minorities such as Mongolian and Tibetan, and so the name stuck. The temple is the biggest and the most magnificent building of the Eight Outer Temples. Built in 1767 imitating the style of the Potala Palace, the temple is also named 'little Potala Palace'. For another reason that 'Putuo Zongchengzhi' is Tibetan for 'Potala Palace' in Chinese. The halls and pavilions in it were designed to naturally strew on hillside according to the hypsography. The Big Red Platform is the principle construction of the temple. The platform and the three halls on it are all with the copper gold tiles roof.
Following our visit to the Putuo Zong Cheng Temple we wil take you back to your hotel in Beijing, ending your tour..