Where the Great Wall meets the sea

Top of every traveller to China's bucket list is the Great Wall, and it evokes such strong emotions as you learn about the history, battles (actually not so many of those as it turns out...) and decline of this amazing feat of human engineering. There are various popular sites to visit the wall, from Badaling … Continue reading Where the Great Wall meets the sea

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Shanhaiguan City Wall – Yingen Tower

Early in my first morning at Shanhaiguan, I wandered to the western portion of the city wall to explore the Yingen Tower. Sadly I was actually too early to climb up the tower (although see below for a sneaky photo through the railings...) but instead enjoyed a lovely walk along the outside of the city … Continue reading Shanhaiguan City Wall – Yingen Tower

Lianhuahu Park (Lotus flower lake Park)

This peaceful park located to the south of Shanhaiguan makes a lovely afternoon walk. It is centred around a large lake, with picturesque bridges across it. When I visited, several families were enjoying themselves peddling small boats around the lake - it's clearly a popular spot for locals to relax with friends. The rest of … Continue reading Lianhuahu Park (Lotus flower lake Park)

Pule Temple

This lovely temple sits at the base of the Sledgehammer Peak Scenic Area, and is a lovely quiet spot off the main tourist track in Chengde. Built in 1766, the temple consists of two parts - the first a Han style courtyard and hall, while the rear of the temple was modelled after the Hall … Continue reading Pule Temple

Xumi Fushouzhi Temple (Temple of Sumeru Happiness and Longevity

Built in 1780 for the Panchen Lama (from Tibet), this temple combines Han, Tibetan and Mongolian features. It was intended as an imitation of the Tashihunpo Temple in Tibet, from where the Panchen Lama was coming from to visit Chengde for the Qianlong Emperor's 45th birthday. After walking through the entrance gate and past a … Continue reading Xumi Fushouzhi Temple (Temple of Sumeru Happiness and Longevity

Potalaka (Putuozongcheng) Temple

Built in 1771 AD, the Potalaka Temple is the largest of the eight outer temples of Chengde. It was intended as an imitation of the Potala Palace in Tibet, aiming to impress visiting Tibetans in order to encourage greater unification of the further regions China and appease minority groups. I really enjoyed the style of … Continue reading Potalaka (Putuozongcheng) Temple

Pingyao Ancient Town

Around a days travel by train from Beijing (via Taiyuan, which I visited previously), Pingyao is a fantastically well preserved ancient walled town and well worth a visit. While the town is full of small sights and temples, actually the main attraction is just exploring and getting lost among its narrow streets. With that in … Continue reading Pingyao Ancient Town