Yunnan Nationalities Village

This large open-air ethnographic museum displays model villages and culture of the 26 ethnic groups that make up the Yunnan population. It is laid out almost like a theme park, celebrating the different ways of life of the people - although to some this could be interpreted as touristifying minority cultures, which historically have been … Continue reading Yunnan Nationalities Village

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Wang Family Courtyard

This traditional house museum contains several exhibitions on local culture and folklore, housed in a Ming/ Qing Dynasty style family home. Of particular interest was the traditional marriage room, decorated in red with ornate detailing, a small exhibition of shadow puppetry, and the larger artefacts dotted around the buildings - including this beautiful countryside cart. … Continue reading Wang Family Courtyard

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

Chengde – the Emperor’s Mountain Resort

Possible as a day or weekend trip from Beijing, Chengde's main attraction is the former mountain resort of the emperors. Built during the Qing dynasty, it is composed of a large imperial palace complex alongside administrative and religious buildings, set in extensive gardens around a beautiful lake. The main palace consists of a line of … Continue reading Chengde – the Emperor’s Mountain Resort

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

Shuanglin Temple

A short bus ride from Pingyao Ancient Town, the Shuanglin Temple was one of the highlights of my visit. Located in Qiaotou town, it actually seems to be in the middle of the countryside, surrounded by beautiful scenery. I loved the ancient architecture, some of which dates back to 571 AD, as well as the … Continue reading Shuanglin Temple