Hiking Taishan

One of the most sacred mountains in China, Taishan has more recently become a tourist hotspot - attracting visitors from all over China and abroad. I made the last minute decision to move on from the rather expensive city of Chengde and took an overnight train to Taishan, which even has its own train station. … Continue reading Hiking Taishan


Dabei Temple

I stumbled across this small local temple in Shanhaiguan while trying to find my way back to the hotel, and it was a truely lovely discovery. Like many Chinese temples, guests enter from the south, through the “mountain gate”.  This leads you through a small courtyard to the “Hall of the Heavenly Kings”, after which … Continue reading Dabei Temple

Bell and Drum Tower

located in the centre of Shanhaiguan ancient city, the Bell and Drum Tower acts as a focal point for the surrounding old streets and markets. At the top stands the Wenchang Hall, enshrining the Emperor Wenchang, who is particularly in charge of examinations and fates. He is believed to have come down to earth three … Continue reading Bell and Drum Tower

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

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