04.23.13

Chengde Excursion

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:30 am by Benjamin Ross

One of the requirements (perks) of my TA job in Beijing is accompanying students on weekend excursions around Beijing.  Most of these excursions are within an hour drive and take up only the better part of a single day.  But for our big over-night excursion, we got to go to Chengde, the imperial retreat (think Forbidden City meets Camp David) of the Qing Dynasty Emperors.  Chengde is located in Hebei Province, a 3 hour drive from Beijing, and is one of the more interesting “vicinity of Beijing” trips I’ve done.

Chengde is home to a multitude of sites, including 8 imperial temples, a mini imperial city, and even a miniature Tibetan Potala Palace!  However, many of the sites were undergoing significant renovations.
These pics are from the Puning Temple.
In addition to the typical Han Chinese features, the Puning Temple  incorporates Tibetan architectural and accents, such as these prayer wheels.
and many of the temples incorporate both elements of Han Chinese architecture.
…as well as Tibetan architecture.
The imperial gardens, which have now been converted into a public park.  Locals can gain access for a yearly fee of 50 RMB.
During the Qing Dynasty, only the emperor and his nobles would have been allowed access to the gardens.
Tower in the Imperial Gardens
Modern Chengde’s skyline, of sorts
These pics are from the miniature Potala Palace, a copy of the one from Potala in Lhasa, at 13 the scale.
And one final temple, which contains of a dome shaped after the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.
Here’s another skyline shot of Chengde.  That’s the mini Potala Palace in the background.
And finally, a class picture!  Good times in Chengde.

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