We started the day as early as 6am. I was tired but really enjoyed it. Had breakfast as early as 6.30am. Checked out at 7.30am and headed for the first destination of the day. The journey didn’t take long – only 15 minutes. It was Mountain Resort of Chengde.
The weather was freaking cold. I myself wore 3 thick clothes and a pair of gloves. We proceeded by taking group photo before heading inside. It was so cold – I couldn’t hold my camera properly as I was wearing gloves which in the end, I just took it off.
The Mountain Resort of Chengde, located at Chengde City Hebei Province, is the largest imperial garden in modern China. It covers a total area of 564 square kilometers, and is twice as large as the Summer Palace in Beijing. In the Qing Dynasty, it took 89 years (1703 ~ 1792) to complete. The emperors Kangxi and then Qianlong were in charge of this project.
The Mountain Resort, also a summer resort, is an important location of wonderful scenery and pleasant climate. Grand palaces, delicate temples, peculiar mountains, exquisite pavilions and tranquil waters are full of beautiful things in your eyes. You will have the choices of walking, hiking, climbing, riding and boating inside the garden.
The jaw-dropping scenery amazed us. I ended up taking a lot of pictures. We also rode some man-powered boat cruise to visit inlet islands. As we proceeded to the exit, we saw some wild deers running freely in the garden. We left at 11pm after spending 3 satisfied hours inside.
Tower of Mist and Rain.
Our next attraction was Little Potala Palace – located only 5 minutes drive from Mountain Resort of Chengde.
Built in 1771, the Putuo Zongcheng Temple is a most resplendent and sweeping one. It covers an area of 220,000 square meters, and is similar to the Potala Palace in Lhasa. This temple was built for celebrating the emperor Qianlong’s birthday. Zang-style architectures are displayed thoroughly there. A square architecture named Big Red Platform is the principal part, on which there are three halls. The tops of the halls are covered with the copper gold tiles, thus a very precious monument. This temple was used to hold important religion ceremonies and for the emperors to interview the heads of the Minorities and some ministers in the past.
Little Potala Palace.
We left for lunch at 12.15pm after spending an hour at Little Potala Palace. After lunch, we bade goodbye to Chengde as we headed back to Beijing for another round of shopping. We reached Beijing at 4.45pm and wasted no time to what we called our ‘last shopping moments’. We ended up buying a lot of things. We left for dinner at about 8pm and we chatted a lot of things that we have visited and done for the past eight days. After dinner, we headed to a hot spring resort located near the airport to rest. The resort was nice and jacuzzi was provided in every room. That night, I slept at about 1am after packing up things.
That morning was the hardest I’ve endured. Morning call rang at 4.40am and I barely slept for 3 hours. Feeling upbeat about going home, we freshen ourselves before proceeded to airport. We were lucky as breakfast was provided. We reached airport at 6.20am, bade goodbye to our Chinese guide and proceeded to check-in counter. After all the fun, we bade a sad goodbye to Beijing as the plane finally left for Bangkok.
We touched down again at Bangkok International Airport at 1pm and quickly headed for lunch. The lunch was sumptuous. We departed from Bangkok at 5.40pm heading towards KLIA. It was 7.40pm as the plane finally touched down at KLIA. We reached home at about 1am.
The trip was fun and enjoying. I’ve never seen anything that is so captivating, mesmerizing and breath-taking. Although it came with a hefty price tag, it was worthy. Beijing is a place full of historical sites and breath-taking sceneries. 8 days is definitely not enough if you intend to explore the entire Beijing city.