Chengde city walls

Luanping County, Hebei Province

Chinese: 滦平县
Pinyin: Luánpíng Xiàn

Luanping is a county in Hebei Province situated to the north of Beijing Municipality. It has a population of about 350,000 people and an area of about 3195 square kilometers (1234 square miles).


Chinese: 承德
English: Chéngdé
Pinyin: Chengde
Coordinates: 40°58'49"N 117°56'31"E

Situated to the northeast of Beijing Municipality, Chengde is a prefecture-level city in Hebei province. Chengde has a population of about 4 million and an area of 39,519 square kilometers (15,258 square miles). The urban area has a population of approximately 500,000.

Chengde is the location of the Chengde Mountain Resort, a vast complex of imperial palaces and gardens which was a summer residence for Qing Dynasty emperors. With its impressive collection of Chinese architecture, styles, landscaping, and other symbols, the Chengde Mountain Resort is a celebration of much of what is great about China. The UNESCO-listed resort occupies nearly half of the Chengde urban area.

Chinese: 避暑山庄
Pinyin: Bì shǔ Shānz huāng
English: Mountain Villa for Avoiding the Heat
Coordinates: 40°59′15″N 117°56′15″E

The resort was built during the Qing Dynasty in the 18th century, and took 89 years to complete. It almost half of Chengde's urban area and has a perimeter wall of over 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). The wall crosses the northern border of the resort. The wall has been rebuilt and is made from stone with brick parapets.

Chengde perimeter wall
Photo by Kim Siefert

There are 72 distinctive scenic spots at the Chengde Mountain Resort. They were created under the direction of the Qing Dynasty emperors. All of them are exquisitely designed and implemented. Many are exact copies of famous locations from other parts of China.

Other interesting attractions at the resort include the Wenjin Chamber imperial library, the Putuo Zongcheng Temple, and the Punning Temple.

Location summary: Chengde is about 176 kilometers (109 miles) northeast of downtown Beijing. It is about 72 kilometers (45 miles) northeast of Gubeikou.

Driving directions: From the north fifth ring road of Beijing, drive north on G45 Daguang Expressway for 202 kilometers (125.5 miles). Next, drive north on 101 for about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) to Chengde.