This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Chengde. To help you make friends with Chengde before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Chengde is a prefecture-level city in the northeastern Hebei province of China. It was the summer residence of the Qing emperors during the Qing dynasty in the 18th century; it was known as Rehe during this time and in some places may still be referred to as such. The Mountain Resort is the most popular attraction in the region. To get to Chengde, you can fly to Beijing and then a smaller flight into the airport here. You can also get here by bus or train from nearby cities, or even from Mongolia.
Chengde’s Mountain Resort is more like a city on its own. The impressive walled complex features hundreds of different palaces, lakes, and pagodas, and outside the wall there are tons of significant temples, villages, and more. The collection of twelve temples just northeast of the resort is known (weirdly) as the Eight Outer Temples. They were built between 1713 and 1790, one right after the other. The most well-known temple is the Putuo Zongcheng Temple, which resembles the Potala Palace in Lhasa. The entire complex of the Mountain Resort and the Eight Outer Temples - over five million square metres worth - is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There aren’t very many hostels in Chengde, so if you need budget accommodation you are better off looking for a guesthouse or inexpensive hotel. If you do find a hostel, don’t expect it to be a traditional European-style backpacker hostel; it won’t be as clean or spacious as you might be used to. Staff at hostels and hotels in China are typically very friendly and most are able to arrange tours for you.
The rest of Chengde is fairly nondescript. If you are here in June, you can watch the Dragon Boat Festival, but other than that there isn’t much else going on. Stay for a day or two to explore the Mountain Resort but then head out.
Written by local enthusiast for Chengde hostelsJakob Lombardi