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An increasingly common stop on the China tour circuit, some visitors regard Chengde as one of the highlights of their trip. It had been just another village until the 18th century, when Qing Dynasty Emperor Kangxi stumbled upon it during a hunting trip. With the Wulie River gurgling through and the Yanshan Mountains providing an impressive backdrop, Chengde was deemed an ideal spot to establish a summer retreat where the Emperor could escape the heat of the capital and indulge in hunting and fishing.
Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to the magnificent Mountain Resort and the Eight Outer Monasteries. Although children enjoy romping through the imperial gardens, there's little else to entertain younger visitors. It's best to visit in summer or early autumn, as some tourist facilities close in the off-season.
Chengde at a Glance
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