Chengde is the site of a Qing Dynasty resort built for emperors who wanted to escape the summer heat of Beijing. Set against a landscape of mountains, forests and lakes the complex features palaces, temples and gardens. They are designed in a wide range of architectural styles representing many of the regions around China. The Chengde Mountain Resort was built over a period spanning most of the 18th century and was also used by the emperors of the time for meeting high officials and foreign dignitaries. The resort is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is easily reached from Beijing by a scenic train journey.
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The world’s largest and most populous continent, Asia is a vibrant and rambunctious fusion of ethnicities, cultures and customs; an incomparably rich and turbulent history showcased by mindboggling feats of architecture and engineering; a geography that encompasses towering peaks, unfathomable gorges and paradisiacal beaches; and a biodiversity that is so abundant that you’ll be reaching for your wildlife guide.