This update from our trip north is a little late, but that’s because the highly-portable computer that we bring, an iPod Touch, is also ultra-droppable. Now, after a trip to the Apple Store in Shanghai (a story deserving its own post), we’re back in blog business. I know our one reader will be thrilled.
Anyway, about Chengde. Once again, our original draft was probably destined to become the introduction to one of China’s more interesting sights, but now the world (okay, our moms) is stuck with our less-inspired paraphrasing of the original masterpiece.
So here goes: Chengde may be the best side trip there is from Beijing, and one of the most interesting places in China regarding the history of the Qing. A morning train ride from Beijing’s main station (itself an interesting sight, and probably the nicest train station in China) took us up, off of the North China plain and through winding mountain passes back toward the Manchu homeland. Along the way, we passed through the Great Wall and the old frontier between the agrarian Chinese and steppe nomadic worlds.