Below are some photos published by showchina.org from a contributing photographer named Dadizhiguang(大地之光). These pictures, updated on October 31, depict the landscapes of Saihanba (塞罕坝) National Forest Park in Chengde, north China's Hebei Province.
Saihanba, 400 km from Beijing, means 'beautiful highland' in Mongolian. This was the hunting field of the Qing Emperors and has stunning scenery in autumn.
How to get there
-- By bus: Go to Xizhimen Bus Station (2 Beixiaguan, Xizhimen, Haidian District, 6217-3556) and take one heading for the County Seat of Weichang County. Buses for Weichang leave in the morning and depending on road conditions. It takes between six and eight hours to get there.
-- By train: Take Train 2189 from Beijing Train Station and take off at Siheyong, about a seven-hour ride; hard-sleeper ticket: about 70 yuan (US$8.80.) From Siheyong you need to take a bus to Weichang (about a 20-minute drive).
Once in Weichang, you will need to take either a public bus or a taxi to Sanhanba National Forest Park, which is roughly a one-hour drive.
Saihanba National Forest Park, on the average, is 1,500 meters above sea level. Make sure you bring sunblock, even in autumn!
Daily temperature variations can be quite drastic; make sure to bring enough warm clothing.
For those who go to the park by train and bus, it is better to hire a jeep in Weichang County to travel to forested zones. For those driving to the park for first time, it is better to hire a guide to avoid taking a roundabout way.
There will be sudden rainstorms sometimes in the summer.
Ticket: 70 yuan (US$8.78) per person.
Lodging: For lodging, visiting the park on weekdays would be best. There are inns and hotels that charge 100 yuan (US$12.54) or more per night for a bed. There are also family inns where visitors can experience the warmth and hospitality of the people on the grasslands.
Tourist guide: Here you can ride a horse, shoot an arrow, view rare birds, go boating, fishing, drifting, car-racing, hunting, skating, skiing, and make explorations. Besides, it is also the outdoor scene for the TV episodes Huanzhugege (Story of Princess Huanzhu). You may go and have a look.
Saihanba Forest Tour Company: 86-314-7802485
Yudaokou Pastureland Tour Company: 86-314-7996694
Weichang County Tourist Bureau: 86-314-7512394
(China.org.cn December 4, 2007)