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Explore Hebei

Explore Hebei It is a province divided into two different geographical zones, with two large cities, Beijing and Tianjin, but administratively outer of its controls. In the south, the scenery is marked by heavy industry and mining towns. A lot of travelers pass through Hebei, on their way to or from the capital.

This region marked China's historical northern frontier, and was the setting for many battles with invading armies; especially Mongols and Manchus.

The visible sight of its history remains in the form of the Great Wall, winding across lonely ridges. The first wall was built in the fourth century AD, along the Hebei-Shanxi border, an attempt by the small state of Zhongshan to fortify its boundaries against its hostile neighbors. Two centuries later, the Wall covered the northern limits of the province. In fourteenth century, during Ming-dynasty, begun the construction of the immense wall as a deterrent against the Mongols, which is still visible today.

Visitors can see the Wall at Shanhaiguan, the point where it meets the sea. Near to the Wall, in the south, is the odd seaside resort of Beidaihe. This place of beautiful beaches has a showy atmosphere and a remarkable history as the holiday home of the Party elite.
Chengde is an attractive town in the north. Here travelers can find an imperial base set among the wild ground of the Hachin Mongols, and conceived on a grand scale by the eighteenth-century emperor Kangxi, with great temples and monuments. These three towns are popular destinations for domestic tourists; particularly Beijingers, who take a weekend away from the capital's activity and stress.

Tianjin is no more the region's capital. It is a separate municipality because of its great industrial development, but Tianjin conserves its distinctly Western stamp since times when it was a consession town. Visitors can see its unique streetscapes, a striking medley of nineteenth-century European architecture and Chinese modernism. Hebei's new capital, Shijiazhuang, in the south, is a major rail junction with few historical sites dispersed in the countryside around.

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