Weekend Trip to Chengde (My Uncle’s Hometown!)
Last weekend, I went on a family weekend trip with my aunt, uncle, Liu Min, and Xiao Xiao (many other extended family members were there too) to my uncle’s hometown, Chengde, in Hebei province. Not to be confused with Chengdu, the Sichuan city famous for spicy food. Chengde is a 3-hour drive from Beijing.
In early morning, we hiked up a small mountain and the view was beautiful. How do I describe the city? The mountains and the city basically are interwoven. There are mountains everywhere!
With my aunt (my mom’s sister) on the mountain! She’s my favourite aunt of all time, shhhh!
My aunt is so hip! (Her friend and sister in-law are in the back thinking the same thing.) Also, on the mountain, there was an old, lone Chinese man who strolled past us, singing an old Chinese song, acapella. Enjoying the view with this background music was quite the experience.
The second day in Chengde we went to the Outlying Temples. Do you see it in the distance? It’s the famous 棒槌山 Bangchuishan “Sledgehammer Peak” in Chengde!
Remember how my cousin got married in Beijing? There was another marriage celebration feast in Chengde, with my uncle’s family. Xiao Xiao’s family also took a train up to Chengde from Jiangxi. This is my uncle’s side of the family with Xiao Xiao’s parents.
How could we go to Chengde and not visit the famous Mountain Resort? We had a tour guide who showed us around the place (it’s 2 times as big as the Beijing Summer Palace!). She also couldn’t help but giggle when I didn’t understand some basic Chinese vocabulary, haha.
I went to the Mountain Resort with my cousin’s two friends (since my cousin was tied up at the marriage feast for the whole afternoon). They’re such kind people!
You have to come here in person… seriously…
In the evening, we went to a rural restaurant in Chengde to have BBQ lamb! My uncle’s younger brother is pouring Chinese baijiu (40% ish liquor) into a teapot for easier pouring, hahaha! My uncle is the one in purple, looking excited to start drinking.
The lamb was roasted for at least 3 hours. When it was done roasting, everyone started to pick at it and eat it, yummm!!! Chengde was the 8th city I visited in China this exchange semester. It was different from all my other trips because I got to meet a whole bunch of new family members, namely my uncle’s side of the family (yes, the uncle who is married to my favourite aunt, haha). I met his parents, who are the sweetest people in the world, and his two brothers, who are hilarious to be around. I also felt that I got closer to my uncle because I understand a little bit more about his family and history. I don’t have a picture of this, but I played Texas Poker with my cousin and his friends again, haha. It was my second time and I still think it’s so 有意思. I really loved everything about this trip. If I could summarize the trip in one word, it would be “family”.