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Hebei Travel Guide - How to Plan a Trip to Hebei

Hebei Travel Guide - How to Plan a Trip to Hebei

Written by Kelly PangUpdated Sep. 30, 2021

Hebei Province (河北省, Héběi Shěng) is a coastal province in East China that is almost entirely inland. It is in the Yellow River basin along the coast, and the Bohai sea is to the east.

Hebei has been important in Chinese history as a strategic trade and travel region since the Yellow River's mouth is near it, and roads and the Grand Canal to the Beijing area pass through. Beijing is embedded in the province's boundaries, but Beijing is administered as an independent region.

Tourists can travel out of the Beijing area to explore popular sections of the Great Wall such as Shanhaiguan and Hebei's other natural and historic places. People traveling by land to and from Beijing will almost certainly pass through it.

The Geography of Hebei

Hebei is a coastal province in East China. It is west of the Korean Peninsula and Japan. The province borders Shandong Province and Henan Province to the south, Shanxi Province to the west, Inner Mongolia to the north, and Liaoning Province to the northeast.

Hebei is an economically significant region due to the industrial resources that contribute to the Yellow River Economic Belt and the Bohai Ring Economic Area.

Major Cities

Shijiazhuang is the capital of Hebei and the biggest city. It is an industrial city. It has a population of about 11 million. It is about 270 kilometers (167 miles) from Beijing.

Handan is a city in southern Hebei with a population of almost 11 million. It is notable for ruins and ancient sites.

Two other big cities in the area, Tangshan and Baoding, have populations of about 9 million each. The Yesanpo National Park in Baoding gives visitors natural enjoyment with its mountains, rivers, springs, natural caves and forests.

Hebei's Weather

Hebei has cold dry winters and hot humid summers. Temperatures along the coast are moderated by the sea. Temperatures range from −16 to −3 °C (3 to 27 °F) in January to 20 to 27 °C (68 to 81 °F) in July. Much of the yearly precipitation falls as rain in the summer. For a more detailed summary of the region's weather, see Beijing Weather.

Hebei History and Culture

Shanhai PassShanhai Pass Great Wall

Hebei was part of the homeland of the original Han people who built the Shang Empire (1600–1046 BC) because it was in this area that their history says the originators of the Xia Dynasty (2070–1600 BC) won wars and started their first capital city.

There are 930 significant cultural sites protected by the Chinese government. Hebei has more such important sites than any other province. It has three World Cultural Heritage Sites: the Great Wall, Chengde Mountain Resort, and the Qing Tombs.

The famous Peking Man archeological site is at Zhoukoudian. To learn about ancient Hebei history, myth and legends, you might want to visit the Yellow Emperor Scenic Area.

Hebei Province got its short name Ji (冀) because a part of Hebei was the territory of an ancient state called Ji.

Hebei Cuisine

Seafood cuisineHebei cuisine's seafood is a highlight.

The food in Hebei features seafood because the area around Qinghuangdao and Tianjin has a lot of seafood restaurants. The province doesn't boast a notable cuisine style of its own, but due to its location, the cuisine along the coast is strongly influenced by the strong Shandong cuisine tradition that is considered one of China's 8 Great Cuisines.

Shangdong cuisine is noted for being fresh and salty.

The inland regions around Beijing and the northwest side of the province highlight North China Cuisine that is simpler with less vegetables and with wheat and beans as staple foods.

Hebei Transport

Jinan West Railway StationBullet trains now link Shijiazhuang and Jinan West Railway Station in a little more than 2 hours.

Bullet train lines now link many of Hebei's tourist areas with the big cities in the region. Beijing and Jinan in Shandong are both within two or three hours.

Bullet trains travel between Beijing West Station (Beijing West Station 北京西站 Běijīng Xī Zhàn) and Shijiazhuang in an hour or so.

D and G trains link the capital city of Shijiazhuang and Jinan West Railway Station (Jinan Xi Zhan 济南西站) in about 2 hours or 2 hours and 20 minutes.    

Hebei's Tourist Attractions

SaihanbaSaihanba National Forest Park

Chengde is a town with good sightseeing. The Qing Dynasty built the Chengde Summer Palace, the largest surviving royal garden in China, there with a beautiful landscape. The palace area has the emperors’ residential buildings, royal gardens and large temples. There are forest parklands for excursions and hiking where the once the Qing Court roamed.

Qinhuangdao is a coastal resort city with the Nandaihe Scenic Area, the Beidaihe Scenic Area, and beaches. It is noted for good seafood restaurants, and it is a popular place for Beijingers and Tianjingers to go in the summer.

Laolongtou and the Shanhai Pass Great Wall are two Great Wall sections to see in Qinhuangdao.

Enjoying 144-Hour Visa Free Travel in Hebei, Tianjin and Beijing

Travel by cruiseYou might be able to enjoy the Hebei area visa free during a cruise ship stop at Tianjin.

Now this large region of Hebei Province and Beijing and Tianjin my be visited without a visa if you are eligible for 144-Hour Visa-Free Travel.

If you land by plane in Beijing, take a bullet train or an overnight train from Hong Kong, or land by cruise ship in Tianjin, you may be eligible.

The ports included in this policy include the airports in Tianjin, Beijing, and Shijiazhung, Qinhuangdao Port, Tianjin International Cruise Port, and the Beijing West Railway Station for direct trains from Hong Kong only.

Learn more about visiting the region: How to Plan Your Beijing Visa-Free Tour

Our Most Popular Hebei Tours

BeidaiheBeidaihe Scenic Area beach

We are one of China's biggest bespoke tour companies, and we care about our customers' needs and wishes. Our tours consistently rate highly for customer satisfaction.

We provide high-quality air-conditioned private transport to take the hassle out of getting to the Great Wall sections in Hebei, the Qinhuangdao coast, or other Hebei attractions.

All are tours are modifiable. If you want something very personalized, we have just the service for you. We design the tours from customer ideas.

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