In late March 2007 I visited three of the 'Eight Outer Temples' in the Mountain Resort of Chengde which were done all in one day.
Pule is the smallest and least known of the three we visited. We arrived after lunch on a very warm, sunny spring day. To get there in our CITS coach we drove up a single track road through a small hamlet where we saw China as it would be in history. Small homes with people cooking outside. I don't know if hearing our coach had brought the people out to see it, but we were told that many organised coach parties don't go to this temple.
Driving through the hamlet we saw one or two small 'lap dog' sized dogs wandering about. I didn't recognise them as being any particular breed however.
Pule was built in January 1766 - though this is gleaned from a non-English written web site and I'm sure the whole thing took more than a few weeks to build. Qianlong, one of the Qing Dynasty Emperors was on the throne then. It seems to have some connection with western China tribes.
As with the other two temples and the Summer Palace there are no English signs explaining anything and the guide book I bought in our hotel about Chengde in general looked promising but is lacking coherent English text. Fabulous photos though - as are the postcards.
We also visited the Summer Palace in Chengde, and a group ticket was purchased for all the visits - we visited the Summer Palace the previous afternoon: could be worth checking out this information at your hotel as I certainly haven't seen any information on individual multiple ticketting on English web sites. I have seen one site quoting tickets for the three individual temples and Summer Palace (and for summer and winter prices) plus opening times.
The temple buildings themselves as we walked past them looked a bit sorry for themselves: like many of the places I visited if they hadn't been spruced up already for the Olympics it looked as if they might be in line for it. But that was Xi'an and BeiJing.
What really made the temple for me though was all the bright new flags hanging everywhere. These would be prayer flags though I am not sure if it was the same Buddhist sect as that in Puning and Putuozhongsheng. There were some Tibetan prayer wheels in the same courtyard.
We were not told what we were going to look for in this Temple and its quite a narrow ledge one walks along for a few yards along the side of a building when suddenly into view comes the replica of the 'Altar for Good Harvests, Temple of Heaven': perfect in every detail. We saw it as if it were a mountain top and most of it was hidden from our view by a low roof of another building. However the same Chengde web site tells me the dimensions are exactly the same as that at the Temple of Heaven.
However, there is one difference. At the Temple of Heaven the buildings have more 'animals' placed on the roof edges. It is very noticeable in my photo that there are fewer. This denotes that despite the Emperor's visits to Chengde and his authority in *building* the temple, it is not considered so important.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.