Administratively, Baoding is vast with the prefecture's land area encompassing 11 million inhabitants. The metro area has a population of 2 million. There are several outerlying counties far from the center. In the north is Yi County with a multi-site tourist complex centered on the Western Qing Tombs that includes a Yishui Lake and a historic town. In the northwest of Baoding Prefecture is Laiyuan County which includes Baishi Mountain, one of north China's most picturesque mountains.
The city was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th century, but then rebuilt under the Yuan dynasty soon after when it acquired its modern name. Later it became a significant cultural centre through the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
1 Baoding Station
Baoding doesn't have a metro system.
- 1 Western Qing tombs (清西陵). An UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to the tombs in Baoding, there are more of them in the surrounding Yi county. Four Qing Dynasty emperors are buried here, including the Yongzheng Emperor, the third emperor after the Qing conquered China who reigned over an era of prosperity, and the Guangxu Emperor, the second last emperor in Chinese history. The tomb of the Guangxu Emperor, the last imperial tomb to have been built in Chinese history, was the only one of the four to have been looted, and hence is the only one whose burial chamber is open to the public. The grave of Puyi, China's last emperor is located in a nearby commercial cemetery, though it differs little from modern-day graves.
- Yishui Lake. A man made lake not far from the Western Qing Tombs. There is a walking path to the area's mountain top with views of the steep rock cliff.
- Taihang Water Town. A big reconstructed historic town near the Western Qing Tombs. It resembles Gubei Water Town in the Miyun District of Beijing. Activities include drinking a shot and smashing the bowl (from Shanxi) and buying local specialties like cigars (the tobacco leaves are grown locally). Stroll around at leisure and have a cup of coffee by the canal.
- 2 Tangut dharani pillars (西夏文石幢). The Western Xia empire was destroyed by the Mongols in the 14th century, however a community of Tangut people from the Western Xia erected these pillars far away in Baoding in the 16th century. It is one of the few examples of the complex Tangut script found outside of Western China.
- 3 Baiyang Lake (白洋淀). China's largest natural lake offers peaceful water scenes and expansive lotus gardens. Boats are available for small groups, and some islands on the lake have restaurants that cook with local ingredients and hotels for overnight stays.
- 4 Yesanpo National Park (野三坡). Yesanpo is a burgeoning tourist area in Hebei province Laishui County, with an area of 600 km². It is a national key scenic area, scenic natural landscape, trees flowers and trees mainly springs cave. It is 100 km away from Beijing.
Baoding Balls are famous for helping to relax your hands.
Baoding is famous for Donkey Burgers (驴肉火烧), which are made with donkey meat.