Summer Palace in Beijing in 100% must visit place. Park area is so huge so you will probably spend half of a day.
Fee (in August 2o13) is 60 Yuan and including entrance to the Summer Palace, Garden of Virtue and Harmony, Wenchang Gallery, Suzhou street and Tower of Buddhist Incense. Saddenly we were so tyred after Beijing zoo and this huge area so we didn't visited all of those places.
This is the great place to take a photos of a Beijing view. You can see this on one of my photos. We liked Summer Palace a lot as it is different in each part of the park area. Lakes, hills, palaces...
This place is totally crowded with Chinese people, so yes, please be ready for the super-high attention to you :-) This is because parks/palaces/museums visit Chines not from Beijing, so for them you are somebody unusual. And yes, they will ask to take a photos with you. Crazy sometimes... Because some people don't even ask, they just stand near you and take pictures...
The area covers a huge part and opens up the vista of Kunming Lake, as well as the sights around Back Lake (Houxi River).
East Causeway of the lake is connected to the West Causeway by Long Gallery, which both were interspersed with pavilions, bridges and wharfs.
There are unique and famous attractions amongst this area like the Seventeen-Arch Bridge, Bronze Ox, Nanhu Island, Hall of Embracing the Universe, Spacious Pavilion, Pavilion of Bright Scenery, Marble Boat, Suzhou Market Street, etc.
When we arrived here, it was a breath of fresh air as we got so hot climbing the Great Wall. The breeze from the lake inspired us to ride the Dragon boat too. It was fun and we didn't have to walk back, our van just met up with us on the other side.
This is my second visit and as in the Great Wall, there are more people when we visited with my family but I enjoyed it more this time as we had more time to look and explore the gardens and even rode on the Dragon boat!
Situated in the Haidian District northwest of Beijing City, the Summer Palace is 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from central Beijing. Being the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China, it greatly influences Chinese horticulture and landscape with its famous natural views and cultural interests, which also has long since been recognized as 'The Museum of Royal Gardens'.
It is called a palace but really what you see is the beauty of the gardens and only a pagoda in the distance is seen. There is really no palace here!
Indeed, it is a fantastic place to see but be warned- you will be doing a lot of walking!
The Summer Palace was built in the mid-18th Century by the Qing Emperor, Kangxi, as a gift for his mother when she turned 60. A little over a century later, the Dowager Empress Cixi (the Dragon Lady) was living there. Her young son had become emperor when his father died, but she managed to take over. She spent a lot of the treasury remodeling and expanding the palace instead of using the money to build up China’s navy. A few years later, China lost a war with Japan that they might have won. The son never did get to rule because she outlived him by a few days.
The Palace is on a lake, and the Long Corridor is a covered pathway that follows the lakeshore. It is beautifully decorated inside and out. We walked along it to see the marble boat, and then continued to a dock where we boarded a dragon boat for a ride on the lake.
Summer Palace is the largest historical imperial garden in Beijing. It has 290 hectares of land, the Kunming Lake covers three quarters of the entire garden. The Longevity Hill houses most of its Temples, Pavilions, and corridors. Due to its size and the crowd, I lost my way and tried to cover as many as I could and enjoyed the views at the same time. I managed to visit the following attractions in sequence:
Clouds Gathering Temple
Tower of Buddhist Incent
Baoyun Bronze Pavilion
Pavilion of Five Location
Hall of Dispelling Clouds
Hall of Happiness & Longevity
Hall of Jade Ripple
Garden of Virtual Harmony
It was originally named Garden of Clear Ripples by Emperor Qianlong in 1750 to celebrate his mother's birthday. After that, this was the pleasure garden for emperors and empresses. In 1860, it was brutally burned down by the Anglo-French Allied Forces. Empress Dowager Cixi was using navy fund to rebuilt it in 1886. In 1924, after the succeed of Revolution when the last Emperor PuYi was thrown out of Palace, the garden was opened to the public with admission charges till today.
It was the 4th day of National Holiday, there were too crowded with tourists. I could not take good pictures with the crowd. I miss west side of the garden with ancient bridges like Silk Bridge, Mirror Bridge, Jade Belt Bridge and etc.
Enjoy the views by a pedal boat on Kunming Lake!
Admission: Non-Peak ( Y20- Garden; Y50- Garden and 4 other attractions)
Peak (Y30- Garden; Y60- Garden and 4 other attractions)
Four Attractions required joined ticket:
1) Garden of Virtue And Harmony
2) Wenchang Gallery
3) Suzhou Street
4) Tower of Buddhist Incense
Opening Hours: April 1-Oct 31 (8:30-17:00)
In Chinese: 颐和园 (Yi He Yuan)
My favorite part of the Summer Palace was the pleasant surprise at Suzhou Street which was like stumbling upon a mini Venice in the last place I would ever think to look...Beijing. Located by a picturesque bridge, Suzhou street is a river with shops on either side which makes it a must see during your visit to the Summer Palace.
Over 60 stores extend from North Palace Gate entrance into a street about 300 meters (328.1 yards) in length. Along the Back Lake, the street design imitates the ancient style of shops on the banks of rivers in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, that is, taking the running water of Back Lake as the street and its banks as a market. The area served as an entertainment place where Emperors and concubines could feel as if they were strolling on a commercial street. When the royals went there, eunuchs and maids of honor would playact as peddlers, customers and shop assistants to mimic market activities
The Summer Palace is a example of royal opulence that would even make Marie Antoinette blush...though ever so briefly. Set just on the outskirts of the city the Summer Palace is like the Chinese version of Versaille. Its size, scale, and setting is something you have to see to believe! Visiting the Summer Palace is a day in itself and it will not disappoint, there will be much to do and see. The entrance leads to a bridge overlooking a small river with stone shops on either side, very much a Venice like effect. There are colorful flags lining the river and the shops have many things to see and eat. From there you will head up to the main structure that represents quite a climb to get up to and down from. From the top of the Palace you will see into a beautiful lake with a small island in the middle and many quaint boats dotting the calm waters. The criss crossing stairs down to the lake are steep and a marvel in its build. At the shores of the lake you can take a boat out to the island where the views of the Summer Palace are at its most spectactular. The Summer Palace is not something to try and appreciate in a couple of hours (plus it takes about a hour on the metro to get there) so plan to make a day of it and experience the magic and opulence of the Chinese royalty!
This is where the emperors went to in order to escape the heat of the summer. Twice destroyed in the 19th century by the European Powers, it was rebult by the Empress Dowager Cixi.
The Palace is situated around Kunming Lake, just north of Central Beijing. here, one can see the numerous temples and pavillions as well as the living quarters of the emperor and empress.
Most notable is the extravagant Long Corridor. It is the longest such structure built and it is decorated with numerous paintings taken from chinese stories of the era. There is also a small island reached by bridge and boats.
The whole place is expansive and requires at least several hours. Admission is charged and there is a seperate admission for the boats. During the warmer months, one can rent pedal boats.
This is a long and beautiful corridor linking some of the pavilion and courtyard along Longevity Hill. And it was built along north side of the Kunming lake.
The signboard was written as:
" The Long Corridor was originally built in 1750 and then rebuilt in 1886 after the Anglo-French Allied Forces burned it down in 1860. It starts from Yaoyue (Inviting the Moon) Gate in the east and ends at Shizhang (Stone Old Man) Pavilion in the west-- a distance of 728 meters with 273 sections. Of all the corridors in Chinese classical gardens, this is the longest. On the beams are more than 8,000 colorful paintings " Harmonizing with the Lake", "Autumn Water" and "Clear and Carefree" were built intermittently along the corridor. Taking the Hall of linking all the structures scattered along Longevity Hill into a whole.
In Chinese: 长廊 (Chang Lang)
Tower of Buddhist Incense is the main temple or tower in Summer Palace at the highest point (41 meter-high) of Longevity Hill. I walked up the hill to reach this Tower. The tower is built on a 21 meter- high stone foundation. This is the place where you can see the landscape of Summer Place specially the Kunming Lake. A long corridor is surrounded the Tower where you can rest and enjoy views. The tower itself looked newly renovated with a multi-hand Buddha Statue displayed at the center of the Temple. After visiting the temple, I walked down using the stairway south side stone base. It was a great experience walking down as the views of the lake and buildings surrounding it were amazing.
The signboard was written as:
"Originally built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong and burned down by Anglo-French Allied Force in 1860, it was rebuilt in its original style during Emperor Guangxu's reign (1875-1908). The octagonal tower has three storeys with four-layered eaves, altogether 36.44 meters high. Standing on a 20-meter high stone foundation, it constitutes the center of the Summer Palace landscape and serves to accentuate its magnificence. A statue of the thousand-handed Guanyin Buddha, cast in bronze and gilded with gold, stands inside the tower. The statue, five meter high and five tons in weight, was cast during the reign of Emperor Wanli and Ming Dynasty. Set off by the eight imposing pillars that support the tower, it grows with beauty, grandeur and brilliance. Its historical, cultural and artistic value can hardly be overstated."
In Chinese: 佛香阁 (Fo Xiang Ge)
One day after, the sun shone bright upon us (grrrr!!!).
We went to see the Summer Palace.
This place is where the Emperor (and the Empress, and thousands servants, probably) came to spend his summer.
Originally the Garden of Clear Ripples the Summer Palace was established in 1750 by the Emperor Qianlong.Various architectural styles were used from different places in China. The small lake was extended to become Kunming Lake.
It has been the target of attack twice. Firstly by the Anglo-French allies in 1860 and again by allied powers during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 being rebuilt in 1886 and 1902.
The palace served as the summer retreat for he Dowager Empress Cixi who, it is said, misappropriated the funds of the Chinese Navy to reconstruct and enlarge the palace. Then, also as rumour has it, the navy conducted their manoeuvres on Kunming Lake.
It was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in December 1998.
In the complex there you can walk along the Long Corridor - a 728m covered walkway also famous for the artwork on its timbers; see the Marble Boat - a pavilion designed like a paddle steamer (ironically built with the money for the Navy); take a dragon boat accross the lake and cross the seventeen arch bridge - it has a central arch with two sets of nine (Ancient Chinese lucky number) arches on either side.
The weather turned on a hazy day for my visit there but a great place to see none the less.
The Summer Palace (Yiheyuan), located 12km northwest of the centre of Beijing, is one of Beijing's most visited sights - and absolute worth a visit. The Summer Palace was original built in 1750, but the palace was burnt down and the garden destroyed during the Second Opium War in 1860. In 1888, Empress Cixi started a rebuilding of the palace and it was finish in 1895. As the name says, The Summer Palace was used as a summer residence by the imperial rulers of China. It was a pleasure ground away from the city (and the Forbidden City) – but still near to the city.
I think the most impressive sights are the Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake (which is man-made). I especially enjoyed the boat tour on the lake. From the lake you have a really nice view of the palace buildings on the top of the surrounding hills. I also had a closer look at the Seventeen-Arch Bridge. It is about 150m long, and connects the ‘mainland’ of the Summer Palace with the Nanhu Island. The Bridge was built in the 18th century, and is decorated with white marble lions - and there is a carved beast on each end of the bridge. And don’t miss the Grand Theatre from 1895… It is located inside the East Palace Gate. I spent a little time here listening to musicians playing traditional Chinese music.
When you pass through the Summer Palace you'll see many men with water brushes writing traditional Chinese poems on the walkway. Many of them are very skilful and write with both hands simultaneously - and do other tricks. You can also, in shops around the Summer Palace, buy your own handwritten posters with poems.
The Summer Palace is another must-see in Beijing…
The Summer Palace covers an area of 290 hectares. You will need a full day to see most of the attractions within, but still it may not be enough. It was built by Emperor Qianlong in 1750. In 1998 it was included in World Heritage list by UNESCO. The main attractions to spend some time are : Tower of the Fragrance of Buddha, Realm of Multitudinous Fragrance, Four Great Regions, The Long Corridor, Clear and Peaceful Boat, Wenchang Gallery, Garden of Virtue and Harmony and Suzhou Street. You can take some interesting pictures overlooking Kunming Lake. The Summer Palace is open from 9:00 to 16:00. The through ticket costs 50 Yuan and you have access to all sections. You can get a guide map which will be very helpful at 10 Yuan.
Along the north shore of Kunming Lake is the Long Corridor. It is 728 metres long. It is lovely decorated with scenes of Chinese Mythology. The decorations have been whitewashed during Cultural Revluttion. So most of the paintings are new.