Summer Palace, Beijing

4.5 out of 5 stars 309 Reviews

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    Summer Palace
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    Summer Palace
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    Summer Palace
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    Summer Palace - Tower of Buddhist Incense

    by SLLiew Written Oct 12, 2006

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    Tower of Buddhist Incense (Foxiangge) is the highest building of the Summer Palace - overlooking Kunming Lake of the Summer Palace. It has been under reconstruction and renovation.

    During the Qing Dynastic, it was an important place for Buddhist prayers and frequented by Emperors and Empress Dowage Cixi.

    A high climb up the steps to the tower but what a view at the top.

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    Summer Palace or Yiheyuan - Marble Boat

    by SLLiew Updated Oct 12, 2006

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    This is a lake garden park built for Emperors and Empress Dowager Cixi. There are many temples and bridges including a white marble paddle boat that does not move.

    Known as Qingyanfang" (Boat of Clearness and Comfort), the Marble boat was first built 1755 and rebuilt 1893 by Empress Dowager Cixi by using navy funds.

    It is a nice stroll as the tour bus will drop you at one end and pick you at the other.

    Like the restaurant there which serves imperial banquet meals and allows tourists to rent Imperial clothes to be photographed as Emperor, Empress or concubine.

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    This boat is useless...it be made of marble

    by sourbugger Written Sep 19, 2006

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    With names like the the Garden of Harmonious interests, you could only be in the world of Classical Chinese gardening.

    The Summer palace seeks to out-do any imperial garden on the face of the earth. Although parts of it are still in ruins, the parkland area is an absolute must see. It is also a welcom antidote to the smog and fumes (and spring duststorms) of the city centre.

    The Summer Palace was begun in 1750, as it was commissioned by Emperor Qinglong as a gift for his mother's birthday (wan't that nice of him, he loved his 'ol mum you know) . It took 15 years to complete. The Opium wars led to most of the buildings being destroyed in 1860 (a war fought over Opium supply ? nice to know they had a good reason for the conflict).
    They were renovated in 1888 by Empress Dowager Cixi.

    Boating on the lake is a great diversion, and taking photographs of the Summer Palaces's most famous daft feature, the marble boat is also a must do. It must be one ofg the world's most expensive follies.

    Dressing up as an emperor or dowager and poncing around the place for touristy photographs ? I'll give that one a skip. Thanks, but no thanks.

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    Bronze Bull

    by keeweechic Updated Aug 21, 2006

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    The Bronze Bull sits in the Summer Palace. Inscribed on the back of the bull is a ‘Eulogy of the Golden Bull’ which was written by the Qing Emporor, Emperor Qianlong. The Jade Belt Bridge behind it is built of white stone and marble and has a high arch. Stretching over the Kunming Lake, it is one of 6 bridges within the palace.Built of marble and white stone, the Jade Belt Bridge has a high arch and is one of the six bridges on the West Shore on Kunming Lake.

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    Summer Palace Sojourn

    by arianne_1504 Written Aug 5, 2006

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    The Summer Palace is amazing - make sure you have stacks of film/cards for photos. Also you should dedicate a whole day to it.

    The only let down was that a lot of the old halls etc housed hawkers selling the same old crap everywhere. Also watch out for students trying to flog you art. There's nothing wrong with buying it, just make sure you're not hideously overcharged for it.

    Pagoda @ The Summer Palace Bridge Over Summer Waters
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    Winther at the Summer Palace

    by Oda_ Written Jul 30, 2006

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    The Imperial era's Summer Palace built by empress Xi Xi is a huge park area north-west in Beijing. This is where the imperial family stayed during the hot and humid Beijing summers. When i visited the palace it was winther, so I did not get that summer feeling, but the scenerey was beautifull and it was worth the visit!

    Overview of the Summer Palace The Marble Boat some decor was ruined in the cultural revolution

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    Summer palace

    by jonkb Updated Jul 7, 2006

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    A beautiful park well away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Although still warm it was a bit cooler here than in the city.

    My only regret is that our tour organizers dragged us through the complex in a hurry. For some reason they wanted us to see a pearl factory to buy freshwater pearls. None buyed anything.

    Old man exercising with Chinese letters The Dragon (emperor) and the phoenix (queen) The sea at the summer palace Gateway inside the summer palace
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    Summer Palace

    by Blatherwick Updated Jun 9, 2006

    The Summer Palace, or Yiheyuan, served as a summer residence for the imperial family. It is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. The Summer Palace started out life as the Garden of Clear Ripples in 1750. Artisans reproduced the garden architecture styles of various palaces in China. Kunming Lake was created by extending an existing water body to imitate the West Lake in Hangzhou. Suffering two attacks -- an Anglo-French allied invasion in 1860 and the eight-power allied forces in 1900 -- it survived and was recreated in 1886 and 1902. In 1888, it was renamed to become the Yiheyuan, serving as a summer resort for Empress Dowager Cixi, who diverted 30 million taels of silver, said to be originally designated for the Chinese navy, into the reconstruction and enlargement of the Summer Palace.

    The main building is the Palace of Benevolent Longevity (Renshoudian). This edifice was originally named the Palace of Encouraging Good Government . Restored in 1890, its name was changed to the Palace of Benevolent Longevity, an ironic notion derived from an old saying, "Benevolent People live long lives." Here Cixi held audience with high officials and handled the daily affairs of government. This palace once contained the famous screen behind which, out of propriety, Cixi ruled China.

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    Marble Boat

    by rafscab Written Apr 11, 2006

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    The Marble Boat was built in the 19th century and has an infamous story. It's construction was financed with funds originally raised for the creation of a modern chinese navy. Instead of war ships, the emperor built a single boat of marble.

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    Summer Palace - Emperor's resort

    by rafscab Written Apr 11, 2006

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    Summer Palace is situated about 15 kms from central Beijing. It's chinese name is Yiheyuan that means "garden of restful peace", and it certainly gives the visitor a feeling of rest and vacation. A beautiful lake surrounds the palace and major buildings are conected by a long corridor 700 mts. long with beautiful paintings and ornaments.

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    Marble Boat

    by cheezecake_deli Updated Mar 23, 2006

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    At the western end of Changlang is the Marble Boat, actually neither a boat (it's a pier) nor made of marble (stone). It's another infamous example of late Qing excess - Cixi diverted much needed funds for the navy to build it (oh, the irony!).

    A short walk from the Marble Boat is West Gate, where you can exit the Palace grounds (via the usual souvenir shops of course).

    Going nowhere on the Marble Boat
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    Kunming Lake

    by cheezecake_deli Updated Mar 23, 2006

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    Behind the halls of residence is the northern shore of Kunming Lake, which lends a special air to the Summer Palace. Most visitors continue along the northern shore toward the West Gate, but there are also less-frequented sights around the lake, such as South Lake Isle and various bridges on the south shore of the lake.

    You can hire a paddle boat and enjoy the vast lake if you have time. Alternatively, speed boats or ferries can take you to other spots along the shore.

    Beautiful Kunming Lake
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    Yiheyuan

    by cheezecake_deli Updated Mar 23, 2006

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    There were actually two Summer Palaces in Beijing, but the original and allegedly more luxurious of the two (called Yuanmingyuan) was reduced to rubble by the British and French in 1860. The "new" Summer Palace (called Yiheyuan), built by the Empress Dowager Cixi at the end of the 19th century, is certainly worth a visit. A lot of the history of Yiheyuan is tied up with the personal life of Cixi in the last few decades of the Qing dynasty.

    Most visitors enter via the East Gate and leave via the West Gate, taking in the main part of the Palace complex around Longevity Hill hugging the northern shore of Kunming Lake. There are lots of "guides" at the entrance offering personalised tours - if you really want a guide, make sure you settle the price before embarking on the tour. Alternatively, bring a good guide book - a large part of the pleasures of Yiheyuan is in its natural setting by Kunming Lake and no guide is required for this!

    Dragon guarding hall in Summer Palace
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    Renshoudian

    by cheezecake_deli Updated Mar 23, 2006

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    On passing through East Gate, you'll come to the main palace compound, which contains several impressive halls. The largest of these, the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity (or Renshoudian), was where Cixi gave audience to visitors. There is a large souvenir shop next to the hall.

    Renshoudian
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    Summer Palace

    by peperoni Updated Mar 12, 2006

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    I loved this place it's so beautifull,the lake was all frozen, wallking on the ice was part of the funny.

    Forget the concierge to make the arrangement,take a taxi in front of the hotel,from Novotel peace hotel i paid 50 yuan, if taxi driver ask you for waiting tell him no thanks, to get a taxi back,you shouldn't have any problem,don't forget the taximeter.
    "Qing Da Biao",means, please use the meter, I didn't have to say this because all taxi's i used the drivers, was the first thing to do.

    Ticket

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