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.
The Summer Palace is a little bit out of Beijing, but well worth going to. We took a taxi there and back, there it cost 52rmb and back it cost 59rmb. We left our Hotel room at 9am and got back to the room at 1.30pm, so spent quite a while there, although we didnt walk all the way around Kumning Lake or see all the attractions there.
Once again (as we had come to expect in China!) this place was HUGE!!! Built basically as a Summer Holiday House for the Emperor (they had it good, these Emperors!!!)
Entrance fee to Summer Palace was 60rmb = about $10AUD. The day we were there, the wind picked up mid morning and so they cancelled all boat rides on the lake, which was something we had been looking forward to - oh well, have to do it next time!
Summer Palace is open from 8.30am to 5.00pm and your ticket entry gets you into all attractions there. We did climb up the many steps (my legs were going "oh no, not stairs again, you promised me no more steps after the Great Wall!!!") to the top of the main pavillion thing, I cant remember what it was called, but there were great views from the top, so the climb is well worth it. By about lunch time we were getting hungry, but Im afraid the food on offer there was not so palatable! Choices were dried up looking hot dogs or something on a stick, which we were told was chicken, but it didnt really look like chicken! We did stop and have a drink and some cake onj an old boat, somewhere near the marble boat, that was nice, but I would not recommend eating any other food here!
The Long Corridor is one of the Summer Palace's highlights when it was built in 1750. It starts from the Yaoyue (Inviting the Moon) Gate in the east and ends at Shizhang (Stone Old Man) Pavilion in the west - a distance of 728 metres with 273 sections. On the beams are more than 14,000 colourful paintings depicting birds, flowers, landscapes and stories from Chinese literary classics. Four octagonal, double-eaved pavilions were built intermittently along the corridor. The lower sides prove great places to take a rest!
The Summer Palace is another of Beijing major tourist draw cards. It's located 12km north-west of the city centre and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill (60 meters high) and the Kunming Lake, which is modelled on the West Lake in Hangzhou. It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is water. The central Kunming Lake, covering 2.2 square kilometers, was entirely man made and the excavated soil was used to build Longevity Hill.
The Summer Palace was originally an imperial garden that dates back to 1750 when Emperor Qianlong had it constructed in order to celebrate his mother's 60th birthday. Unfortunately, it was burnt down by invading Anglo-French forces in 1860 and by during the Boxer Rebellion, in an attack by the eight allied powers in 1900. The Government of the Qing dynasty started to rebuild it in 1886 when Empress Dowager Cixi diverted 30 million taels of silver, said to be originally designated for the Chinese navy, into the reconstruction and enlargement of the Summer Palace. After the fall of the Qing dynasty, it was developed as the private property of the royal family and then formerly opened to the public in 1924.
Open: 8:30am - 5pm. Admission: RMB60 for a through ticket.
When in the Summer Palace, be on the lookout for those Emperor Costumes that they rent out for just US$2 (or was it $10?). I had fun donning it and having my pictures taken. My guide was a bit horrified of my enthusiasm and wanted to explain more about the Summer Palace, but I said I wanted to try this “tourist trap” FIRST.
I was also allowed to walk around with it, and they had a little bit of trouble asking me to remove it because I was having so much fun, hehehehe….The silk was so smooth against the skin and I just pretended I was from the Qing Dynasty (I don’t even know what year that was!).
Definitely this activity is not for the “shy” type though…lol. I dare you…
Everyone knows about the Palace so I'm not going into intrinsic tourist value.
It's a great place to visit but be prepared for:
1. HUGE attendances on weekends and especially on holidays - you will queue and take a lot of time getting anywhere.
2. WALKING: Be prepared for a lot of walking - the sites are located over many acres so you can end up walking for miles - especially if (like me) you got sick of waiting for boats.
3. FOOD & DRINKS: - They cost more here, and there are lots of packet noodles, not much more for budget travellers; take your own.
4. TRANSPORT: If you are going by Taxi walk out of the main gate and head toward Beijing (you will know the direction) they are easier to find on the main road if none at the gate.
5. SUNSCREEN & RAINCOAT. OK You may not need both on the same day but if you end up with lots of walking it pays to be prepared.
The Summer Palace is huge and is a lakeside Imperial residential garden. Located in downtown Beijing, it is easy to get too and may take a half or full day just to see everything you want.
There is a famous long corridor to get from one area to the next as well as boat rides from one end of the garden to the next.
Plenty of steps to climb if you want to have great views from the main temple on the hill.
It's a nice respite from the rest of Beijing, and it should be, as far northwest as it is in the city...
The Summer Palace was used to cool off in the hot, Beijing summers... more details soon.
The palace consists of a large lake and and island, as well as the surrounding areas around the lake, a temple up a lot of stairs offering a lot of views and a heck of a lot of people. It's peaceful, however, and you can take ferries across to various points or walk. Ferries are not free and ticket booths are found where you get the ferries.
If you walk up to the temples, it's a nice hike up. Coming in the North Entrance, you'll encounter a fairly run-down bit of temple- it's nice, really, to get beyond the restoration... climb up that and down the other side to get to the lake. Coming in the East Entrance (I think) you'll just walk into the park and get to the lake right away.
I don't really know what else to say... walk around and enjoy!
The Summer Palace is not a single building, but rather a large complex of buildings and grounds spreadout over 3 square kilometers in the northwestern suburbs of Beijing. Built during the 1700s and 1800s, the Summer Palace was the summer residence of the imperial family. The grounds are dominated by a large lake named Kunming Lake and a large hill named Longevity Hill. Interestingly, the hill was built from dirt excavated to make the lake.
Highlights of the Summer Palace include the Long Corridor (a long covered walkway with hundreds of landscape paintings along its ceiling), the Marble Boat (a marble replica of a ship), the Tower of Fragrance of Buddha (a pretty tower on the hill overlooking the lake), the Seventeen Arch Bridge (which connects to an island in the lake), and the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity (where the throne was located). Aother highlight is the view from the top of Longevity Hill, from which you can see the palace grounds, the lake, and Beijing in the background.
En el Lago Kunming se combinan armoniosamente las tres islas, el Puente de los diecisiete Arcos y la Colina de la Longevidad.
El Puente de los Diecisiete Arcos, es una imitación del Puente Lugou (Marco Polo)y en sus pilares hay esculpidos 564 leones en diversas posturas.
In Kunming Lake mingle the three islands, The Seventeen Arch Bridge and the Hill of Longevity.
The Seventeen Arch Bridge , it is an imitation of Lugou Bridge (Marco Polo) and on its pillars are carved 564 lions in various positions.
Al borde del lago se encuentra el Largo Corredor que tiene 728 m , con cuatro pabellones cenadores que representan las cuatro estaciones
Las galerías están pintadas con paisajes que representan los más célebres paisajes Chinos así como los animales y la flora de China . De esta forma el Hijo del Cielo , paseando por allí diariamente , llegaba a conocer la grandeza y variedad de sus estados
Overlooking the lake is the Long Corridor which is 728 metres long , with four pabillions representing the four Seasons
The galleries are painted with landscapes that represent the most famous Chinese landscapes and the animals and flora of China. On this way, the Son of Heaven, walking through there daily, came to know the grandeur and variety of his states
En el lago hay muchos barcos que se mueven en todas las direcciones , pero el que más llama la atención es uno que no se mueve , que es el "barco de mármol" de 36 metros de largo y dos cubiertas
Originalmente era la plataforma de un monasterio Budista de la dinastía Ming donde los devotos soltaban los peces y pájaros para conseguir aumentar su karma
Se dice que la última reconstrucción del Barco , después de la Guerra del Opio la hizo la emperatriz Cixi con dinero que se debía usar para reforzar la armada China
Desde él la emperatriz Cixi supervisaba las maniobras navales que se hacían en el lago
Era un símbolo de la solidez de la familia Imperial que era firme como una roca
In the lake there are many boats that move in all directions, but the most striking is one that does not move , the " marble boat", of 36 meters long with two decks
Originally it was a platform for a Ming dynasty Buddhist monastery where fish and birds were released by the devout in order to gain karmic merit
The boat was rebuilt after the Opium War , by Cixi Empress with the money that was earmarked to modernize the Chinese Navy
On this boat the Empress Cixi watched the naval exercises being made on Lake
It was a symbol of the Imperial Family strength that was firm as a rock
"El jardín donde se cultiva la Concordia " más conocido como el Palacio de Verano era la residencia de verano de los emperadores . El emperador Quianlong de la dinastía Quing fue el que más cambió la apariencia del palacio , dragando el lago Kunming , aprovechando las tierras que se sacaban del lago para hacer "La colina de la longevidad" y añadió edificios que sirvieron de residencia . Posteriormente , la emperatriz Cixi fue la que reconstruyó el parque , que fue devastado por las fuerzas inglesas y francesas durante la guerra del Opio.
Es un gran paseo al que le puedes dedicar una mañana o una tarde estupenda visitando sus edificios y paseando por el parque y alrededor del lago
(Entrada 60 Yuan + 100 Yuan una guía de habla Inglesa 3h)
"The garden where Harmony grows " , better known as the Summer Palace was the Summer residence of the Chinese emperors.
Emperor Quianlong , of the Qing dynasty , was the one that most changed the appearance of the palace, dredging Lake Kunming, seizing on the land that was taken out of the lake to the "Longevity Hill " and he added some buildings that were used as residences . Later on , the Empress Cixi was the one that rebuilt the Palace , which had been devastated by the British and French forces during the Opium War .
It is a great visit and you may spend a very good morning or an afternoon visiting their great buildings and strolling in the park and around the lake
(Entrance ticket 60 Yuan Yuan + 100 Yuan an English Speaking guide for 3h)