Summer Palace, Beijing

4.5 out of 5 stars 309 Reviews

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  • Summer Palace
    Summer Palace
    by loja
  • Summer Palace
    Summer Palace
    by loja
  • Summer Palace
    Summer Palace
    by loja
  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Modest buildings

    by solopes Updated Dec 12, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Contrasting with the beautiful richness of the outdoors, the buildings of summer palace seem modest, but fit well in the whole, discreetly integrated in the complex.

    Also contrasting with the Forbidden City, many of them are not empty, showing (to those happy guys that can look inside over dozens of heads) some precious details of the used furniture and goods.

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    Largest royal park in Beijing: Summer Palace

    by loja Written Sep 4, 2013

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    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...

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    Explore Lake Area & Ride the Dragon Boat

    by AusPinay Written Jul 17, 2013

    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.

    we rode this boat around the lake the 17 arch bridge
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    Fabulous Summer Palace

    by AusPinay Written Jul 17, 2013

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    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!

    family enjoying the breeze near the lake a dragon statue the enormously long bridge one of many statues
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    Summer Palace

    by JessieLang Written Oct 13, 2012

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    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.

    East Gate Dragon Lady's House Long Corridor Marble boat Dragon boat on the lake
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    Summer Palace

    by cal6060 Updated Aug 2, 2012

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    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:

    Suzhou Street
    Clouds Gathering Temple
    Tower of Buddhist Incent
    Baoyun Bronze Pavilion
    Pavilion of Five Location
    Hall of Dispelling Clouds
    Long Corridor
    Hall of Happiness & Longevity
    Hall of Jade Ripple
    Garden of Virtual Harmony
    Wencheng Tower
    Wencheng Gallery
    Spacious Pavilion
    Seven-Arch Bridge

    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)

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    Suzhou Market Street

    by wilocrek Written Jun 4, 2012

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    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

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    A Palace fit for any Emperor!

    by wilocrek Updated May 31, 2012

    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!

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    The New Summer Palace

    by roamer61 Written Nov 2, 2011

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    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.

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    Seventeen-Arch Bridge

    by cal6060 Written Nov 2, 2011

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    Seventeen-Arch Bridge is located east of Kunming Lake. It is the only bridge that connects to the South Lake Island. It was built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799). It is the largest bridge in Summer Palace length 150 meters, and width 8 meters. It has 544 distinctive lions on the columns of the white parapets.

    This bridge has made the beauty landscape of Kunming Lake, and Summer Palace.

    In Chinese: 十七孔桥 (Shi Qi Kong Qiao)

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    Spacious Pavilion

    by cal6060 Written Nov 1, 2011

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    Spacious Pavilion is located east side of Kunming Lake before you Seventeen-arch bridge. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the Kunming Lake view with the Seventeen-arch bridge.

    The signboard was written as:

    "With an area of over 130 square meters, this is the most spacious pavilion of its type. When the Summer Palace was named the Garden of Clear Ripples, there was no wall on the east bank, so one could see afar from all four sides of the pavilion; thus, it was named the "Spacious Pavilion." Octagonal with double eaves, it was also called the "Pavilion of Eight Dimensions." Emperor Qianlong's poems and classical writings were inscribed on a board hanging inside the pavilion."

    In Chinese: 廓如亭 (Kuo Ru Ting)

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    Wenchang Gallery

    by cal6060 Written Nov 1, 2011

    Wenchang Gallery is next to Wenchang Tower. This is one of the sites that required package ticket to get in, or you can buy the ticket at the entrance. This compound has buildings that displayed historical jades, antiques and etc. It has beautiful garden as well.

    The signboard was written as:

    " Located to the east of Wenchang Tower in the Summer Palace, the Wenchang Gallery is the largest and the most impressive gallery of its kind in any classical Chinese garden.
    On display in its six halls are thousands of the artifacts extracted from the Summer Palace, covering some 3,600 years from the Shang and Zhou dynasties to the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. The exhibits include bronzeware, jewelry, chinaware, furniture, paintings, calligraphy, ancient books, enamels, clocks, handicrafts made of gold, silver, bamboo, wood, ivory, horn and lacquer, and other miscellaneous items, representing almost all types of Chinese antiques. As one would expect in an imperial garden, these artifacts demonstrate the highest techniques and craftsmanship of their times, and many were once highly important symbols of the state. Also on display in the halls are objects related to the everyday life of emperors and empresses in the Qing court. They are of great historical value and provide some of the most reliable material evidence of the court culture in imperial China. "

    In Chinese: 文昌院 (Wen Chang Yuan)

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    Wenchang Tower

    by cal6060 Written Nov 1, 2011

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    Wenchang Tower is located east side of the Kunming Lake. This giant tower is situated right next to the lake, made it unique landscape for Summer Palace.

    The Signboard was written as:
    " The largest of the six gate forts in the Summer Palace garden, the Wenchang Tower was first built in 1750 and rebuilt under Emperor Guangxu after the Anglo-French Allied Forces burned it down in 1860. A bronze statue of the god, Wenchang, and statues of two followers, the celestial boy, and bronze steed, was placed in the two-storey pavilion. This tower is paired with the Tower of Cloud-Retaining Eaves, located to the west of the Longevity Hill, in which a statue of the Martial God was placed. the two towers symbolize the support by both scholars and warriors to the ruling emperor. "

    In Chinese: 文昌阁 (Wen Chang Ge)

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    Garden of Virtue and Harmony

    by cal6060 Written Oct 31, 2011

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    Garden of Virtue and Harmony is located north of Hall of Benevolence and Longevity. This is an entertainment complex was built to Empress Dowager Cixi. The Great Stage is located in the center of the garden. The signboard was written as:

    " Originally built in 1891 and completed in 1895, the Grand Stage is a complex structure comprising a three-storey building for performance and a two-story make-up building. The performance building consists of the "fortune, "salary," and "longevity" stages, where different operas and plays could be performed at the same time. There were also performance props such as a spinning board, a windlass and a high-pressure water machine, which made it possible to enact scenes of gods coming down to earth, apparitions fleeing underground and water spewing forth. This Grand Stage in Summer Palace, the Free Tones Pavilion in the Forbidden City, and the Clear Voice Pavilion in Chengde Summer Resort, Hebei Province, were renowned as the three great stages during the Qing Dynasty. Of these, the Grand Stage in the Summer Palace was the largest Distinguished Beijing Opera actors of the Qing Dynasty, like Yang Xiaolou and Tan Xinpei, performed here for the Empress Dowager"

    The Eastern Veranda where the Empress and her important guests including princes, dukes and high ranking officials watched Chinese Opera here. This hall has displayed various use articles including dresses for the Opera, Music Instruments, and etc during Qing Dynasty.

    In Chinese: 德和园 (De He Yuan)
    In Chinese (Great Stage): 大戏楼 (Da Xi Lou)

    Don't miss the stage shows !!

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    Hall of Jade Ripple

    by cal6060 Written Oct 30, 2011

    The Hall of Jade Ripple is located east of the Hall of Happiness and Longevity. It is surrounded by high walls as this is the place where the emperor would stay while visiting the Summer Palace. The building is closed for visitation, you can only see it through a transparent plastic panel outside of the hall. You could see the original beds, and dressing table and so on.

    The Signboard was written as:

    " This was living quarters for Emperor Guangxu while he was in the Summer Palace. Emperor Guangzu used to read submissions to the throne and conduct affairs in the central room, which was furnished with a throne and desk made of red sandalwood inlaid with eaglewood, glass screens decorated with landscape paintings, and fans made of emerald green feathers-all symbols of imperial power. On September 16th 1898, Emperor Guangxu summoned Yuan Shikai, who then had control over an imperial regiment, for a secret audience here. In the hope that Yuan would support his reforms. The room in he northwest was the Emperor's bedroom. "

    In Chinese: 玉澜堂正殿 ( Yu Lan Tang Zh Dian)

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