Summer Palace located in the northwest of Beijing, emperor of Qing dinasty used to live there every summer. Wan Shou Shan is a good place to be, San Xi Tang is said to store all precious, especially rare antique Chinese calligraphy and Chinese painting.
One of the unique features of the Summer Palace is the Long Corridor that was built in 1760 so that the Emperior Qian Long can walk in the shelter from one end of the garden to the other.
The Long Corridor was burnt down by the Anglo-Allied invaders after the Boxer Rebellion in 1860 and was rebuilt.
It runs on an east-west direction on the northern shore of Kunming Lake of the garden. Along the corridor, each section has unique individual paintings of Chinese legends and historic events. So if you have time, you can enjoy different episodes of Chinese culture with a well informed tour guide.
Unfortunately, when there is a crowd of tourists, it is a quick walk from one to the other. Still it is a wonder that this Long Corridor was built for one man, the Emperor of China.
It's up to now the best preserved and the largest imperial gardens in China.
The main features of the Summer Palace are Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill. Like most imperial palaces in China, the Summer Palace is divided into three parts: Halls for political affairs, living quarters and religious buildings. The most important structures of the Summer Palace is: Painting Walkway, the longest walkway in the Chinese gardens with altogether over 14,000 traditional Chinese paintings on the beams and crossbeams. Marble Boat, which was built for the 50th birthday celebration of Empress Dowager Ci'xi, and where can enjoy the hazy scene over the lake in rainy days.
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.
This impressive 17 Arch Bridge (Shiqikong Qiao) spans across Kunming Lake to Nanhu Island. There are elaborate beast carvings. The bridge is reputed to be built during the rule of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799);
Not to be confused with the Marco Polo Bridge (Lugou Qiao) which 16 miles outside Beijing that is famous for the outbreak of Sino-Japanese War 1937.
I had no itention of going to the Summer Palace, but everyone recommended it to me. I thought is was jsut more Qin Dynasty architecture. In fact it is Qin Dynasty articture around a lake. The two together with some thing unique and beautiful, escpecially with some leaves changing.
I walked arond the entire lake which I would recommend only if you walk to get away from the other tourists. Most sites are on the north and east sides. The rest, though scenic, doesn't have sites.
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 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.
The Summer Palace has a history of over 800 years. Early in the Jin dynasty, an imperial palace named Golden Hill Palace was built on the present site of the Summer Palace. In 1750, with 4.48 million taels of silver, Emperor Qian Long of the Qing dynasty built the Garden of Clear Ripples here and renamed it longevity Hill to celebrate his mother's birthday.
The Summer Palace has two entrances, one is the East Palace Gate and the other is North Palace Gate. Most visitors enter the garden from the East Palace Gate.
The present architecture was created by Emperor Qianlong in the 18th Century but the Summer Palace has been in existence for the last 8 centuries. It is now a huge public park with 2/3 of it a lake and has palace temples, gardens, pavillions and corridors.
Most items of structural interest are to the north and east gates which surround Kunming Lake.
It is very relaxing to walk around the Summer Palace and just soak in the atmosphere, see where the emperor lived, laze in the gardens and even dress up as an emperor!!
There are many ways to get to the Summer Palace:
Bus 808 heading west from Beijing Train station (Y6) (1 hour - 12km NW of Beijing)
Subway to Xizhimen and then taxi
Taxi directly there
Entrance fee: Y30 (no entrance to buildings) or Y60 full pass (not available after 3pm)
&S4You will hear the story of empress Cixi, that used the money available to build a naval fleet to build... a marble boat. The war was lost (of course) but she won an extra decoration in her luxurious garden.
The boat is beautiful, but, looking at it, I wonder: using that money, how big would the fleet be? Maybe so small that it would fatally end in the bottom of the sea.
Well, that's Cixi's only excuse!
Another VTer (lozolo) corrected me, explaining that the spent budget was used to build the whole garden and not only the marble boat. It makes sense, but the mistake is already generalized in guides and many sites in internet. Anyway, it's just an economic difference, the insanity remains...
The Summer Palace, used to be a summer residence of Qing Dynasty emperors and is now a public park. It is an imperial garden known far and wide for its architectural grandeur and stunning natural beauty.
Construction of the Summer Palace started in 1750.
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.
Summer Palace – the best preserved Imperial garden in the world.
In China, the summer Palace is known as YiHEYUAN – yi means resting, he harmony and peace and yuan garden. In fact, the garden served as a summer resort for the royal family.
The Long Corridor was officially listed as the longest corridor in the world by Guiness book of Records in 1992.
Marble Boat, almost two stories high, is carved out of a single stone.
The 17-arch Bridge was built in 1750 with a length of 150 meters.
The Spring Showing Pavilion is located in the center of the small island in Kunming Lake, south of the Hall of Jade Ripples.
Emperor’s shopping street, imitating the shops along canal in Suzhou.
The Summer Palace has been built during the 18th century by the Emperor Qianlong for his mother's birthday so she can have a place to rest during summer time.
The Summer Palace has been destroyed once, in 1860 by Anglo-French troops and then has been re-built.
The Summer Palace is one of my favorite places in Beijing... A very nice place, I had the opportunity to go very often, since it was very close to my university.
It offers us a different aspect following the season : lotus flowers (summer), a melancholy landscape because of yellow leaves falling (autumn), Kunming Lake frozen so we can walk on it (winter), flowers blossoming (spring).