Summer Palace in Beijing

As I mentioned in my arriving in China post, I had a hard time connecting to the Internet and getting my VPN to work. While I was out for the morning I stopped at a cafe and connected to the wifi and realised I was quite close to the Summer Palace in Beijing. I figured I had about 6 hours until my dinner plans so why not go.

What I didn’t realise is just how huge this place was and what there was to see. I also didn’t factor in that it was a Saturday and everyone would want to go visit and walk around. I actually walked past a sign saying that the day before they had 48,000 visitors and that day they were expecting 50,000 people and this was the off season!

At the entrance of the Summer Palace overlooking Kunming Lake.  I took a boat to the pavilion across the lake and walked around for a few hours and saw the marble boat and the long corridor and the Great Opera Hall.



summer palace beijing

In December 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List. It declared the Summer Palace “a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value”.


Yes, that is smog in the background and the reason why you cannot see the sky.  It makes all of the pictures look a bit eerie to me.

My on the 17 arch bridge across Kumning Lake.  In the background you can see Longevity Hill and I hiked up to the pavilion for great views.  I spent a few hours here wandering around.  I really thought I would be able to find a quiet place to sit down and people watch but with 50,000 people walking around even in a place this big that wasn’t really possible for me.  I can’t imagine coming during the high season.  The 20 CYN entrance fee is very reasonable for such a large place and so much to explore.  I definitely recommend visiting the Summer Palace Beijing as its only 9 kilometres from central Beijing.

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