The Summer Palace History - Beijing Summer Palace Travelogue
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The Summer Palace History

The Emperor's summer residence was entirely destroyed by Anglo-French troops in the 1890s, so what is there now has been reconstructed since. And they have done an excellent job. The palace complex is an enormous maze of passages and steps, pagodas, temples and "gardens" (mostly rock-filled courtyards to my European eye).

The first few buildings are built up into a cliff face, so we climbed up as far as we could at the start and then went down from there. The views over Beijing were quite something. Most of the buildings were closed to the public, and those that were open were strangely bare and musty. The interiors, therefore, were not worth seeing, but the facades more than made up for that.

Having made it to the top of the cliff, we headed back down, not towards the front gate, but south, towards the huge lake and park that surrounds the palace. The back paths down the hill are obviously not tour destinations, so were generally free from other people (unlike the melee around the Empress's garden and the main palace and temple buidings).

There was a curious boat-pavillion - built of marble, but otherwise extremely realistic - down by the lakeshore, which we walked over to see. We then took a boat across the lake to the central island, which not only gives good views of the palace itself, but contains a temple for bringing rain with one of the most convoluted names I have ever heard!

The island is joined to the lake shore by a bridge, and numerous pathways run from the island to the palace and all around the surrounding parkland. I am aware that my description doesn't do the palace justice. It's a little overwhelming, to be honest, and, since we didn't take a guide, it was sometimes hard to get a sense of exactly where you were. The photos, I feel, tell the story better.

>>> Post by Chester Stark from United Kingdom

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This 1 day private tour covers the trip to Summer Palace, Beijing Panda House and Capital Museum.

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One day private tour package covers the trip to the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace, enjoy your own car or van with your own tour guide and driver.

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Badaling Great Wall, the most popular site, Summer Palace is the largest imperial garden of Qing dynasty, enjoy this one day private tour package.

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Highlight one day private tour covers the trip to 3 of the 6 major sites in Beijing. Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace.

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Visit Lama Temple, Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo, enjoy this 1 day private tour package.

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Classic one day private tour package covers the trip to the Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace, enjoy your own car or van with your own tour guide and driver.

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Classic city small group tour, visit Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace, after tour, watch the night show.

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