Summer Palace in Beijing

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Summer Palace in Beijing

Another great day in the Chinese capital with the Summer Palace of Beijing as one of our planned visits. We visited the Forbidden City in the morning and, as we’d managed to be well organized (for once! 😀 😀 ), we took the metro to Beigongmen (4 Line) to visit the Summer Palace’s gardens.

Summer Palace of Beijing

The heat was intense and, after a number of days of long walks and a long morning of sightseeing, it was clear that Noah was very tired. So we decided to split up so that we could make the most of what we saw. We decided that Ruth would stay at the Summer Palace (this required a lot of walking, which Noah wouldn’t be able to cope with) and Noah and I went to visit the Olympic City in Beijing, mostly because I really wanted to see the Bird’s Nest – which we sadly didn’t take any photos of 🙂 .

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Exploring the Summer Palace in Beijing

Family Travel Secret
The Summer Palace spans over 290 hectares, so if you want to see as many of its buildings, pavilions, bridges and towers as possible, it’s best to dedicate an entire day to being there. You won’t regret it.

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Summer Palace of Beijing

Summer Palace of Beijing

Initially, as was the case with all of the attractions we’d visited in China, the entrance was crammed full of people. This time, it was particularly bad at the East Palace Gate, the Heralding Spring Pavilion and the Wenchang Tower. Later they ‘mysteriously’ scatter or simply disappear, which means you can really start to enjoy the sites you’ve visited.

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Summer Palace of Beijing

Summer Palace of Beijing

Summer Palace of Beijing

Family Travel Secret
The Summer Palace is the most pristine imperial garden with the most dense and ornate architecture and man-made scenery in the world. It’s definitely worth the effort to have a walk around 🙂 🙂 .

Summer Palace of Beijing

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Some of the impressions from the Summer Palace of Beijing

One of the most intriguing things was the Seventeen-Arch Bridge. The 150 meter long bridge is the longest that can be found in any Chinese imperial garden. Over 500 stone lions were carved into the bridge’s railings. The bridge serves as a connection between South Lake Island and the Temple of the Dragon King.

Seventeen-Arch Bridge at the Summer Palace of Beijing

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Family Travel Secret
The Summer Palace was built in 1750 by Emperor Qianlong in celebration of his mother´s birthday. It suffered heavy damage in 1860 and 1900, but luckily was rebuilt and is there today to be admired and enjoyed.

Seventeen-arch Bridge at the Summer Palace of Beijing

The walk along the lake from Xuiyi Bridge was especially beautiful. The contrast between  the colors of the evening light and the peacefulness of the area was very breathtaking 🙂 .

Xuiyi Bridge at the Summer Palace of Beijing

Willow Bridge.

Willow Bridge at the Summer Palace of Beijing

Willow Bridge at the Summer Palace of Beijing

Silk Bridge and the amazing views of the Seventeen-Arch Bridge and the Tower of the Fragrance of Buddha.

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Mirror Bridge

Mirror Bridge at the Summer Palace of Beijing

You have to be very careful not to slip when walking along the Jade Belt Bridge (especially if it’s wet).

Jade Belt Bridge at the Summer Palace of Beijing

Jade Belt Bridge at the Summer Palace of Beijing

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And finally the Bridge of Pastoral Poems with a beautiful and well-maintained bridge area which leads to the intriguingly unique Clear and Peaceful Boat (or Marble Boat).

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There were once again a large number of people gathered in the Long Corridor who were walking through the area that borders the lake. The pathways, pagodas and bridges are all very well-maintained.

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Family Travel Secret
Until the palace was officially opened as a park in 1924, the public had never before entered this imperial site.

GOPR5781By the time I had arrived at the Tower of the Fragrance of Buddha, it was already too late to visit the 41 meter tall, octagonal tower. But this didn’t stop me from appreciating it from the Glowing Clouds and Holy Land Archway 🙂 .

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The walk ended where it began, with the last few orange rays of light shining down on the various architectural elements of the Palace’s eastern wing.

Summer Palace's eastern wing

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Next stop: Datong!

Ruth

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