Summer Palace

beijing-summer-palace
Summer Palace
Photo by: Zhangzhe0101, Creative Commons

If you’re tired of spending your vacations on beaches or amusement parks, try going to China’s Summer Palace. With its sprawling 2.9 square-kilometer land area and a vast 2.2 square-kilometer man-made lake surrounding a tall and luxurious Imperial Palace, your holiday will never be the same.

The grand Summer Palace was built in 1750 to provide China’s ruling dynasty a summer vacation home where they can relax and enjoy nature’s beauty. It was believed that Dowager Empress Cixi stayed in the palace for a long time, living a rich and lavish lifestyle. Other Imperial Families who took residence here enjoyed the palace’s breezy atmosphere as well as the gardens and the pavilion. It is said that Summer Palace’s coolness and serenity makes it the top residential choice of the Imperial Family over the Forbidden City’s high walls during summer.

The Summer Palace is located northwest of central Beijing, in the Haidian District. It’s just 15 kilometers from central Beijing and can be reached by car. The palace’s area is comprised of Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake.

Its exquisitely designed garden is regarded by heritage preservation organization UNESCO as a masterpiece of Chinese landscape design. With a Chinese name of Yihe Yuan or Garden of Restful Peace, Summer Palace houses various garden elements that generate peace in the hearts and minds of people who visit it. Typical Chinese garden elements like bridges, pavilions, plants, flowers, trees, water, stones, and animals can be found to unite in harmony on the palace grounds.

In order to enjoy your tour at the Summer Palace, tourists are advised to wear comfortable footwear and appropriate clothing depending on the month you visit. During the summer, choose to wear light-colored clothes with thin fabric so you can feel the air and coolness of the palace’s environment. If you’re planning to visit in the winter, opt for clothes that will keep you warm, and the proverbial winter gears always helps.

The best season to visit Summer Palace is during the summer so you can experience the life of an emperor or an empress and have fun learning Chinese artistry in architecture and design.

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