Attraction 19 Xin Jian Gong Men Lu Haidian, Beijing China Published on: 03-08-2016
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Why Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) is special ?
The Summer Palace (simplified Chinese: 颐和园; traditional Chinese: 頤和園; pinyin: Yíhé Yuán; literally "Gardens of Nurtured Harmony") is a palace in Beijing, China. The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometres, three quarters of which is water. Longevity Hill is about 60 metres (200 feet) high and has many buildings positioned in sequence. The front hill is rich with splendid halls and pavilions, while the back hill, in sharp contrast, is quiet with natural beauty. The central Kunming Lake covering 2.2 square kilometres was entirely man made and the excavated soil was used to build Longevity Hill. In the Summer Palace, one finds a variety of palaces, gardens, and other classical-style architectural structures. 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." It is a popular tourist destination but also serves as a recreational park.
What to explore at Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)?
Most people find they need to spend at least half a day here, there’s so much to see and enjoy in the gardens, buildings, and waterways.
You can take a 10 minute boat-ride to see an island temple, sit and watch a traditional Chinese performance in the restored theatre (one of the three great traditional theatres in China), or explore the recreated traditional shops by the river. The story goes, that former Emperors, and their concubines, used to enjoy 'pretend-shopping', as normally everything was bought for them.
Just wandering round enjoying the different buildings and courtyards, or just taking in the views from one of the many vantage points is a pleasure.
A visit involves plenty of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and protection from the weather (sun or rain) and be prepared to be enchanted. There are many pleasant spots along the way to pause and enjoy this much-loved summer retreat, as well as places to enjoy cool drinks and snacks.
How to get to Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)?
Tourists can enter the palace from the North Palace Gate, the East Palace Gate, the New Palace Gate and the West Palace Gate.
Take bus 330, 331, 332, 346, 508, 579, 584, 601, 608 or 696, get off at Yiheyuan Station and then walk west to the East Palace Gate.
Take bus 469 or 539 and get off at Yiheyuan West Palace Gate Station.
Take bus 331, 332, 333(内), 333(外), 375, 432, 438, 498, 508, 579, 584, 594, 601, 664, 697, Te 18, Te 19, Te 6, Yuntong 106, Yuntong 114 or Yuntong 118, get off at Yiheyuanlu Dongkou Station (The Eastern End of Yiheyuan Road) and then walk west to the East Palace Gate.
Take bus 303, 330, 331, 346, 375, 563, 584 or 594, and get off at Yiheyuan North Palace Gate Station.
Take bus 74, 374, 437 or 952 and get off at Xin Jian Gong Men (Yiheyuan New Palace Gate) Station.
Subway Line 4: get off at Beigongmen Station (Beigongmen means the North Palace Gate); or get off at Xiyuan Station, get out of the station from Exit C2 (southwest exit) and walk west to the East Palace Gate.
- What a beautiful site
- Amazing buildings
- Gardens and respite from the city
- Chill with a picnic
- Beautiful palace and grounds
19 Xin Jian Gong Men Lu Haidian, Beijing China
Tips for you
It was very busy but the views around the lake are fabulous . Make sure you have good walking shoes as you can walk for miles. The views of the summer palace from the lake are fantastic. We also took a dragon boat onto the lake it's only about 40pence and we got some great photos from this area. There is a bridge which is pedestrian and there are great opportunity for views and photos. Make sure you have a guide as you won't understand why or what some of the items are. The weather was very good a bit of haze in the area.
Best place to get souvenirs and not having to bargain is "Beijing Gifts" store that's inside.
This imperial garden is really huge and majestic and provides a great view. The architecture within this garden is also very elaborated.The garden can be accessed from several gates, however I will highly recommend that groups traveling with elderlies should avoid the North entrance as the walk to the lake from the north gate can be very strenuous due to the undulating path.This is a very beautiful place the is definitely worth a visit.
Despite the crowds, I enjoy visiting the summer palace. Last time I was in Beijing, it snowed, so early the next morning, I took the subway out - it really is a beautiful site. The man-made lake and mountain (large hill) laced with structures are impressive. If the weather is nice, take one of the boats out on the lake. This would be a great place for a picnic too.