What you gonna do when you have a half day in Beijing?
There are a lot of half-day tours in Beijing with some outstanding places such as Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, Great Wall, Summer Palace,... I took them all. But this post will be all about Summer Palace since this was actually my favourite one which I felt really worthy to spend a half-day when I was in Beijing.
Di Hoà Viên - Yiheyuan
The Summer Palace was built in Qing Dynasty by the order of Qianlong Emperor as a birthday gift for his mom - Empress Dowager Chongqing. It was a lavish spending for royal family’s pleasure in the time that there were not much in its Treasury.
Undergoing quite a few time of restoration and reconstruction, Summer Palace now is remained as a 1000-year-work and becomes the one of the most attractive tourism places in Beijing. It has also been named on the List of World Herritage by UNESCO since 1998.
Summer Palace is called Yiheyuan in Chinese, means “Garden of Preserving Harmony”. Summer Palace is another name of this place since the Empress in the old time normally came here in summer to avoid the heat, relax and carry out her imperial duties.
The Garden of Preserving Harmony
Located 15km away from the center. I came here in late Autumn, on a day in mid-November, the Summer Palace was so impressive as I expected it to be. It is considered as a emprial garden but It is actually a complex comprising of palaces, gardens, hills, lake, temples, bridges,... in a vast area of land.
This place is beautiful in different way in thanks to the change of the landscape in different seasons. In the late autumn, when the all the trees in garden starts colouring its leaves and tranquil feeling is taking over the entire place, it is the best time to visit this Sumer Palace. I seem to be here in the right time.
Some people cant feel the beauty of Summer Palace and deem it as nothing more than a huge park. Yes. It is huge, but that is not all about this place. The highlights of this place are the extensive lake - Kunming, the fengshui followed layouts and the unique chinese style architecture, the combination of different types of construction works and the facinating history behind this place.
Kunming Lake, which is a peach-shaped lake representing the “Lu” - means prosperity and wealth. At the far end of the view, there are temples and works with spectacular and exquisite architecture.
It is considered as the largest and best preserved garden in the world. I was really amazed for its intact beauty. The chinese garden design style is absolutely beautiful and well maintained, which made me feel like I had been lost in a scene of epics/historical films. You know, in the movie, if there is the scene that the loyal family will leave the Palace and spend some time in this type of place to relax and enjoy the nature, it will definitely be here.
The whole place is extensive and there are a lot to explore on foot. I had heard how big it was before but in fact, it was still much bigger than what I had expected it to be. I walked a lot but didnt feel tired at all. It is like wandering at leisure and enjoy the peaceful vibe.
The long corridor is also something special that I remember about this place. On the way around the lake, there is the longest corridor people ever made in the world, I think. The wood made corridor with artistic decorations really brings the ancient image and tranquil feeling of the old time to me.
People spend at least a half day here to explore every nooks and crannies, enjoy the view and fresh atmosphere as it is so polluted in the central of the city. Definitely worth visiting.
You can come here yourself alone or as a part of the tour. The best benefit of taking a tour is you can learn the history from tourguide which is very fascinating to learn about, but the worst is you will need to leave in such a hurry as the tour never give you enough time.
[//]:# ( d3scr)
[//]:# ( d3scr)