Hg2 : The Hedonist

Summer Palace

As you’re easing out of your jetlag, spend a leisurely day at the Summer Palace on the outskirts of Beijing ambling around the Kunming Lake. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Summer Palace served as an Imperial pleasure garden from the Jin dynasty (1115-1234), despite several buildings being razed to the ground by invading Anglo-French forces in 1860. The notorious Dowager Empress Cixi embezzled funds from the Imperial Navy to restore the palace gardens in 1889 including the building of the iconic Marble Boat, a life-size replica of a steam paddleboat, which came to embody the excesses of the Imperial family. Other wonders include the Beijing Opera theatre with regular performances throughout the day and the Tower of Buddhist Incense atop Longevity Hill, which rewards you with a spectacular view of the palace grounds if you make it up the steep and narrow steps. Our advice is to go in the early morning before it gets too hot and sticky, which will also give you time to get back into Beijing for much better souvenir shopping than you will find here so save your kuai but splash out on a taro bubble tea like the locals.

Yiheyuan Lu,
Opening Times
daily, 8am-5pm
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