The Summer Palace (or “Gardens of Nurtured Harmony”) is a highly-popular tourist destination in Beijing, China because of the magnificence of its landscaping design.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998, it is an impressive “garden” with a number of bridges, pagodas, temples, pavilions, and other beautiful structures that work in complete harmony.
These are boat garages in the Houhu (Back) Lake. Winter had just passed and spring was just beginning, so the water level was not that high. The boats were out, but it seemed that no one wanted to go on the water when we were there.
My friend Malou and I had a limited time so we didn’t go boating. Such a pity, though, it would have been a nice experience to be on a lake as serene as that.
Entrance fee costs 40RMB, but there are other gardens and sites inside that charge separately, like Suzhou Street (below).If you just want to walk around, or if you would just like to find a place to relax in, the general admission is more than enough.
Suzhou Street reminded me of the canals in Tongli, a small water town just two hours from Shanghai. The big difference is that in Tongli, you will see and appreciate how the locals live their everyday lives. Here in the Palace, all the establishments in the Street sold souvenir items.
How to go to the Summer Palace: Take Subway Line 4 from Beijing (2RMB from any station!) and get off at the Beigongmen station. From there, the Summer Palace is just a few minutes’ walk away.
So if you’re going to China, either to find a teaching job or just visiting, make sure to visit the Summer Palace!