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Home: Summer Palace
The Summer Palace is located in haidian District of Beijing, about 12 km northwest of the city centre. It was a residential retreat for the Qing Dynasty emperors. The grounds are dominated by a large lake named Kunming Lake and a hill named Longevity Hill(Wan Shou Shan). In 1998, the Summer Palace was listed as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

This is really a huge place(with a area of 294 hectares), and there are four gates around Summer Palace, so you must plan your visit and decide the direction.

The Summer Palace can be divided into three area: Court area, Longevity Hill area and Kunming Lake area.

Court area
Many of the buildings of the Summer Palace are not empty, showing some precious details of the used furniture and goods.
East Palace Gate: Front gate of the Summer Palace
Hall of Benevolence and Longevity(Renshoudian): Empress Dowager Cixi and Emperor Guangxu's office
Garden of Virtue and Harmony(Deheyuan): It is the place where the Empress Dowager watched opera
Hall of Jade Ripples(Yulantang): Emperor Guangxu's living quarters
Hall of Joyful Longevity(Leshoutang): Empress Dowager Cixi's residence

Longevity Hill area
Long Corridor(Changlang): Longest in the world (728 m). On the beams are more than 8,000 colorful paintings depicting stories from ancient China
Hall of Dispelling Clouds(Paiyundian): For a ceremony to celebrate Cixi's birthday.
Tower of Buddhist Incense(Foxiangge): The center of Summer Palace, from which you can see the palace grounds, the lake
Hall of the Sea of Wisdom(Zhihuihai): The infinite wisdom of the Buddha. a holy building.
Back Lake: Behind the Longevity Hill the Kunming Lake narrows forming the Back Lake
Suzhou Market Street(Suzhoujie): A copy of Suzhou Market Street.
Garden of Harmonious Interests(Xiequyuan): used to be the fishing site of emperors and empresses. it is known as the "garden in the garden".

Kunming Lake area
Bronze Ox: it is said that the bronze ox could restrain a potential flood brought by the Kunming Lake
Seventeen-Arch Bridge(Shiqikong Qiao): 150 m long, 7 m high, 544 carved lions sitting on white marble balusters.
Nanhu Island: You can reach the island through the Seventeen-Arch Bridge.
Marble Boat(Qingyanfang): where can enjoy the hazy scene over the lake in rainy days.

Travel Tips:

Be prepared for a lot of walking. You can take ferries across to various points.(charge:RMB 8-10)
Suggested route:East Palace Gate - Hall of Benevolence and Longevity - Garden of Virtue and Harmony - Hall of Jade Ripples - Hall of Joyful Longevity - Long Corridor- Hall of Dispelling Clouds - Tower of Buddhist Incense - Hall of the Sea of Wisdom - Marble Boat - take ferries to Nanhu Island - Seventeen-Arch Bridge - Bronze Ox - Newly-built Gate(South Gate)

Admission Fee: through ticket RMB 60(not available after 3pm); Entry ticket RMB 30(no entrance to buildings)
Opening Hours: 6:30-18:00(Apr.1-Oct.31); 7:00-17:00(Nov.1-Mar.31)
Directions: Bus No. 209、330、331、332、346、394、712、718、726、732、696、683、801、808、817、826
Summer Palace Tourist Map: www.kinabaloo.com/spmap4.gif
Website: www.summerpalace-china.com

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