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Asia > China > Beijing > Useful Info
Submitted on Aug 08, 2020 Useful Info

Beijing Day Tours: Best Guide of the Summer Palace

Talk about Beijing Day Tours

If you visit Beijing and live here in expat for 7 years, I can share your and my experience. I also recommend Great Wall Adventure Club as it has helped me with my quick acquaintance of this ancient capital.

Beijing, a thousand-year-old city, has gone through ups and downs. Like Nanjing, it has been renamed several times. It was first called Beijing Bay. At the time of the five emperors, Jizhou, one of the nine states in the world, was called Youdu at the time of Yao and Emperor Shun. It was called Youzhou; after the fall of the Shang Dynasty, King Wu of Zhou gave the two places of "Yan" and "Ji" in Beijing area to two heroes. Later, the State of Yan annexed the State of Ji and was collectively referred to as the State of Yan; the "Anshi Rebellion" in the Tang Dynasty later referred to this as Dadu and Yanjing, the central capital of the Jin Dynasty, and the Dadu of the Yuan Dynasty and officially became the political center of the country. In the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang proclaimed Nanjing the emperor, and sent general Xu Dagong to overcome the metropolis and renamed it Peking Mansion. After the Battle of Jing Nan, Emperor Yongle moved his capital to Beijing. Since then, Beijing has this famous name.

"For thousands of years in Kyoto, Zhong Ling Yuxiu Cuilongyuan. From the Kingdom of Jin to the swallow land, and to the red capital to light Jichuan. Beihai clear waves floating painting boat, Fragrant mountain red leaves stained frosty sky. Chinese blood is connected, Kyushu is united by billions of people. "

With the changes in history, the city of Beijing has undergone earth-shaking changes. High-rise buildings rose from the ground, and the urban gardens of modern office buildings and residential quarters stood out, making Beijingers also amazed. All the qualitative changes have come after 2008. In order to welcome the arrival of the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing has taken a leap again. My classmates from Beijing told me that Beijing before 2008 is completely different from Beijing after 2008. Although Beijing is a political and cultural center, it is not called a financial center. Perhaps the financial center in our mind belongs to Shanghai, but Beijing's "Financial Street" is no less than or even better than Shanghai's "Lujiazui".

Nowadays, Beijing is more beautiful. In such a modern city construction, unlike Shanghai, it has not been completely reduced to a modern metropolis. Beijing still maintains the culture and history of the ancient city. It is a shining pearl in the modernized Beijing. Not only have the cultural relics left by the emperors of the past dynasties, but also the residences and customs where Beijingers lived in the past are still vivid. This is also an important reason why many people yearn for and fall in love with Beijing!


Beijing's Royal Summer Palace


The Summer Palace, located in the northwestern suburb of Beijing, was originally a royal garden and palace in the Qing Dynasty. Its predecessor, Qingyi Garden, was built in 1750, completed in 1764, and burned down by the British and French forces in 1860. In 1866, Cixi embezzled naval funds and other funds for reconstruction, and in 1888 it was renamed the Summer Palace. In 1900, the Summer Palace was severely damaged by the Eight-Power Allied Forces, and it was restored again in 1902. It was not listed as the first batch of key cultural relics protection units by the country until after the founding of the country. After continuous repairs, it was included in the "World Heritage List" in November 1998.

The Summer Palace is mainly composed of Longevity Mountain and Kunming Lake, covering an area of 290.8 hectares, of which the water surface occupies three-quarters. Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty praised Kunming Lake in a poem saying, "Where is Yanshan the most comfortable, Wushuang Fengyue belongs to Kunming". The ingenious conception and exquisite architecture of the Summer Palace combine the great achievements of Chinese garden art, and it is known as the "Royal Garden Museum"


User submitted photo of Beijing

User submitted photo of Beijing

Suzhou Street, located in the Houhu of the Summer Palace, the most intact large-scale imperial garden in our country, is a shopping street built like a water town in the south of the Yangtze River. The prototype is the first street in Suzhou-Qilishantang built by Bai Juyi when he was the governor of Suzhou. During the Qingyi Garden period, there were various shops on the shore, such as jade antique shops, silk and satin shops, dim sum shops, tea houses, and the Suzhou Street Silver Jewelry Building in the Golden Summer Palace. The clerks in the shop are all dressed up as eunuchs and court ladies. Opened when the emperor was lucky. Dozens of shops on the shore of Houhu were burned down by the great powers in 1860. The current landscape was rebuilt in 1986. Suzhou Street is not only a historical and cultural landscape, but also a unique natural landscape. It is listed in the palace gardens. It is small and exquisite, surrounded by mountains and water, just like Jiangnan pictures dotted on the architectural axis of Houshan Houhu.

One-way street in Suzhou, according to legend, this was when Qianlong went down to the south of the Yangtze River. It was attracted by the beauty of the south of the Yangtze River. After returning to the palace, Qianlong kept thinking about it. Therefore, in order to please the queen mother, Qianlong specially imitated the water town of Suzhou on the 70th birthday of Qianlong's mother. And built Suzhou Street as a gift for the mother.


User submitted photo of Beijing

The four continents were built according to ancient Indian philosophy. It is a group of Han-Tibetan buildings in the middle of the back mountain of Wanshou Mountain in the Summer Palace, covering an area of 20,000 square meters. The four big continents and eight small continents are arranged in four directions around the Xiangyan Zongyin Pavilion, which symbolizes Mount Maitreya, the center of the world. In the southeast, southwest, northeast, and northwest of the pavilion, there are four lama pagodas representing the "four wisdoms" of Buddhist scriptures, namely red, white, black and green. This group of buildings was burned down by the US and France in 1860. In the 14th year of Guangxu, only one layer of the Xiangyan Zongyin Pavilion was built on the ground, and the rest was still rubble. In 1980, the state allocated a huge amount of money to repair the four major continents, eight minor continents and four Vatican towers, basically restoring their original appearance. From October 17, 2010 to April 25, 2012, the country undertook the first large-scale repairs in 30 years, mainly restoring the historical features of the four major continents during the Guangxu period, including the restoration of the original historical features at that time. Give me the greatest feeling: magnificent!


User submitted photo of Beijing


My Tips for the Summer Palace Private Tour


Although the Summer Palace is indeed very large, the facts have proved that it is possible to swim in three or four hours with quality without taking the wrong road!

Route and gardening skills

Entering the park from Beigong Gate: Beigong Gate—Suzhou Street—Si Da Buzhou—Foxiang Pavilion—Paiyun Hall—Long Corridor—Shifang—Boat to Nanhu Island—Seventeen Kong Bridge—Tong Niu—East Bank of Kunming Lake -Wenchangyuan-Yulan Hall-Yiyun Hall-Le Shou Hall-Dehe Garden-Renshou Hall-Donggong Gate.


In fact, I don’t know if it’s because of winter that there is no boat crossing the lake, so the route is changed to (If there is a boat, the above plan is recommended, otherwise it will be too tired to walk!!):


Entering the garden at Beigong Gate: Beigong Gate—Suzhou Street—Four Continents—Foxiang Pavilion—Paiyun Hall—Long Corridor—Shifang—Reverse Return—Leshoutang—Dehe Garden—Yulantang (Mother and Child Stone)-Wenchangyuan-Bronze Bull-Kuru Pavilion-Seventeen-hole Bridge-Guangrun Lingyu Temple (Longwang Temple)


Recommended Beijing Day Tours Companies

Great Wall Adventure Club

New China Tours

Great Wall Walk

If you plan to go to 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the tours in winter, visit this Beijing Winter Olympics site.


User submitted photo of Beijing