Kunminghu East Road, Haidian District, Beijing
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- Recommended for:
- Culture vultures, First-time travellers, Design and architecture, Great views / scenery, Nature / wildlife
Expert review of Summer Palace
A royal pleasure retreat in northwest Beijing, this sprawling collection of pagodas, temples, towers and bridges flanking Kunming Lake was the favourite playground of the notorious Empress Dowager Cixi in the late 19th century, who would retire here in summer to escape the stultifying heat of the Forbidden City. It was she who commissioned the Marble Boat – a wasteful folly now a mandatory photo stop after visitors have tramped the length of the ornately carved, covered Long Corridor on the north shore of the lake. My other must-see sights are the 17-arch bridge and the resplendent Tower of Buddhist Incense with its commanding perch on Longevity Hill.
Tickets are 50 RMB (high season), and I would recommended purchasing one of the excellent souvenir maps on top for 10 RMB.
More information on Summer Palace:
- Price guide:
- Castle / palace, Lake / river / canal, Park / garden
- Kunminghu East Road, Haidian District, Beijing
- Months open:
- All year round
- Opening times:
- Daily 7am-6pm