Filed under: China, Travel | Tags: Beijing, Public Space Beijing, Summer Palace
If I lived in Beijing, I would probably spend a lot of time at the Summer Palace. It’s in the northern part of the city, and is basically a gigantic public park with a lake in the middle. We had no idea how majestic and truly huge the park would be before we went, and luckily we had our walking shoes on. One thing Beijing has really done right is their parks (and their public bathrooms that accompany them.)
For someone who lived in the congestion and busy-ness of Beijing everyday, this park would be like heaven. For someone who was just visiting such as myself, I found it to be a little too touristy, with a large focus on shops, vendors, and these cute headband things with giant flowers that all the girls were wearing. I wish I had gotten a picture, but I’m more of an architecture snapshot person, I feel weird about nabbing shots of strangers without their permission.
Our guidebook informed us that we could take a boat from downtown Beijing to the Palace, and although this was once a plan, our hostel staff informed us that, “the mountain did not love the lake enough, so it is not possible.” Which I’m taking to mean there wasn’t enough water to pull it off.
We spent almost all of the third day in Beijing just walking around the lake. I took a nap at one point, as many folks were doing, on some rock piles, and lost Michelle, my travel partner. Being the kind of travellers we are, this wasn’t a big deal, we just finished the tour at our own pace and met up when the park closed at the front gate. It’s so nice to travel with level-headed people for once.
There were tons of little bridges and connecting archways, and each one had it’s own name and unique design over the arch. I believe this one is Quan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of Compassion (her name is romanized in many different ways, so you might recognize her name in a different form.)
The palace at the top of the hill is the Buddhist Incense Pavillion, which housed a very old Buddhist statue at the top that I was not allowed to take a photo of. It was a gorgeous building, and yes, I did climb all those stairs.
A view of Beijing from the top.
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