Originally known as the "Garden of Clear Ripples", the Summer Palace(Yiheyuan) is a magnificent imperial garden located 12 km north-west of Beijing City. This is the largest ancient preserved garden in China and a former summer retreat for Emperors and the chosen few! The site includes more than 100 ancient style pavilions, mansions, towers, halls, temples, bridges and an enormous clear water lake. What is most enjoyable about the Summer Palace however, is that it is simply a gorgeous place to relax, escape the smoke and crowds of the city and spend an afternoon walking. That said however, one could just as easily spend one week out here as one afternoon! Given the sheer size of the place (occupying an area of 290 acres) the Summer Palace is as vast as it is spectacular. This is great though, as it means you get the rare chance in Beijing, to lose the crowds and clear the cobwebs from your mind!
The original Palace and grounds were destroyed by the allied forces of Great Britain and France in 1860. However, the Empress Dowager Cixi liked the site so much that she used the funds for creating a modern navy, to reconstruct her favorite retreat! The Empress didní»t have much luck however, and the Palace and grounds were destroyed again in 1900. Two years later the palace was restored to the scale and design it is today. The Eastern Palace Gate is the main entrance to the Summer Palace and the arrival point where buses and taxis stop. The opening in the center used to be exclusively for the emperor and empress. Entrance today is RMB 45 and you can now walk through any of the openings in the gateway!
The Summer Palace includes many interesting and spectacular sites. For detailed information on what to see and do at the Palace, click below! Ití»s best to spend at least an afternoon or morning here in order to really appreciate the beauty of the place and do it justice. There are also shops and various restaurants and tea-houses dotted about the Palace.
The Ticket Price: For common tickets,it is RMB20 in the off-season (Nov.1-Mar.31 of the coming year), while RMB30 in the peak season (April.1-Oct.31);For integrated tickets, ití»s RMB40 in the off-season, and RMB50 in the peak season, (which includes the admission tickets of the Theatre in the Garden of Virtuous Harmony, the Buddha Fragrance Pavilion and Suzhou Street).
Transportation: You can take bus No.301,303,330,332,331,346,362,374,375,904,905 to get there. In fact,the best means is to take the subway in the centre of Beijing and get off at Xizhimen station (not far away from Peking Zoo), then you can take a bus from there. In addition, you could also go by bicycle, which would take you one and a half or two hours approximately.