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Visiting BEAUTIFUL Summer Palace in Beijing, China – Part 2

Filed Under (Beijing, China, Shopping, Travelling, World Souvenirs) by Janet on 26-05-2008

We passed by the below Convenience cum Souvenirs Store after we walked through a Rockery Landscape behind the Hall of Benevolence & Longevity Hall in the Summer Palace.

We came to Kunming Lake, the central lake on the grounds of the Summer Palace covering 3 quarters of the Palace grounds with an area of 220 hectares.

Kunming Lake is a man-made Lake. It was once a natural Lake where numerous mountain Springs in the Northwest of Beijing converged, It was previously known as Wengshan Lake or Jar Hill Lake (cos Legend has it that an old man found a Stone Jar while chiseling at the Hill rocks, thus the Lake before this Hill was named Jar Hill Lake). After Beijing became the capital city of the Yuan Dynasty, Guo Shoujing (an expert in irrigation works at the time) supervised the redirection of the Spring water (from the Divine Mountains in Changping) to the Lake in 1291.

The spring water, drawing in the tributary waters along the way, made the Lake into a Reservoir that greatly facilitated the transportation of grain (in irrigation of fields) & as a source of water for the city over a period of 3500 years.

Later between 1750 & 1764, Emperor Qianlong expanded the Lake into its current size when he converted the area into an Imperial Garden. Emperor Qianlong then renamed the Lake as “Kunming Lake” inspired by Emperor Liu Che (or Emperor Wu Di) of the Han Dynasty who once constructed an artificial Lake called the “Kunming Pool” to practise battles on the water.

In accordance with the “Three Islands in One Pool” principle for the design of water features in Imperial Gardens, 3 islands were built on the Lake. They were named Nanhu (South Lake Island), Tuancheng & Zaojian Island modelled after the 3 Famous Fairy Tale islands Yingzhou, Penglai & Fangzhang where Immortals were said to live. With these 3 large islands, Kunming Lake represents the traditional Chinese garden element of the “Fairy Hill within the Sea”.

Also named West Lake, Kunming Lake is an imitation of the West Lake in Hangzhou cos its many features were inspired by the natural scenery from the region South of the Yangtze River. (eg. the West Dike is a recreation of the famous Su Di Dike on the West Lake in Hangzhou).

Paddle Boats were available at the beautiful tranquil Kunming Lake, which is fairly shallow with an average depth of only 1.5 metres. And during Winters, the Lake develops a solid ICE cover transforming it into a gigantic Ice Skating Ring.

It’s a pretty Gold day today! Dear & I posing beside the Paddle Boats – behind us is the Longevity Hill (“WanShou Shan” in Chinese) of the Summer Palace. Together with the Longevity Hill, Kunming Lake forms the Key Landscape Features of the Summer Palace Gardens.

Below is a close-up photo of the 58.59 metres high Longevity Hill (located on the Northern banks of Kunming Lake) with the Tower of Buddhist Incense (“Foxiang Ge” in Chinese) & the Sea of Wisdom Temple (“Zhihuihai” in Chinese) at the Hilltop.

Walking along the bank of Kunming Lake, we could see there’s a group of Special & Quiet Courtyard Dwellings which is the Hall of Jade Ripples (“Yulan Tang” in Chinese). The words “Jade Ripples” came from a verse “Gentle Ripples gushing out of Jade Spring”, which refers to the rippling water in the Lake. This Hall was originally built with Passageways in all directions in 1750 & used by Emperor Qianlong to attend to State Affairs, & it was reconstructed in 1886 as the Emperor’s Living Quarters. In the late Qing Dynasty, Empress Dowager Cixi ordered that the Courtyard be blocked off & Emperor Guangxu was put under House Arrest there.

This Hall of Ripples (opened to visitors as the Relic related to the 1898 Reform Movement) is a Hallmark of the Movement of 1898. Emperor Tongzhi was the only surviving Son of Emperor Xianfeng & Empress Dowager Cixi. Emperor Guangxu (who was the Nephew of Empress Dowager Cixi) was the Son of Prince Chun who was married to Empress Dowager Cixi’s younger sister. After Emperor Tongzhi died without a Son, Emperor Dowager Cixi made Emperor Guangxu (who was at that time 4 years old) a Successor in order to continue her hold on Imperial Power, & she handled State Affairs behind the Screen. After Emperor Guangxu managed State Affairs personally at the age of 19, a Political Conflict occurred between the Conservatives & the Reformers.

in 1898, the Reform Movement took place with the aim of sustaining the Core Principles of the Qing Dynasty while reforming Outdated Laws. The Movement lasted for 103 days until it was suppressed by Empress Dowager Cixi – called the ‘Hundred-day Reform’. After the Reform failed, Emperor Guangxu was put under House Arrest here. For the strict control of him, Empress Dowager Cixi ordered to build many Brick Walls in the front, back, & on the right & left of the Hall of Jade Ripples. At that time, the Hall was entirely Sealed up just like a Prison. Today only the Hidden Walls in the East & West annex room still maintain its original appearance.

There’s also the Chamber of Collecting Books (“Yi Yun Guang” in Chinese). “Yun” was a kind of fragrant Weed – in Ancient times, it was usually used as Termite Repellent in rooms where books were stored. The purpose of the Hall was for collecting books in the reign of Emperor Qianlong. It was later converted into a Residence which used to be the Residence of Emperor Guangxu’s Empress Longyu & his favorite Concubine Zhenfei.

We’ve now walked from the other side of the Lake where the Paddle Boats were (as shown on the right side of the below photo) – Beautiful short walk along the bank – enjoying the Cool breeze of the Lake & watching the ripples of the water with Lotus Flowers (planted during the Ming Dynasty) & the fallen leaves & petals floating gently on the water – we actually saw beautiful Lotus flowers on the waters but I forgot to take photos of them – how silly of me!

Not far away in the Lake slightly further than where we just walked from (where the Paddle Boats were), we could see there’s an islet called the Spring Heralding Islet. The Pavilion on the islet is called the Spring Heralding Pavilion – a number of Willow trees and Peach trees were planted on this islet & in early Spring, when the ice begins to melt, the Peach trees are Red in Pink Blossoms & the Willow trees turn a tender Green signaling that the early Spring has returned – hence the name “Heralding Spring Pavilion”.

We arrived at the Courtyard of the Hall of Happiness & Longevity (“Leshou Tang” in Chinese) which was the major Architectural Structure in the Living Quarters & Residence of Empress Dowager Cixi. This Hall is the Largest of Residential Quarters & is where Empress Dowager Cixi lived for 6 months from the 4th to the 10th Lunar month.

Rebuilt in 1889, the Hall of Happiness & Longevity consists of 4 Chambers. The East Outer Chamber was for her Breakfast & Tea, the East Inner Chamber was her Dressing Chamber, the West Inner Chamber served as her Bedroom & the West Outer Chamber was her Reading Chamber.

The Large Table in the Central Hall served as a Dining Table for Empress Dowager Cixi, who would be served a total of 128 courses for each meal although she tasted only a few of them (such of each meal would cost 100 taels of Silver – an amount which could buy enough Millet to feed 5000 peasants for 1 day!). A big Bowl on each side was used to contain Fruit to produce a smell of Fragrance. There’re also 2 Embroideries in the Central Hall, one of a Peacock displaying its Full Plumage & the other of a Phoenix among 100 Birds. It’s said that the Peacock is the Most Beautiful bird of all while the Phoenix is the Queen of Birds – Empress Dowager Cixi tended to compare herself to the Peacock & Phoenix; as Pretty as a Peacock, & as Honorable as the Phoenix! That was why these 2 pieces were placed in her Residence. There’s also a Red Sandalwood Table with a Gold Fish Aquarium for Empress Dowager Cixi to watch while having her meals.

The Hall of Happiness & Longevity was the first place in China to use Electricty – the Colorful Glass Chandeliers hanging from the ceiling of the Central Hall were presented by the Germans in 1903. These were China’s first Electric Lights & the Summer Palace had its own Power Station. Initially, Empress Dowager Cixi was strongly opposed to the installation of Electric Lights in Beijing, but the Foreign Merchants turned to bribe Li Lianying, the Superintendent Eunuch, with a lot of Money. And that proved effective cos Li finally succeeded in making Empress Dowager Cixi change her mind. Since then, the Electric Lights have been officially used in China.

The whole compound was basically made of Wood, which is ideal for Ventilation and Lighting. And with its Quiet & Tastful layout, the Hall of Happiness & Longevity made life very easy & convenient. There’re Bronze Deer, Cranes & Vases (representing Universal Peace) infront of the Hall. And trees & flowers such as white & purple Yulan Magnolia, Flowering Crab Apple & Peony were planted as symbols of Homes full of Wealth & Prestige.

Walking to the middle of the Courtyard of the Hall of Happiness & Longevity.

In the middle of the Courtyard is a HUGE Rock named “Qing Zhi Xiu” & nicknamed “Family Bankruptcy Rock”. This huge Rock was discovered in Fangshan District by a Ming Official Mi Wanzhong who wanted to transport it to his own garden “Shaoyuan”. In the Old days, transporting such a rock was very difficult, & he still could not succeed in doing so even after spending all his Money to ship it! The big Rock was then left on the roadside somewhere near Liangxiang County, 30km Southwest of Beijing – hence the nickname “Family Bankruptcy Rock”. Later, Emperor Qianlong discovered it & transported it to the Summer Palace & laid it infront of the Hall of Happiness & Longevity.

While viewing the Bankruptcy Rock, I spotted the below young pretty girl in Pink jacket – she was very attracted to my Red hair too & actually smiled & posed for me when I was taking snapshots of her – she’s so Sweet!!

We then walked through the below gate from the Courtyard of the Hall of Happiness & Longevity & entered into the Courtyard infront of Yaoyue Gate (meaning “Greeting the Moon Gate”) & Wang Jing stopped us to introduce to us the Long Corridor (“Chang Lang” in Chinese) of the Summer Palace.

Below is the Yaoyue Gate (“Greeting the Moon Gate”).

The Long Corridor was built in 1750 because Emperor Qianlong wanted his Mother to be able to enjoy her walks through the Gardens protected from direct Sunlight & inclement Weathers.

Beginning from the Yaoyue Gate & ending with Shizhang Pavilion, the Long Corridor is one of the Oldest Structures & a Major part of the Architectural style of the Summer Palace. It’s a Covered veranda running for 728 metres (& consisting of 273 Sections) along the Northern shore of Kunming Lake & connecting with a row of Buildings at the foot of Longevity Hill.

In 1990, the Long Corridor was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Longest Painted Corridor in the World”.

Stepping onto the Long Corridor & exploring its Beauty – On the purlins & beams of the Long Corridor are over 14000 Suzhou style Paintings & among them, 546 Color Paintings relating to the Scenes of West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province (Artists were ordered by Emperor Qianlong in 1755 to go to Hangzhou to sketch the sceneries there).

Beside the Colorful Paintings of Natural Scenery, there’re also Scences of Flowers, Birds, Fish, Insects, Mythology & Figures. The Paintings of Figures were mainly adapted from Ancient Chinese Classical Literature, such as “Pilgrimage to the West”, “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”. “The Western Chamber”, “Water Margin” & “The Dream of the Red Mansion”. All in all, visitors are able to learn alot about the 5000 years old of Chinese Culture just by visiting the Long Corridor in the Summer Palace.

The Long Corridor is also remarkable for its Quakeproof function. According to historical records, over the past 251 years, although the Slim & Winding Long Corridor has suffered numerous Storms, Strong Winds, 7 Earthquakes & was even burned by the Anglo-French Allies in 1860, it has never tilted or been undermined. The incredible tenacity of the corridor lies in 3 factors: specially reinforced Ground Base, 2 Piers extending from the East to West in a Mechanical balance & the Shelter of the Longevity Hill from unfavorable Winds.

Walking along the Long Corridor & to the right of the Corridor are beautiful serene Garden Landscapes.

And to the left of the Long Corridor is the tranquil Kunming Lake.

Since the Long Corridor was designed to follow the physical features of the Southern slope of Longevity Hill, 4 multiple-eaved, Octagonal pavilions (retaining the Goodness Pavilion, Living with the Ripples Pavilion, Autumn Water Pavilion, & Clear & Far Pavilion) were placed at bends & indulation, representing the 4 Seasons of the year – thus visitors will hardly notice the rise & fall of the terrain.

Approaching one of the Pavilions of the Long Corridor below.

Standing inside the Octagonal Pavilion overlooking up the Colorful Painted top!

Below is the “Tale of the Peach-Blossom Land” Painting (“Tao Hua Yuan Ji” in Chinese) – set during the reign of Emperor Wu of the Easten Jin Dynasty. It tells the Story of a Fisherman who discovered a secluded Valley (“Shi Wai Tao Yuan” in Chinese) located on the other side of a narrow cave. The Inhabitants of the Valley were the Descendants of War refugees from the times of the Qin Dynasty. They had lived in this utopia untroubled by the further course of History in Peace & Harmony ever since. The Fisherman returned home to tell the story, but the idyllic Valley could never be found again.

Me seated inside the Pavilion & along the Long Corridor.

Stepping out of the Long Corridor onto the pavement beside Kunming Lake.

Below shows view of the 17-Arch Bridge (“Shiqi Kong Qiao” in Chinese which I shall talk more about later) on the Kunming Lake from where we were standing at the pavement beside the Long Corridor.

We continued strolling along the pavement beside the Long Corridor (on the right & the Kunming Lake on our left) relaxing under the Shady Trees feeling the light Cool breeze & enjoying the Beautiful scenery surrounding us.

Notice the Metal grills surrounding the Trees on the pavement – these are to protect the Trees preventing people from stepping directly on the roots of the trees.

We walked past another Octagonal Pavilion of the Long Corridor.

We arrived at the foot of Longevity Hill where the below Gate of Dispelling Clouds (“Paiyun Men” in Chinese) stands. The 58.59 metres high Longevity Hill was originally called Jar Hill cos of the Legend that that an Old man found a Stone Jar while chiseling at the Hill Rocks. The following year, the Hill was renamed Longevity Hill. As the development of the Summer Palace grounds continued, soil quarried to enlarge Kunming Lake was piled up on the hill to put its East & West slopes in balance in terms of shape & size. This restyled Hill became the mainstay of the Summer Palace.

Infront of the Gate of Dispelling Clouds are a pair of Bronze Lions & 12 Taihu Rocks (representing 12 Zodiac Animals). Together with the lions, these Auspicious animals ward off Evil spirits & protect the Imperial Buildings.

Upon entering the Gate of Dispelling Clouds, there’s the Hall of Dispelling Clouds (“Paiyun Dian” in Chinese, a Bronze Dragon & Phoenix stand outside the hall to symbolize Supreme Power). Originally in the 7th year of the reign of Emperor Hongzhi of the Ming Dynasty (1494), the emperor’s Wet Nurse, Madam Luo, built a temple at the foot of the Hill, which she named the Temple of Serenity. In the 15th year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign (1750), the Hall of the Great Buddha of the Temple of Immense Gratitude & Longevity was built on the same site of the ruined Temple of Serenity to celebrate the 60th birthday of the Emperor’s Mother.

The Hall of the Great Buddha of the Temple of Immense Gratitude & Longevity was later burned down by the Anglo-French Allied Forces in the 10th year of Emperor Xianfeng’s reign (1860) & reconstructed on its original site in the 12th year of Emperor Guangxu’s reign (1886) was the Hall of Dispelling Clouds as a place to celebrate Empress Dowager Cixi’s birthdays. On Emperor Dowager Cixi’s birthdays, October 10 of the Chinese Lunar Year, with Emperor Guangxu leading the Troops, all ranks kowtowed to her as she sat on the “Nine-Dragon Throne” to receive greetings & rare gifts. Most of the existing buildings were also rebuilt during Emperor Guangxu’s reign (1875-1908).

The name of the Hall of Dispelling Clouds was derived from a verse “In such a Splendid Hall, Supernatural Beings will Emerge” by the Poet Guo Pu (276-324) in the Jin Dynasty. On display inside the Hall are some of the Birthday Presents offered by Princes, Dukes & High-ranking Officials.

(Unfortunately due to time constraints, we could not climb up the Longevity Hill to visit the Hall of Dispelling Clouds).

Standing beside the Gate of Dispelling Clouds we could see views of the Tower of Buddhist Incense, a three-storey Octahedral building with four-layered eaves (41meters high) standing upright on a 20 meters high Stone base, North of the Hall of Dispelling Clouds, halfway up Longevity Hill. The Tower of Buddhist Incense can be seen throughout the area & is the symbol of the Summer Palace. Facing Kunming Lake southward, backing on the Hall of the Sea of Wisdom (“Zhihuihai” in Chinese which I will talk more later) which is blocked from where we were standing, the Tower of Buddhist Incense was flanked by symmetrical Buildings. And the front part imitates the Yellow Crane Tower in Hubei Province & this’s the elite Tower among treasured Ancient structures.

In 1989, the Tower of Buddhist Incense was opened to the public. Originally built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong & burned down by the Anglo-French Allied Forces in 1860, the Tower of Buddhist Incense was rebuilt in its original style during Emperor Guangxu’s reign (1875-1908).

Inside the Tower is a Statue of the Thousand-handed Kwan-Yin. The statue (5 metres high & 5 tons in weight) was cast in Bronze & gilded with Gold during the reign of Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty. Set off by the 8 imposing pillars which support the Tower, the Statue glows with Beauty, Grandeur & Brilliance. On the 1st & 15th days of the Lunar month, Empress Dowager Cixi would go there to pray & burn joss sticks.

Dear infront of the Tower of Buddhist Incense.

Leaving the Gate of Dispelling Clouds now to take a Boat Cruise on Kunming Lake.

Seated inside the Dragon Ferry Boat which cost RMB 5 per person. While waiting for the Boat to set off, I went out to its Open deck to take some photos : Paddle Boats parked at the shoreline of Kunming Lake next to our Boat below.

Below shows another Dragon Ferry Boat parked at the Pier next to ours.

Dear seated inside our Dragon Ferry Boat.

I came back to my seat cos our Boat was about to set off. The 2 Babies seated opposite us were so Adorable wrapped with their Think Clothings in the arms of their Mom & Grandma I couldn’t resist not taking snapshots of them!

Below are the Beautiful Colored Paintings of our Boat’s ceiling.

Our boat’s setting off now to the opposite Island of Longevity Hill – South Lake Island (or “Nanhu” in Chinese representing Penglai).

As our Boat moved further away from the Pier at the Foot of Longevity Hill where we were just at, we could see views of Longevity Hill with its many Buildings – an axis running uphill links all the Buildings together, starting from the Archway at the Foot of the Hill & going up through the Gate of Dispelling Clouds, the Second Palace Gate, the Hall of Dispelling Clouds, the Hall of Moral Glory, & the Tower of Buddhist Incense, & ending on the Hilltop is the Sea of Wisdom Temple (“Zhihuihai” in Chinese).

Built on the pinnacle of Longevity Hill, the two-storey Sea of Wisdom Temple (the name suggesting that Buddha’s wisdom is as Wide as the Sea) was initially built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) & called “No Beam Hall” cos it was built entirely using only colored glaze Bricks & not a single Beam or Column. Owing to its Timber-free frame, it survived the fires & invasions by the Anglo-French allied forces & Allied Forces of the Eight Powers. However, the holy statue of Amitayus Buddha, as well as 1,008 smaller engraved Buddhas surrounding it, were destroyed.

Found on the East hillside are the Revolving Archives & the Longevity Hill & Kunming Lake Monument. Standing on the West hillside are the Pavilion of Five Locations & the Baoyun Bronze Pavilion. The Buildings behind the Hill include the “Four Great Regions”, a splendid Tibetan Buddhist structure & the colorful Glazed Tile Pagoda of Many Treasures that stands in the greenery of the Hill. There’s also a variety of Traditional Structures such as the Hall of Utmost Blessing, the Pavilion of Multi-layered Greenery, Painting the Autumn Pavilion, & the Strolling in the Picture Scroll etc – making Longevity Hill a concentrated illustration of Classical Chinese Garden Architecture of the Summer Palace.

(Too bad we did not have the time to visit all these Buildings individually).

Below photos show views of the Hall of Ripples (“Yulan Tang” in Chinese) which I had introduced earlier.

Below shows view of the Pier at the Shoreline at the Foot of Longevity Hill where we just came from.

As our Boat was nearing South Lake Island, we could see the 17-Arch Bridge (“Shiqi Kong Qiao” in Chinese) connecting the Eastern shore of Kunming Lake in the East & South Lake Island in the West. The 150 metres long & 8 metres wide Bridge is the Longest & Biggest Bridge in the Summer Palace. It was built in 1750 by Emperor Qianlong & the rationale behind the span having 17 Arches has to do with Chinese Numerology. The number Eight is a homonym for Prosperity & Good Fortune or Wealth in Mandarin Chinese. The Ninth Arch (the Largest) is considered the number Most Auspicious for Emperors, thus the Son of Heaven (which the Emperors called themselves then) is symbolically positioned in the middle of Good Fortune on both sides. This span is partially patterned after the famed Marco Polo Bridge in Southwest Beijing.

We arrived at South Lake Island (after getting off our Dragon Ferry Boat as shown below) & we could see Longevity Hill opposite us.

Below shows the Zoomed-in view of Longevity Hill with its Prominent Grand Buildings.

Walking towards the 17-Arch Bridge.

Dear & I standing on South Lake Island with the 17-Arch Bridge behind us.

Dear standing at the start of the 17-Arch Bridge which has 544 White Marble Stone Lions on its balustrades, & it’s reputed as the Bridge with the Most Stone Lions in China.

Stepping onto the 17-Arch Bridge – it’s a Pretty Wide Bridge!

Our tour guide Wang Jing stopped to explain about the Stone Lions of the Bridge.

Wang Jing showed us an example of a Female Stone Lion below – How do we know she’s a Female? Well, cos there’re Baby Lion Cubs around her, in this below case – 3 Babies.

Below shows the other side of South Lake Island other than the side facing Longevity Hill where we just walked came from.

We continued walking towards the other side of the Bridge.

Dear standing beside another Stone Lion – we guessed this must be a Male cos he’s got No Baby with him! On the Lake is a Paddle Boat – wish we had the time to ride on one, & so Far out in the Lake – it must be real Fun!

It was very Windy & Cold out here we were like shivering under our clothes – but it was really SHIOK cos I love Cold weather!

View of Longevity Hill & the Dragon Ferry Boats on Kunming Lake from where we were standing on the Bridge.

Dear standing in the middle of the Bridge.

Below shows view of the right side of the Bridge, with rows of Paddle Boats parked at the Eastern Shore of Kunming Lake in the East of the Summer Palace.

We’ve now walked almost to the end of the Bridge where the Pavilion of Broad View stands (as shown below).

We came to the end of the 17-Arch Bridge below.

Dear standing at the end of the Bridge – the Paddle Boats behind him at the Eastern Shore of Kunming Lake.

Looking at the 17-Arch Bridge where we just walked on.

We passed by the above Pavilion of Broad View & walked along the beautiful Eastern bank of the Kunming Lake, where we came upon a Bronze Ox (“Tongniu” in Chinese).

This Bronze Ox is set on Carved Stone base overlooking the East shore of Kunming Lake. The Ox is said to possess Flood Control Powers – Da Yu, the Legendary Master in floods prevention, would commit an Iron Ox into the water on completion of every of his Projects. It has thus become Customary since Tang Dynasty (618-907) to line the Edge of Waterways with Oxen.

Cast in the image of a Live creature back in 1755 during Emperor Qianlong’s reign (1736-1795), this Bronze Ox (also called “Golden Ox” was also positioned upon the bank to keep the Floods down.

On the Back of the Ox is an inscription of 80 words entitled “Golden Ox Inscription” written by Emperor Qianlong in a traditional style of Chinese calligraphy known as Seal Characters

Dear happily posing next to his Buddy the Ox (cos he was born in the Ox year)!

A last look at the beautiful tranquil Kunming Lake & the magnificent Longevity Hill across the Lake opposite of us as we were leaving the Summer Palace.

We stepped out of the above East Palace Gate (“Donggongmen” in Chinese) of the Summer Palace (“YiHeYuan” in Chinese) – the major Entrance to the Summer Palace with 2 side doors for Royal family members & Court Officials, & 3 grand doors in the middle exclusively for the Emperor, Empress & Queen Mothers. On the Gate hangs a plaque where Emperor Guangxu of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) calligraphed “YiHeYuan” (Summer Palace) meaning “to Maintain Energy & Mellow the Soul”. And the road for the Emperors leading to the Entrance is chiseled with 2 relief Dragons playing with a Ball, symbolizing Royal Dignity.

Upon walking out of the East Palace Gate, Wang Jing asked if we know why there’s a raised piece of Wood placed across the door on the grounds (as shown below behind the Counter lady)? Do you know the answer? Well, I do – it’s cos the Chinese believe that it will ward off evil spirits & prevent them from coming into the Household, in this case the Summer Palace.

Well, we’ve come to the end of our Summer Palace visit – it was truely a Beauty of Chinese Art, Architecture & Landscaping & a definite “Must See” for any visitor to Beijing! We only wished we had a whole day in there, & that it was a Bright Sunny day cos then our photos would turn out better, & that I would have ignored Wang Jing & stopped to look at the Souvenirs etc etc etc…..well guess we humans tend to be real Greedy ha! Well, actually, we’re already very pleased with our visit this time cos of the many beautiful Memorable sights & feels during our Cool & Relaxed walks & sightseeing of the Summer Palace, & we sure hope to visit the Palace again when we’ve the chance again in the future, in a different Season……hmm during the Winter will be nice when the Snow is thick & falling – let’s Dream on heheheh!!

While waiting for our Sifu (Driver) to come pick us up outside the Summer Palace, there was an unique Tricycle with its Rider sitting inside waiting for customers to bring for Beijing sightseeing trips.

P/S : Below is my Metallic Summer Palace Souvenir Magnet which I were to purchase 3 days later in the Temple of Heaven (“Tiantan” in Chinese).

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