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“Beautiful, but crowded”

Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)
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Private Summer Palace and Hot Springs Tour from Beijing
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All Inclusive Private Day Tour to Mutianyu Great Wall and Summer Palace from...
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Small-Group Mutianyu Great Wall and Summer Palace Tour with Lunch
Ranked #3 of 1,614 things to do in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Once a summer retreat for emperors, this 290-acre park is still a retreat for the crowd-weary tourist, who can relax here or stroll around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and huge lake, stopping occasionally at a shop or tea-house.
Reviewed October 4, 2012

This was a giant garden complete with man made lake and the longest covered walkway in the world at 728 meters, that’s about 2,100 feet long. The Dowager Empress used to walk it once a day, followed by six handmaidens. Bands played along the way to inspire her.

Thank Pachita61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,446 - 6,450 of 12,353 reviews

Reviewed October 3, 2012

Many people, pushing, you cannot breathe, the surroundings are dark, very old walls and corridors, scary than entertaining, no paints on the buildings, it has the same structure from the first buildings to the next. except for the tall dome but nothing so special. The tourguide started telling us how beautiful the empress was and her face is so smooth, because she was putting a pearl cream, from pearls harvested in the river of that summer palace, we were mind set, that the pearl has a big effect on the empress beauty even in her older age she still look like she is in her twenties. Then after the summer palaces we went to the pearl and jewelry shop. with a sales lady talking about a pearl cream that was actually used by the empress, many bought this cream and was lured to buy because of the clever sales talk of the tourguide, we bought it at 200 to 300 yuan, it was actually a holdup in broad day light ha ha ha!
The prices of the jewelries in that pearl shop were exuberant, the other member of our tour spent 2,00 yuan for a black pearl necklace, same one we saw in the pearl market, it was only 500 yuan. Then the guide started to tell us a story about his illness and was cured by a medicine bought in one Chinese drug store, so it was also a prelude to our next visit the famous Chinese medicine house with Chinese doctors holding your pulse and telling you what your ailments are, one of our tour member bought worth 2,000 US DOLLARS worth of medicines.
wow! Do not be side tracked of the flowery tales of the tourguide, they have the most wonderful stories to share, while cruising to the next scenery. Oh! the next stop was the silk shop, i bet you he has a very good prelude story before you enter the shop. So, just be cautious!

3  Thank Tessa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2012 via mobile

We traveled out to the summer palace from downtown Beijing in a metered taxi which was ¥60. I would recommend that people just take the subway. We did this for later trips in Beijing and it was extremely easy for an English speaking person. The summer palace was really nice. Make sure to walk the paths up the hill and goto the shopping street in the back of the park. Also beware of "nice" taxis that say VIP on the cars taxi paperwork. They cost at least 3x a normal cab with the meter running.

1  Thank Tapered
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed October 3, 2012

First, do not take a tour to go to this place. Tours just let people to walk for a half an hour and It could take a hole day to explore and enjoy landscapes and gardens of this historical place. Go by yourself and enjoy this wonderful palace.

2  Thank Omar M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2012

Although perhaps not as culturally significant as Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, etc. it was a much more enjoyable and scenic visit if you only have time for one or two major sights in Beijing. I've been to ~10 cities in China and to Beijing three times prior on business trips with very little free time. Summer Palace would be one of my top recommendations for any traveler in China. What's nice about the Summer Palace is how pleasant your time is there while also absorbing culture, being informed, and taking beautiful pictures. So many photos and scenes from historical sights in China can become monotonous and difficult to distinguish between them once home, whereas this is not the case here at Summer Palace. I used local tour guide Peter Zhao (iampeter518@yahoo.com) which allowed me to get in and through the park quickly and efficiently early on a Saturday AM. It was a good use of my time and money to use him when with limited tourist time in Beijing. Although the crowds are smaller at opening time, many of the individual attractions are not open until slightly later.

2  Thank Krivenburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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