Before going to China I got an advice to stay out of sightseeing on national holidays or days before. Still, after some hesitating thoughts, I decided to visit the Summer Palace on the weekend before May 1. Yes, it was crowded but still manageable. Fairly speaking, after 1 month in Beijing and 4 tours of sightseeing, I must admit that Summer Palace is my favourite sight in Beijing till now. It is a stunning park surrounded by lakes and built with palaces and other nice constructions. It is really big so don´t expect to explore it in detail during your first visit.
I entered the Summer Palace from the North Gate which is very near to Suzhou Street, a picturesque shopping street formed on the banks of the lake full of little traditional Chinese shops. Since I wanted to enjoy the atmosphere of this wonderful place, I decided to have my lunch there and ordered some spring roles that were quite good.
In search for the marble boat which I saw on one photo, I continued. In order to come to the area the marble boat, you have to take the ride on the boat for 20 RMB and this ride was very nice. There is an option to take the tour around the whole lake for 40 RMB but I didn´t opt for it this time. You can not step on the marble boat, but you can have a really good look at it from the nearby bridge.
After the marble boat, I continued my tour by searching for the long corridor, another thing I knew I wanted to see in this park. It is a wooden 700 m long corridor, painted with traditional Chinese motives. It was very pleasant to sit in its shadow and overlook the lake that stretches alongside.
The Long Corridor
Close to the corridor you can also enjoy the look at the tower of Buddhist incense. Of course, in this park that is also crowned with UNESCO world heritage title there are also many other nice buildings.
The Tower of Buddhist Incense
Building in the Park
It is such a shame that Beijing transport is so tiring, the subway from my place till almost any sight takes me 1,5h and requires 2-3 changes. If it wasn´t that tiring, I am sure that I would visit the Summer Palace much more often.
Practical info: Subway line 4, stations Beigongmen (close to North Gate) or Xiyuan (close to East Gate)
Entrance Ticket: 60 RMB Combo