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Newer Page 187 of 904 Older Full Trip Report
China Beijing Summer Palace

17 April 2018

The west lake of the northern capital

Today I went to another top tourist attraction, the summer palace. I had never been there before. Parts of it are modeled on the famous west lake of Hangzhou, where I have been before and will soon be at again. That means its a great place to go for a long walk around a picturesque lake. I am sure no one cares about the geography lesson, so lets tell some stories, then I can talk about the lake and palace in the photos, of which I took far too many.

I had to take 3 subway lines to get to the summer palace. That is easy, its well sign posted, and it goes everywhere, and a subway train comes every few seconds.
Getting into the station means going through airport style security, except its a huge joke. You have to put your bag on a conveyor to be x-rayed, except no one is ever looking at the screen. If you forget to put your bag on the conveyor they will get angry at you. Its like the handbook said make sure bag go on conveyor, but forgot to mention look at screen to check for bomb.
No one, me included, empties their pockets, so you walk through the magnetic body scanner thing and it goes beep, for absolutely everyone. Every Chinese person has at least 2 phones and 3 backup batteries. So what was the point of installing the magnetic scanner gate thing?
So now someone quickly waves the hand held scanner thing that beeps wherever you have something metallic. They wave this over you, and yes it beeps. And then you just walk off without even showing them why it beeped. There are generally 5 people manning each entrance keeping up this charade. Every station has 4 entrances, so thats 20 people per station. There are currently 370 stations in the Beijing metro network, so 1850 people are right now employed to choreograph a pointless dance routine involving pointing at a conveyor and waving a body scanner.

China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Before even getting to the palace I went for a long walk on the search for coffee and ended up walking around Houhai lake, just in case I didnt get to

Before even getting to the palace I went for a long walk on the search for coffee and ended up walking around Houhai lake, just in case I didnt get to do enough walking later. People fish in this lake, brave people. There are also numerous heavily amplified karaoke sessions going on to wake up everyone withing a 5 mile radius.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Unfortunately I was too early to rent one of these boats, but the attendants in their blue overalls stood to attention and sang an old sea shanty as t

Unfortunately I was too early to rent one of these boats, but the attendants in their blue overalls stood to attention and sang an old sea shanty as their boss corrected their posture.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - I found a place nearby for breakfast, obviously not Chinese style, it even has Chia seeds, with yogurt and banana. Coffee was terrible!

I found a place nearby for breakfast, obviously not Chinese style, it even has Chia seeds, with yogurt and banana. Coffee was terrible!


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Still not at the summer palace, but I did find a newly restored old street. Newly restored old streets are the newest sensation in the old parts of Be

Still not at the summer palace, but I did find a newly restored old street. Newly restored old streets are the newest sensation in the old parts of Beijing.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Now I am at the summer palace, and its very popular with domestic tour groups. The few foreigners that I spotted all had guides. Why would you want a

Now I am at the summer palace, and its very popular with domestic tour groups. The few foreigners that I spotted all had guides. Why would you want a guide? Everyone I see who has a guide is busy trying to educate their guide on how their country compares favorably to China. The guides pretend to care, because they are guiding Americans, who will tip at the end of the day based on how well you have received criticism.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Instead of going to the palace, I went the other way, because I am a fool, and walked the entire perimeter of the lake. I am always securing the perim

Instead of going to the palace, I went the other way, because I am a fool, and walked the entire perimeter of the lake. I am always securing the perimeter of something.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Here is an old bridge to an island. I needed a zoom lens today (my camera is a fixed prime lens), and of course it would be good if the pollution disa

Here is an old bridge to an island. I needed a zoom lens today (my camera is a fixed prime lens), and of course it would be good if the pollution disappeared.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Here is another bridge. The water was very clean, in some of my photos it looks greener than it was. Possibly reflections from all the awesome trees.

Here is another bridge. The water was very clean, in some of my photos it looks greener than it was. Possibly reflections from all the awesome trees.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - And here are the awesome trees, it was very pleasant walking along under them looking at the blossoms and making Chinese children anxious.

And here are the awesome trees, it was very pleasant walking along under them looking at the blossoms and making Chinese children anxious.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Another bridge. Old people were actually swimming in the water near here! I couldnt really get a photo that looked like anything other than debris flo

Another bridge. Old people were actually swimming in the water near here! I couldnt really get a photo that looked like anything other than debris floating in the water. Old people love to parade around like proud peacocks in their bathing suits.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - There are many snack stores along the path that look like ancient temples. Water was not ridiculously over priced like it was on the great wall. Proba

There are many snack stores along the path that look like ancient temples. Water was not ridiculously over priced like it was on the great wall. Probably because there are a lot less foreign tourists here.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Another bridge, most of them were built in the 1700's.

Another bridge, most of them were built in the 1700's.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Here is every color of blossom, white, red, pink, yellow. I guess orange is missing, I have definitely seen orange before.

Here is every color of blossom, white, red, pink, yellow. I guess orange is missing, I have definitely seen orange before.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - This family of swans have even constructed a small house for themselves with a nice view of their pond.

This family of swans have even constructed a small house for themselves with a nice view of their pond.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Here we have a touching scene. Nanna has been brought to the lake to look at the blossoms once more, before her daughter rolls her into the lake for b

Here we have a touching scene. Nanna has been brought to the lake to look at the blossoms once more, before her daughter rolls her into the lake for becoming too much of a burden.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - A different kind of bridge.

A different kind of bridge.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - This is the man made causeway thats a couple of miles long. There actually was a sign saying it had been constructed specifically to mimic the west la

This is the man made causeway thats a couple of miles long. There actually was a sign saying it had been constructed specifically to mimic the west lake at Hangzhou. There is actually somewhere in Japan where they did the same thing, I went there and took a photo of that too. I have now been to all three Hangzhou west lakes.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - NO ROMPING!

NO ROMPING!


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - A bit more of the green lake.

A bit more of the green lake.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Now we leave the lake and head into palace world, here is a gate and some ladies who have dressed up for the occasion.

Now we leave the lake and head into palace world, here is a gate and some ladies who have dressed up for the occasion.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - If you suffer from hay fever, do not come here

If you suffer from hay fever, do not come here


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - This ancient boat is made from solid ivory. It must have been a huge elephant!

This ancient boat is made from solid ivory. It must have been a huge elephant!


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Now I entered the land of the Buddha. Everything from now on had some kind of ridiculous name. The grand hall of indeterminable incense for divine pre

Now I entered the land of the Buddha. Everything from now on had some kind of ridiculous name. The grand hall of indeterminable incense for divine predictions.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Looking out over the effervescent courtyard of the 7 truths of the condor. Looks like a computer game.

Looking out over the effervescent courtyard of the 7 truths of the condor. Looks like a computer game.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Looking back up from my vantage point at the former site of the well where the prince king ascended and transformed into a sacred ghost.

Looking back up from my vantage point at the former site of the well where the prince king ascended and transformed into a sacred ghost.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - This is actually a garden according to the signs, without any plants. The garden of divine gratitude, that is its real name. How can it be a garden!

This is actually a garden according to the signs, without any plants. The garden of divine gratitude, that is its real name. How can it be a garden!


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - This grandma is posing in the sun, in a rain coat with an umbrella. They were having a great time. Everyone was! I posed for 5 photos with random midd

This grandma is posing in the sun, in a rain coat with an umbrella. They were having a great time. Everyone was! I posed for 5 photos with random middle aged Chinese women who insisted I be in their photos.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - This is another garden, I forget its name, something harmonious. There were goldfish.

This is another garden, I forget its name, something harmonious. There were goldfish.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - After walking through the actual garden areas, I arrived at the last stop today inside the summer palace compound, Suzhou street. Suzhou is a famous w

After walking through the actual garden areas, I arrived at the last stop today inside the summer palace compound, Suzhou street. Suzhou is a famous water city (think Venice) near Shanghai. I have already been there twice!


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - A bit more Suzhou street, I wonder how many people fall in when this place is crowded? There is no guard rail and the path is very narrow in places.

A bit more Suzhou street, I wonder how many people fall in when this place is crowded? There is no guard rail and the path is very narrow in places.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - Second to last photo, Suzhou street with a bridge.

Second to last photo, Suzhou street with a bridge.


China-Beijing-Summer Palace - And one more for good measure with a lantern. The summer palace was an excellent place to go, accessible by subway, entrance fee about $10 that gets y

And one more for good measure with a lantern. The summer palace was an excellent place to go, accessible by subway, entrance fee about $10 that gets you into everything, opportunities to walk an epic distance, a hill to climb, all it needs is a proper place to sit and enjoy a coffee - the Hangzhou west lake has lots of places!


NewerPage 187 of 904OlderFull Trip Report