Saturday, July 19, 2008
The Summer Palace
Much to my surprise, The Summer Palace is only a couple hundred years old; the last Empress, Cixi (who is often blamed/credited, depending on viewpoint, for the fall of Imperial China), who was Puyi's grandmother. She lived during the 1800s. And that's all I remember from my China History 101 class. The Summer Palace was where Puyi and Cixi hung out when weather in Beijing was excrutiating. The architecture is gorgeous and the man-made lake is beautiful and fun for paddle boating. Today it is used as a public park, and you can see HUNDREDS of people throughout the park; paddle boating, battery boating, sitting, napping, eating snacks from a nearby vendor, playing cards, families having picnics, looking at nature (there are nature trails), power walking, tourists looking at the palace itself, whatever you want. It's a great park!