The Summer Palace

Beijing, China


I was in Beijing last week and I visited the Summer Palace [颐和园], a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Beijing, China. This was the Imperial family’s summer retreat. The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. I have been to the Forbidden City but this Summer Palace was more impressive to me because of the scenic views.


I have a travel companion this time – my friend Nin from Thailand! *Sawadeeka* I know I am like so “emo” to be traveling alone on my past few trips but it is not easy to find peeps who are crazy about travel too. Most people will just want to stay in the hotel and hibernate but I can’t. I am scared to stay in the hotel room alone and I have not watched horror films for a very long time. I like having ME-time but I am not that anti-social. Of cos I enjoy having company because there is someone who can help you to make decisions, find directions, spam photos and etc.


We helped each other to spam photos and we took quite a bit of lame photos.



This China auntie copied our pose. Auntie, be creative a bit la! Dun copy leh…



Suzhou Street is definitely one of the places you must visit in Summer Palace. Suzhou Street was built after the market street in Suzhou as an entertainment place for the Emperor and his imperial family to take part in the daily life of ordinary people which was forbidden to them. When the royals went there, the eunuchs and maids of honor would act as shop assistants and customers to mimic market activities on the streets.


Spam… Spam… Spam photos… 


Our next stop was Garden of Harmonious Interests. This garden is a reproduction of a famous South China garden called Jichangyuan in Huishan, Wuxi. Also known as “the garden within a garden”, it is typical of the large imperial gardens of the Qing Dynasty.


Another place that we have visited is Garden of Virtuous Harmony, renowned for the largest Theater Building inside it. This is where Emperor Guangxu and Empress Dowager Cixi watched performances of the Peking opera. Empress Dowager Cixi was a huge fan of Peking Opera and the Great Theater was built in honor of her 60th birthday.


The Tower of Fragrance of the Buddha is one of the places you must visit in the Summer Palace. The entire tower is built on the middle of the hill slope and it stands our strikingly in the Summer Palace.


I don’t kid you but there are freaking many stairs to the top. A lot..really A LOT of stairs! *faint* Please make sure you wear a pair of comfortable shoes when you visit the Summer Palace. My legs really ache for the next few days after walking up all these crazy number of stairs.


WE DID IT! There is a feeling of satisfaction when we reached the tower. Tired is an understatement. It is crazyyyyyy… Inside the tower, there is a statue of the thousand-hand Guanyin Buddha. I did not take photo of the Buddha statue out of respect. I have climbed so many stairs to offer my sincere prayer and I really hope Guanyin Buddha will bless me and my loved ones.


I am ending this post with a photo of Nin and me. Thanks for the company babe! 🙂 And till then… 🙂


  • amy June 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Hi I visit your blog once in a while and this time the timing of this entry is perfect because I am planning to go to Beijing in December. I was there before but with a group, this time I am planning to go there on my own. Is complicated to navigate the city and how did you usually travel around within the city?

    • Irene July 6, 2013 at 4:20 am

      Hi Amy! I am sorry for the late reply. I have no idea why your comment always end up in the spam section and I just saw your comment only. It is not really complicated to navigate around the city as long as you can speak mandarin. I always take cab when I am in this city and it is not very expensive. I have taken their metro service before and it works just like the MRT system in Singapore. Pretty convenient too! 🙂

  • Alison June 24, 2013 at 10:26 pm


    Summer Palace sure looks nice! After seeing your post, I am truly wondering how the people in the past dealt with life without escalators and elevators. :/ All these places actually look the same! How was the weather there like? Was wondering if it would be cold at the top after climbing all the crazy flights of stairs.

    and your friend does not look like a thai. 🙂 you both look goood!

    Take care!

    • Irene June 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      The weather was really hot just like the weather in Singapore. We were sweating like crazy. Hahaha.. Ya after awhile, everything just looks like the same. I wonder how to the royal family climb so many stairs everyday. Maybe they have their servers to carry them around?

  • vince October 17, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    hi that stairs comment about the Summer Palace is so funny!
    I don’t recall making that climb though when I was there though. I did remember sweating a lot though.
    I really like your blog. it’s just feels real. Will be back! When’s your next trip?

  • joreen August 23, 2014 at 1:23 am

    Hi Irene! Just happen to saw your blog when I doing research for my Beijing trip n I love to visit yr blog. Saw your first picture wearing ge ge costume is pretty nice. Where can I take this photo in summer palace?

  • Rippy Williams November 23, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    My daughters and I are planning a trip to Beijing in December 2017 so we are excited to read your blog. My daughters are 10 and 12 years old.

    • Irene November 26, 2016 at 1:03 am

      That’s great ! You have to visit the Great Wall of China


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