The Summer Palace

Beijing, China

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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.

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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.

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

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MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO

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

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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.

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Spam… Spam… Spam photos… 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

The Forbidden City

Beijing, China

This is a late post on my trip to The Forbidden City in Beijing on January this year. I always feel that there is an air of mystery with a lot of untold stories in this imperial palace. Prior to the trip, my Chinese colleagues have already advised me not to stay till too late and the haunted activities is the very reason why the imperial palace never stays open to the public late at night.

January is the coldest month in January and it is so cold that the whole lake is frozen.

The trip is about 4 months ago and I cannot remember much of the details so I will just let the photos do the talking.

The Hall of Supreme Harmony

The throne in the Hall of Preserving Harmony
The throne in the Palace of Heavenly Purity

I had hotpot for dinner at this pretty popular hotpot chain restaurant called Xiabu Xiabu (呷哺呷哺) which is easily found in Beijing. It is a very comforting to have hotpot in this cold winter. This sumptuous meal is only less than SGD10. Everything in China is so cheap! I can take cab everywhere I go and also enjoy an affordable 2 hour full body massage at the end of the day. Like a Queen!

I ordered room service for supper after the 2 hours full body massage! Shiok! Can you spot the pinky bolster? It is my beloved bolster girl! My boy made it for me and I bring it with me around the world ever since the first day I started flying. It is a must-bring item if not I will not be able to sleep. Hee.. 🙂