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china Travel

THE SUMMER PALACE

Today was my first sunny and clear sky day in China, the others days was the “smoggy” (“smoke + fog” or smoke from the pollution plus mist) or rainy.

I went by bus to the Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) 15km from the center of Beijing, a huge and beautiful “park”, plus thousands of Chinese tourists. I walked a lot, for about seven hours and without eating, because the food in the cafeteria has already finished, my feet were hurting me and I could not see everything. I went to have a lunch only after I left the park at the end of the day.

In addition to temples, pagoda, statues, gardens, there were bridges, the most famous being the “Bridge of 17 Arches”; a huge lake, Lake Kunming that occupies 2/3 of the park area, where people rent boats in the summer or ice-ski in the winter; and the famous and impressive “Marble Boat”, which I saw since childhood in pictures oin the Chinese restaurants in Brazil, I would never have imagined that I would see it in person! Built in 1750 AD in the 300-hectare Qing dynasty, the Palace was a birthday present for Emperor Qianlong’s mother. It was the place where the imperial family spent the summer.

On the way back to the hostel rained hail, the city was a chaos, glad I was in my raincoat.