Sunset over Summer Palace (Tips & Photos)

Plan your Beijing tour? For Beijing first timers,Summer Palace, the former imperial garden, is a must see attraction which is the epitome of Chinese traditional gardening and architecture.

Visiting Summer Palace at different times of a day allows you to see the different views under sunrise in the morning, at noon, in the afternoon and under sunset.

Today seeing the beautiful early winter weather – azure and clear, I decide to snap some pictures of the sunset over Summer Palace.

Note:  If you’d like to know how to get to Summer Palace, you might check out the link – Travel Tips for Visiting Summer Palace.

I leave my home at 3:40pm and drive all the way to the parking lot near New Palace Gate to Summer Palace. The New Palace Gate is on the southeast corner of the former imperial garden.

Just half hour before Today’s sunset at 5:06 pm, I choose to stroll along the East Dike on to the former court area, the long corridor,  the Longevity Hill in  the north and then take the ferry boat from the dock in front of Longevity Hill to South Lake Isle and walk through the 17-arch bridge come back to New Palace Gate.

Summer Palace is dominated by Kunming Lake in the center circled by East Dike on the east, Longevity Hill on the north (the iconic landmark in Summer Palace), West Dike on the west and South Lake Isle. Normally sunset just takes a few minutes, making changing places for pictures taking very difficult.

One hour driving and half hour waiting only allows me to have  only a few minutes for catching  today’s sunset in my pictures. No complaining about that. Flowers don’t bloom every day;  good scenic views are not always around us. We’d better rather often  think of the short-live flowers and rarely seen scenic views than complaining about their  rarity or short time.

The bright sunshine is turning yellow and red,casting long golden waving rays on the lake. Its sunset glow blankets the whole area.

A group of people alight a dragon  boat at the dock near New Palace Gate with the bright sun hanging high on the west golden sky.

Disembark a boat

A grey-haired grandma is playing an accordion, surrounded by visitors passing by. The scene reminds me of a line of poem “The sunset is beautiful but the dusk is near”. A little pessimistic?  No, this grandma is enjoying every minute of the beautiful sunset and expecting tomorrow’s sunset though nothing lasts for ever like all of us.

Further move on along the willow waving dike. People are fully intoxicated by the golden sunset, sitting on benches or on the lake bank under willow trees, or  just strolling along the dike, laughing and chatting, of course, taking photos of the rare moment.

The sunset glow is throwing a new golden coating  on the  willow trees along the  dike.

The sunset glow is throwing a new golden coating on the willow trees along the dike.

Sunset is like a firewood to rekindle  a romance. The sun is getting round, casting a long golden ray on the lake.

Rekindle a romance

Sunset offers a good opportunity for a young couple to be romantic.

A young couple

A dragon boat colored by the sunset glow with the back drop of the Longevity Hill toppled by  the Tower of Buddhist Incense.

A dragon boat1

Some visitors are still leisurely rowing tor pedalling their boats under the golden sunset glow.

Pedalling their boats under the golden sunset glow

On the way to the court area and the long corridor,  you will see a massive building known as Wenchang Tower, one of the six gate forts in Summer Palace and built in 1750 and burned down by Anglo-Frence led foreign forces in 1860.

Wenchang Tower

Boating under the golden sunset glow.

Boating under the golden sunset glow.

People are catching the last sunset glow.

People are catching the last sunset glow

The Longevity Hill is on the north of Kunming Lake, the iconic land mark of Summer Palace.

The Longevity Hill is on the north of Kunming Lake

Walking along the long corridor, the sun is half submerged under the West Hill.

Today’s sun is saying goodbye to us.

Lion figures on the 17-arch bridge linking the South Isle.

Lion figures on the 17-arch bridge linking the South Isle.

Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours

If you don’t want to do a self-guided tour and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for organized tours to Beijing:

Beijing Day Tour
Beijing Tour Package
Car Rental in Beijing
Great Wall Tour
Beijing Summer Tour
Beijing Winter tour
Beijing Tour
China City Tours
China Tour

Further Readings

Best Time to Visit Beijing
How to plan a trip to Beijing

Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
Top 10 Tourist Scams Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

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