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 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.
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.
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:
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
Any questions, just drop a line.