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Thursday, 9 January 2014

8 Days in Beijing - Day 3 (part 1)

Travel date: 14.12.2013

Day 1 click HERE
Day 2 (part 1) click HERE
Day 2 (part 2) click HERE


Day 3 Highlight -

The Summer Palace 颐和园


Christmas was in the air....

Starting the day really early at 7am.  It was buffet breakfast, but one plate was enough.  Omelette with ham, mushrooms and peppers was sooooooooo goooooooooood.
 Discovered their oatmeal porridge and it was the best thing I ate in Beijing.  It's warm, milky and creamy, simple and comforting for my tummy in winter.  Peking duck and whatever dumplings or baos all cannot fight.  Sounds ridiculous I know, but I couldn't help it, seriously.   I had this ordinary oatmeal porridge good for babies from day 3 till the last day we left.

Picasso cap: Winter wear
Long sleeve fleece and knitted tunic: Uniqlo
Wool jacket: Taipei Xi Men Ding
Leggings and ear muffs: Taobao
Suede boots: Bugis Village
I know the above vain pics can't really see what I was wearing.  No worries, keep scrolling.

Traffic jams as usual, but in less than an hour, we hopped off for a stroll at
Yi He Yuan 颐和园
(The Summer Palace)
History could be traced back since 1750.  This royal garden was destroyed by fire during Opium War II in 1860, was re-build in 1886 and became the resident for old Dowager Empress CiXi 慈喜太后.
Entrance of The Summer Palace

A little more about Dowager Empress Ci Xi 慈喜太后, she entered the Palace in 1851 at age 16.  1861, TongZi Emperor 同治皇帝载淳 was throned emperor at a tender age of 5.    Obviously too young, he was a puppet as Ci Xi took control behind a veil of curtain which they called 垂帘听政.  She was only 26 then.  She passed away in 1908 age 73.
image from wikipedia

Spot 2 bird nests on the tree.

Ren Shou Dian 仁寿殿
Empress Ci Xi's "office".

Yen Nian Jing 延年井
This mini well is the tiniest well I ever seen in my whole life!  It's only about 1.5 foot height with small hole just enough for a hand to get in.  Empress Ci Xi loved the well water from here and credited her longevity to this well.  Thus it was named Yen Nian Jing 延年井 direct translation to english, well of prolong years.

Huge, with man-made Kunming Lake 昆明湖 covering 2.2km and the excavated soil was used to build Longevity Hill 万寿 which is about 60m high. 
Could see some parts of the lake were already frozen with a thin layer of ice on top.

Since boat ride not possible due to the weather's condition, some quiet moment at a corner of the archway was pretty poetic too.

This ancient archway is 728m long with paintings on the roof beams along the way.

A far view of Fu Xiang Ge 佛香阁 on Longevity Hill 万寿山.

Best zoom from camera.

Despite of the bitter winter, scenery was beautiful, I could walk on and on.....

Heading to Le Shou Tang 乐寿堂.

Le Shou Tang 乐寿堂
(Hall of  Happiness in Longevity)
Ci X's resident.

Outside Le Shou Tang, at the right hand was famous eunuch 李连英 Li Lian Ying's bedroom!

In case you never heard of him, he was Ci Xi's personal servant, but the relationship between them was so close that it was rumoured that Li Lian Ying might not be an eunuch after all.  So much stories being put up on movies/tv screens, it's already difficult to tell from reality to fabrication.
image from wikipedia

How will the trees look like when they bloom in spring?

De He Yuan 德和园
A place where Ci Xi watched Peking Operas.  I guess she would be a TV drama or movie addict if she's born in this era.
image from www.summerpalace-china.com

Totally missed out this significant building, I was more fascinated by the trees and plants around.

The brief visit of 2 hrs was too short and we missed out many other attractions in this Summer Palace garden.  After this was "compulsory shopping" for 2 hrs at a place selling silk beddings, nearly lose my cool over their hard selling.  Gonna leave the story for next post, stay tuned ;)

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