How to escape hot summers in the middle of Beijing when residing in the Forbidden City? China’s emperors had many privileged escape routes … maybe the most beautiful one is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces, called the Summer Palace. Around 1749 during the Qing Dynasty the actual work for the palaces, artificial and natural lakes and the many side buildings began.
In December 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List. It declared the Summer Palace "a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value".
Certainly a place to spend a day in tranquilly … escaping the buzzling centre of Beijing.