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Kunming Lake, Beijing

4.5
#7 of 57 in Nature in Beijing
Kunming Lake is the central lake on the grounds of the Summer Palace in Beijing, China. Together with the Longevity Hill, Kunming Lake forms the key landscape features of the Summer Palace gardens.With an area of 2.2km2, Kunming Lake covers approximately three quarters of the Summer Palace grounds. It is quite shallow, with an average depth of only 1.5m.HistoryKunming Lake is a man-made lake. Its predecessors were called Wengshan (Jar Hill) Pond and Xihu Lake. They were reservoirs which had been used as sources of water both for the city and irrigation of fields over a period of 3,500 years. Guo Shoujing, a famous astronomer and engineer in his time, developed it into a reservoir for the capital of the Yuan Dynasty in 1291. The conversion of the area into an imperial garden was commissioned by the Qianlong Emperor with the work being carried out between 1750 and 1764. In the course of creating the gardens, the lake area was extended by a workforce of almost 10,000 laborers.In the year 1990 and 1991, the Beijing Municipal Government undertook the first dredging of the lake in 240 years. A total of 652600m3 of sludge were removed in the work. 205 Japanese bombs dropped during the Sino-Japanese War were also found.
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  • The lake inside the summer palace is handmade and a copy of the real Kunming lake. The summer palace consist in tree quarters of lake and the rest are buildings and park area. Great place for a pick n...  more »
  • If you are going to visit the summer palace you should definitely take the time to book a boat trip on the Lake. in the morning go early because many Chinese make it a uitsap, you can meet with your guide in advance what you want to see, though, make sure you playback there is little preparation. We took the time for a walk and saw many old farts. (see fot's) for photo amateurs the ideal spot.
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  • We had a nice "dragon boat" ride to the summer palace across Kunming Lake. Nice crowds here, less pushing and shoving.  more »

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