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Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan), Beijing

Categories: Ruins, Nature & Parks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.1/5 based on 700+ reviews on the web
Favorite summer retreat for Qing emperors until its systematic destruction by Anglo-French troops in 1860, Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) serves as a reminder of the ruthlessness of European gunboat diplomacy. Originally built in the 12th century, this partially restored palace spans 350 hectares (864 acres), expanded in the 18th and early 19th centuries with the help of two Italian Jesuits. Take a boat ride to explore lotus ponds, or stroll along the Jiuzhou lakefront to ponder intricately carved stone ruins and hundreds of scenic spots. Ascend the throne for observing waterworks and the maze of this "Versailles of the East," looted and thoroughly destroyed by the West. The first ever Pekinese dog in the UK, kidnapped by Lord Elgin from this spot as a gift to Queen Victoria, started a real vogue among British elites of the time. Arrange your visit to Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) and discover more family-friendly attractions in Beijing using our Beijing holiday planner.
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  • I really enjoyed my visit here - much quieter than summer palace. We took a picnic and found a nice shady place to sit - the old palace built by the Jesuits is in shambles but that's interesting also....  read more »
  • Buy tickets in advance. Audio guide is 50元 to rent and 200 元 for a deposit but it's worth it. Would recommend four or five hours to see everything. Girl bathrooms had long lines so plan accordingly. O...  read more »
  • Go early morning to able to visit the whole area. Really huge area. Have a good walk early morning with nice fresh air. 
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