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Tuesday 5 June 2007

Summer in Winter – Beijing Travelogue (11/12/2006)

This was the day I visited the Summer Palace (颐和园) which is located northwest of Beijing. It was built by Emperor Qian Long (乾隆) in 1750 in conjunction with his mother’s birthday. I started off with the hill-hiking along the Wan Shou Shan (万寿山) and saw this painting-decorated ceiling of one of the buildings along the hill path.

At one of the summits sits the Lama temple where the Emperors prayed. The roofs of the temples are deliberately decorated with carvings of the mythological beings.

This temple is decorated with many statues of Buddha around the perimeter walls.

Coming down from the hill area and walking towards the lake area reveals some painted glass windows, offering spectacular views of a painting within a painting.

One needs to pass though a few of corridors like this to get to the scenic area of the lake.

The first glance at the lake offered this view of a pavilion and trees on an island.

Circling around the island revealed a different scene with the frozen lake.

And the 17-opening or 17-arch Bridge is already in sight.

Crossing the 17-opening Bridge brought me to the island with a man-made garden.

And I could see the Bridge from a different angle with the pavilion on the mainland.

The painted ceiling of the pavilion reminded me of patterns and symmetry.

The sun is getting lower by the minutes and I had to turn back to see some other things.

But before that, I would love to indulge myself in the silhouette of a tree,

and also the pavilion and some trees on the island.

On the other side of the lake lies the Long Gallery (长廊) made up by a series of corridors.

This is one typical ceiling of a pavilion along the Long Gallery with abundant paintings.

Walking passed the Long Gallery marked the end of my tour of this awesome park where the emperors and concubines played. On the way back to Beijing led me passing by the best university in China, the Peking University (北京大学), and this is the west gate of the University.

After a long day, I couldn’t leave without food! It’s time to have some summer feeling in my stomach at a Sichuan restaurant called Yu Xiang Ren Jia (渝乡人家). The first dish I was offered is this spicy chicken cubes with peanuts (宮保鶏丁).

Another dish to warm my stomach is this north Sichuan glass noodles (川北凉粉), which was cooked with chilies, Sichuan peppers and gingers.

And last but not least, the water-boiled fish fillets (水煮魚), which literally means half-water-half-oil-boiled fish fillets, in lots of dried chilies!

I hope you have enjoyed another day of my traveling experience.

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