Summer Palace, Beijing - Stein Travel
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Summer Palace

The magnificent Summer Palace in northwest Beijing at Kunming Lake was built in 1750 by the Emperor Qianlong, and continued to be an imperial residence until the Empress Dowager Cixi died in 1908. The palace and stunning gardens are open to visitors, who enter through the East Palace gate, pass through a grand courtyard into the Hall of Benevolent Longevity, the Hall of Jade Ripples, and the Hall of Joyful Longevity. Empress Cixi's private theatre in the Garden of Moral Harmony is a must-see, as is the long corridor that skirts Kunming Lake's northern shoreline to reach the marble boat, an elaborate two-storey structure of finely carved stone and stained glass.

Information & Facts

Admission

¥20 (November to March), ¥30 (April to October)

Language

The official language is Mandarin Chinese, but there are hundreds of local dialects.

Money

The currency used in China is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY). The Yuan is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. Make sure you exchange your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency can be exchanged only within China's borders. Travellers cheques, preferably in US Dollars, and foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. The larger hotels and the special 'Friendship Stores' designed for foreigners will accept most western currencies for purchases. Major credit cards are accepted in the main cities at various establishments, but outside the major cities acceptance is limited. ATMs are scarce outside the main cities.

Opening Times

Daily 7am to 5pm (November to March), 6.30am to 6pm (April to October)

Time

Local time is GMT +8.

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