A Winter Tour of the Summer Palace in Beijing, China

In Beijing during the heat of summer, the Chinese Emperors often left the Forbidden City and traveled to the Summer Palace (or Gardens of Nurtured Harmony – or 颐和园 in simplified Chinese) to cool off.  On my winter travel to China, I needed no such cooling off. The -13 degrees didn’t need to be converted to any scale, summer was long over and it was cold. Freezing.

But with my Aussie friend, traveling to the Summer Palace seemed like a perfect plan. On the day excursion from Beijing, I took in some lovely winter scenery in the frigid air.

When you visit Beijing, I recommend an escape to see the Summer Palace, and I recommend it in Summer or Winter.

It was so cold, I could see my breath...

A perk, not very crowded in winter....

Central Kunming Lake was frozen solid...

The view from Longevity Hill

An interesting history lesson....

stay adventurous, Craig

This post is part of the Taste of Asia series. It is the final of the seven posts. Hope you enjoyed the special series.


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  • http://www.acceleratedstall.com Maria

    Love to see sites off-season. Often feel as though it’s all yours with the reduction in fellow travelers and a different season can lead to more discovery simply because of the sun’s position or lack of flora. Nicely done!

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com Craig Zabransky

      Xie xie @Maria, and I couldn’t agree more… sometimes the off season is full of such discovery.

  • Maryann

    I visited the Summer Palace in the summer. The landscape was beautiful. Your article shows a completely new scene. Also very pretty but looks a bit too cold for me. However, it is a great excursion to take if you are in Beijing. Love your pictures.

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com Craig Zabransky

      Thanks @Maryann, someday perhaps I’ll see the palace in summer too, because I don’t plan to return in winter, you were correct it was freezing.
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • http://www.danandholly.com Dan Thompson

    Man that’s awesome! We were there last May and it was CROWDED… like crazy crowded. That picture of you in the courtyard would have been filled with you, and 200 of your closest Chinese friends! =)

    Very cool stuff, thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com Craig Zabransky

      Thanks Dan, I definitely enjoy visiting in the ‘off season.’ It’s always a completely different experience.

      stay adventurous, Craig

  • http://amandaelsewhere.com/ Amanda @amandaelsewhere

    Oooh, I like the fact that the winter added almost a cool kind of color tint to your photos! The Summer Palace in winter, how poetic!

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com Craig Zabransky

      Xie Xie (thank you) @Amanda, it was such a unique coldness…. hard to put to words, glad the images captured it….
      stay adventurous, Craig

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