Thursday, July 8, 2010

Yuan Ming Yuan (the old Summer Palace)

Last Friday, our group went to the gardens of the old Summer Palace, Yuan Ming Yuan (YMY). We actually went right after we toured around the Tsinghua campus, so we were all dead tired and exhausted from the heat by the time we got home in the afternoon. Here are a few highlights from our visit.

The front of YMY had a giant lily pad! I should have known from this that were a ridiculous amount of lily pads inside.

All the buildings inside had the traditional Chinese pagoda-looking architecture, with the signature curved roof. This is actually the front of YMY, where we entered.

This is just the beginning of the lily pad photos. The lake and fountain were gorgeous.

This pagoda was in the middle of a lily pad lake.

Here is a closer view of the pagoda. It is so intricately decorated.

Christine, Michelle and in front of the fountain in the middle of the lily pad lake (we are standing outside of the above pagoda).

The fountain looks so refreshing, especially when you've been walking around in the 100 degree weather all day.

I am not quite sure what this guy was doing, maybe cleaning the lily pads? But this picture should give you an idea of how big those lily pads were in diameter... they were giant!

Apparently there was some kind of lotus flower festival going on at YMY, so they had displays like this in the lakes and around the walking paths.

I think these 3 flowerbeds in the middle of the lake were dedicated to the lotus festival?

There were lots of stone bridges, with more intricate carvings in the curves.

I thought this was interesting.. the little shaded area under the pagoda-style roof just has benches for people to sit and rest by the lake, but the whole structure is propped up on stilts above the water. Which makes it a great view of the lake but probably a mosquito breeding ground...

We walked underneath this little gate, I liked how it was covered in vines.

I really wanted to run across this rope bridge to the other side, but it was closed :( It reminded me of running across the tarps on saturday mornings at the old phoenix swim club pool.

Here is another bridge that I thought looked interesting. Have you noticed how a lot of things in China are painted red? The color red has a very positive connotation here, of prosperity and strength (I think) so its used quite frequently.

We walked to the ruins of the old Summer Palace. I am not sure how old these ruins are, but its pretty cool to walk through them.

Michelle and I took a photo by this arch, it was a pretty popular scenic photo point.

Then we walked by a huge life-sized maze! The walls are only about 5 feet high, I stood on top of the wall to try to capture some of the depth of the maze in this picture.

Then we found a whole bunch of columns in the ruins... you can guess what happened next!

We climbed the columns! We probably weren't technically allowed to do this but there weren't any signs prohibiting it and no one came to tell us to get down, so it was fine. But we were definitely the only group of tourists climbing the columns haha.

And then we just took a big group photo by these remnants and called it a day. I think I napped for a solid 3 hours once I got home, I was so tired from being out in the sun all day. I definitely got sunburned and a shorts tan too, yuck.


Post a Comment