Old Summer Palace (Yuanming Yuan (圆明园))

Beijing Travel Blog

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Bridge over frozen lake in Yuanming Yuan.
In the week leading up to this trip, Beijing had some really warm weather.  It felt like the start of Spring.  I had to go to work, but I made my mind up that I'd go out and enjoy the nice weather in the upcoming weekend.  Two days later, it snowed.

I didn't let it spoil my trip to the Old Summer Palace which was actually quite timely with all the news lately about the French auction of statues stolen from Yuanming Yuan in 1860 by the French and British armies.  There was still snow on the ground and the lakes were frozen, giving the place a very different atmosphere than I guess it has when everything is green.  The only drawback was that it was a bit muddy.

I didn't do much there other than wander around and enjoy the scenery.
Beautiful thawing lake in Yuanming Yuan.
  The only ruins I saw were in separate areas of the park and required another admission fee on top of the one I paid to get into the outer gate of the park, so I skipped those.  They're probably worth the extra admission, but I was feeling cold and the park is pretty big, so there was plenty of other space  to explore.

On the way home, I hailed a taxi who informed me that I was his first fare on his first day as a taxi driver.  He needn't have told me.  I could have guessed it by the way he couldn't keep the car from stalling at stop lights and the way he insisted that U-turns aren't legal until he saw another driver perform one.  He's going to have a hard time navigating the streets of Beijing without doing any U-turns.  He did manage to get me home though.
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Bridge over frozen lake in Yuanmin…
Bridge over frozen lake in Yuanmi…
Beautiful thawing lake in Yuanming…
Beautiful thawing lake in Yuanmin…
Right after taking this photo, I w…
Right after taking this photo, I …
photo by: Deats