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BEIJING: Summer Palace
October 2005

On Sunday we traveled by subway, light rail, and finally taxi to get to the emporers’ Summer Palace.  What was once a summer resort for the elite now received a teeming mass of people.  Situated amongst some low hills next to a calm lake, the pagodas and walkways were indeed beautiful although it required a lot of imagination to remove the crowds and envision the tranquility.  The Summer Palace is also quite large and we got our fill of pagodas and traditional Chinese architecture.  One of the more amusing sites was the marble boat commissioned by Empress Dowager Cixi, which she paid for by appropriating money set aside for a real navy.  



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