There are two halves to the Summer Palace: Up & Down. Naturally, we explored the Down first…but the Up looked tempting. So we braved the stairs and climbed to the top of the Summer Palace.
This is what we saw…
The stairs weren’t too daunting. There were two sets — and two sets of stairs means a race. Jem and I took one set, and the others took the shorter, easier set. Needless to say (after a few minutes of breathless running), Jem and I won.
|Oh, and this is only one set of the stairs. There were at least three more.|
At the top we went through a dark temple (no flash photography or Buddah will be offended) and watched in amazment as people presented offerings of food to their golden statues. It still happens.
The views from the top were breathtaking. No wonder the Emperor of China used this as his retreat. (And there were even more people here then at the Forbidden City).
And, just to prove that the Chinese don’t miss an opportunity to sell something (anything), at the top of the Summer Palace a man sold these:
They’re made out of grass. Not very customs-friendly, but still amazingly intricate. But I rest my case: you can buy anything anywhere in China.