Summer Palace – a splendid edifice

The Summer Palace – occupying pride of place in China’s capital city of Beijing – is one of the most splendid examples of the Chinese landscaped garden, an outdoor art form that is the iconic symbol of one of the world’s major civilizations. Savour the variously historical and cultural delights that grace this fair city, when you check into any of the luxury serviced apartments Beijing has to offer you. Consider the elegantly appointed offerings of the Somerset Grand Fortune Garden Beijing. With a central location that puts guests within easy reach of world-class entertainment and dining options, a Somerset luxury apartment in Beijing paves the way for adventures undertaken in style. When you have an afternoon to yourself or you’re looking for the ideal place for relaxation with the family in tow, visit the exquisite expanses of the Summer Palace. It is the largest and most well-preserved set of gardens in the country, and its subsequent influence on Chinese horticulture has aptly titled it “the Museum of Royal Gardens. The Summer Palace saw its inception in the mid eighteenth century an arena of respite for the royal family, and was later expanded to house a residence for the same. Although it was decimated by the anglo-friendly allied forces, it was reconstructed in 1888, and after another bout of violence brought it to its knees in 1900, it was resurrected two years later. Finally opened as a public park in 1924, it has remained an exquisite public arena for ample enjoyment by the people. Spanning over an area of almost 750 acres, it is graced with around 3,000 pavilions, bridges, towers, corridors and the lake, which adds to its unique charm. It boasts a variety of sacred temples that must be explored to acquire a true taste of the spirituality and majesty of the garden complex. With absolutely stunning views of Kunming Lake, visitors are encouraged to bring along cameras and ample batteries to truly capture the grandeur of this impressive historical locale.

Chaoyang Park (Sun Park) – When culture meets the outdoors meets beach volleyball

When business or leisure calls you to Beijing, make sure you make some time to visit Chaoyang Park (Sun Park), which opens up a stunning 289 acres for some ample relaxation time for the entire family. It is the perfect complement to a stay at one of the many fine serviced apartments Beijing has to offer its visitors, such as the Somerset Grand Fortune Garden Beijing which presents a quality option for a luxury apartment in Beijing. Take a break from the city’s shopping and entertainment venues with a sojourn into serenity at the Chaoyang Park, which features more than 20 panoramic areas for viewing pleasure, so remember to bring your camera to capture these exquisite nature scenes for posterity. The Ecological Valley is situated in the northern corner of the park, boasting a tranquil water area and a large expanse of green. Binshui Island, which rises majestically from the calm waters of Lotus Lake is a haven for wild ducks and offers some prime areas to bring you closer to nature in the form of wood platforms, pavilions and meadows. Situated near the west gate is the intriguing Art Square, which features a beautiful array of sculptures capturing the majestic landscapes of Vienna. For some fun in the beach and surf, head over to Bathing Beach, which attracts almost 3,000 visitors daily and it also hosted the beach volleyball games during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. And if you really crave some retail therapy in the midst of the serenity, venture down to the Blue Harbor, which combines shopping, recreation, entertainment and conference exhibitions under a unique experiential space.


Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and intends to visit them all someday.


Forbidden City (Palace Museum) – Home of the monarchs

Located at the heart of Beijing, the Forbidden City served as the home of emperors for almost 500 years when in full swing during the  Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty as the Chinese imperial palace. To explore the sight is a mighty task and therefore, make sure that you reserve one of the most popular serviced apartments in Beijing to lodge in during the expedition such as the Ascott Raffles City Beijing known to be Serviced Apartments Beijing is quite proud of. Declared as a world heritage sight in 1987, the Forbidden City is a museum today housing the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. Surrounded by a 7.9 metre high city wall and a 6 metres deep by 52 metres wide moat, it is easy to see why this place was called the Forbidden City. Nobody could enter or leave the palace without the emperor’s permission and the security measures surrounding the city ensured that. Comprised of two courts and four gates, the Forbidden City is an attraction not to be missed when visiting this part of the world.

Summer Palace – Museum of Royal Garden in Beijing

The Summer Palace or the Garden of Clear Ripples was established in 1750 by the Qing Emperor as a luxurious royal garden for the royal family to relax in and have a peaceful time. However it underwent many changes throughout the years. Certain parts of the palace and the garden were demolished and in the 1880’s it was reconstructed under the rule of Emperor Guangxu. In 1900 the place was destroyed again by the international expeditionary force. In 1924 the garden was recreated and gifted to the society as a public park.

Summer Palace in Beijing spans across 2.97km2 and a considerable amount of land in the garden is covered by crystal clear water. The two main features of this royal garden are the Hill of Longevity and Kunming Lake. The garden is separated into three parts, each with its specific purpose. The political area of the garden is accessed through the East Palace Gate and the Hill of Longevity and the Benevolence are the highlights of the area. The residence area is created incorporating three complexes of buildings which are named as the Hall of Happiness, the Hall of Jade Ripples and the Hall of Yiyun. Most of the palace area is dedicated to recreation and sightseeing. The peaceful surroundings of the northern side of the Longevity Hill and the gently flowing stream offer the tranquillity and serene atmosphere that is needed to relax and loosen up.

Situated fifteen kilometres away from central Beijing, the Summer Palace is a top tourist attraction in China and it also serves as a popular recreational ground in the city. There are numerous locations within this garden to explore and walk around and the travellers to Beijing should not miss a chance to pay a visit to this breathtaking imperial park.

For anyone who is in search of a luxury apartment in Beijing, the centrally located Somerset Grand Fortune Garden promises convenient accommodation accompanied by a well- appointed series of serviced apartments. Beijing boasts of many historical sites, temples and gardens, but Summer Palace definitely tops the list as a marvellous garden to spend a peaceful day out enjoying the scenic and serene setting of this picturesque site.