The Summer Palace
Journey to the fabled Summer Palace, resort of the Empress Dowager. Royal families as far back as a thousand years ago came here for rest and recreation. Walk slowly along the famous Long Corridor with its Painted Gallery (each archway depicts a different scene) and enjoy the peacefulness of Kunming Lake, Seventeen-Arch Bridge, Longevity Hill, and the famous Marble Boat, commissioned in 1888 by the Empress Dowager Cixi (using foreign aid intended to modernize the Chinese Navy!). The reconstructed Suzhou Street, with its colorful shops and tea gardens, following the old traditions of service, takes you back to China's imperial past.