The Summer Palace

Today we woke at 9:30 planning a 10:30 breakfast of Peking duck. Yeah except the Peking duck place opens at 10 but doesn’t serve duck until 11:30. Wth. They are a duck restaurant that only serves duck 70% of the time they are open.

It’s like going to a bank and being told you can only make a deposit at certain times.

We eat some other dishes and then go back to hotel.

I’m sick. OL is sick. Coughing up balls of yellow grossness. Both of us. My throat is killing me.

But we want to do some sightseeing. Yiheyuan is the Summer Palace. It was gorgeous when I went 13 years ago. One of my fav places.

OL realizes we are actually leaving for South Korea tomorrow. So no time for Beihai park. Good. One less place that will be ruined for me.

Honestly, Beijing was way better 13 years ago. There are too many ill-mannered tourists destroying the historic places. Just the amount of people flowing throw them a day is too much. Add to it people with no respect for culture or history and the decay accelerates.

So we head to Yiheyuan. By taxi. No more subway bullshit.

It takes 30 minutes and costs $9. We are deposited at the eastern gate. Hecticville. Tourists hell. The crowds inside number ten of thousands easily.  This is not a pleasant tourist experience. Chinese people push and shove and cut. Stop on stairs to contemplate life. Obnoxious level 11.

This is not the Yiheyuan I remember. Mind you, it’s a weekday. We did all the main attractions on weekdays. And the paint is peeling and faded all along the long corridor. An absolute shame. This place looks worse than in did 13 years ago. Like nothing had been done to maintain it.

How do you sit on a wooden historic monument?! This wasn’t built as a long bench. Look, I get you’re tired of walking but a monument is not for reclining on. Think for a millisecond about how much damage you are doing. THINK.

Inside locked room we peer through glass to see shredded chairs and bedding. Why display such stuff? Cixi must be twisting around in her grave seeing what has become of her beloved summer palace.

They rebuilt the great wall and rebuild all their other monuments, Why leave this place like a ghost town. Well except a ghost town would be cleaner.

We go see the stone boat. It’s been badly renovated. Looks like it will slide apart at any time.

We head into one of the pay extra areas covered by our through ticket. They have a mini concert going on onstage. No seating for audience. The Chinese crowd the stage and the foreigners sit on stairs.

We go to take a few pictures. Suddenly this French kid is next to me with his obnoxious accent saying excuse me, we a trying to watch the show but your umbrella is blocking the way.

Omfg for like a minute dude. Chill out. What I say is I was taking a picture and I’m planning to move right now.

Douche. With all the rudeness from the Chinese you’re going to pick on me for having a parasol on a sunny day and blocking your view for um like a minute. Screw you.

We double back to go to Buddha incense pagoda.

Along the long corridor, an older Chinese man is collecting bottles out of the garbage. I hand him mine. He says thanks in Chinese. I smile. Then an obnoxious 40-something Chinese man throw his bottle at the man to pick up. Wtf is wrong with him? Does he think he is that much better than this guy? At least he’s doing something honest collecting plastic bottles. Bet the other guy steals and lies on a regular basis.

Chinese children wreck havoc on the monument spoiling it for us. They run around treating it like a playground. It isn’t. But their parents don’t care.

No one cares. That’s the big difference here. It’s all about each person for themselves and to hell with anyone else. I can’t imagine being that unconcerned and inconsiderate. And I’m a spoiled American.

The walk up to the pagoda is all uphill.  Though the buildings are better maintained.

I start to lose my breathe after the 300th step. I can’t make it up there. I take some pics and then give my camera to OL to get the view from the top.

We leave and catch a cab back to the hotel to do packing. Can’t believe we leave tomorrow. Beijing may be the most disappointing experience on this trip. And I got mugged in Xian.

We went to duck place for dinner and had duck dinner. delicious. So glad we are leaving the city tomorrow. Gotta walk to post office and send box of stuff to ct tomorrow morning.

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2 Responses to The Summer Palace

  1. berry says:

    Not fun when ur sick. Hope south Korea is better. Shame palace so run down.

    • It’s a shame that they don’t protect their heritage. They shouldn’t allow so many people in at one time. They shouldn’t allow people to hang all over the long corridor like it’s a bench in park. This structure is a couple hundred years old and it getting more wear and tear than it ever should. I get why there are so many fenced off areas. The only way to protect it is to keep people away. Being sick was terrible. It lasted a while too.

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