Today would involve walking and lots of it, our destination was the Summer Palace. This was once a playground for the imperial court fleeing the summer heat of the stifling Forbidden City.
The palace grounds, temples, gardens, pavilions, Kunming lake with numerous bridges and gate towers is a beautiful landscape so much so that UNESCO added it to their list of World Heritage Sites.It is a strong contrast from the flat grey Forbidden city.
There are several hills throughout the palace which provide fascinating views of the, gardens and temples, making the climbs worthwhile.
We enjoyed wandering through the huge landscape, including round the lake taking lots of photos. Thankfully Amy at the hostel had provided us with a huge map which kept us on track.
Tired of walking we took a short cut by jumping on a boat cruise across the lake. Worthy of every penny to rest our tired legs and capture great shots on the lake.
After our trek around the Summer Palace we had built up quite an appetite. We couldn’t go straight to dinner in our travellers gear as tonight we were going posh…Bowe had recommended a fancy duck restaurant.
We showered and put on our Sunday best ( well the best clean clothes in our backpacks )and went in search of the Hidden City 1949. The name was fitting as the restaurant was tucked away behind a shopping mall and hotel.
As we arrived we were greeted by the receptionist who asked if we had a reservation. Clearly we didn’t, this would have involved planning. Considering we don’t often reserve a room in advance why would we have thought to reserve a table for dinner? Thankfully if we would wait at the bar a table would be ready soon.
We enjoyed cocktails while we waited. The dinner was certainly worth the wait, we had a whole roasted Peking duck carved in front of us by the chef. The condiments had been hand selected and sauces mixed by hand to our tastes at the table. This meal was a real treat and a night off backpacking.
We cleared all the plates including every stem of asparagus. If you are ever in Beijing be sure to visit the Hidden City 1949 and make sure to order the whole duck.
Back to reality…we headed for the metro towards the hostel.