(Garden of perfect splendor) is renowned throughout the world for its fabled charms and association with Chinese modern history. Extolled as the "Garden of Gardens" and the "Versailles of the East" during its heyday, it was an imperial summer resort painstakingly built and repeatedly expanded under the personal supervision of five emperors of the Qing Dynasty. Located in the northern part of Haidian District in Beijing, Yuanmingyuan is composed of three comparatively independent but interconnected gardens: Yuanmingyuan, Changchunyuan (Garden of Eternal Spring), and Qichunyuan (Garden of Blossoming Spring).
Covering an area of about 350 hectares, Yuanmingyuan was a vast landscaped garden at once grand in scale and enchanting in scenery. Its green hills and exquisite architecture were laid out with picturesque appeal, and decorated with thriving trees and beautiful flowers. Yuanmingyuan was not only famed for its beauty. It was also an imperial museum with a vast collection of cultural treasures. The French writer Victor Hugo once remarked, "With all its treasures, Notre Dame in Paris is no match for Yuanmingyuan, that enormous and magnificent museum in the East." Furniture made of red sandalwood decorated the numerous halls in which countless rare cultural relics were on display. Alas, the skill and sophistication of the builders of this historic "Garden of Gardens," and the cultural treasures contained within it, failed to escape the destruction inflicted on
China by the Western powers.Catering Service
Snacks: Sankongqiao (Three-arch Bridge) Snack Shop, Dequange Snack Tearoom, Exhibition Snack Tearoom, the Labyringth Snack Room and Fuhai Lake Restaurant (phone number for restaurant booking: 010-62569688).
(1) There are two berths. One is built at the dock of Fuhai Lake of Yuanmingyuan Park and another is at the north dock of Haiqiu Hall of Yichunyuan Park.
(2) Types of the cruising boats and their prices:
4-seat foot-driven boat 40 yuan per hour
4-seat hand-row boat 40 yuan per hour
6-seat hand-row boat 60 yuan per hour
Traffic Service in the GardenTraffic Service in the Garden
(1) Battery shuttle: From Luyoumen to Xianfaqiao. The price is five yuan per person for a single way.
(2) Wheelchair: Wheelchairs are available at the Palace Entrance of Yichunyuan Garden and the East Gate of Changchunyuan Garden (free of charge, but one has to pay 500 yuan as a deposit).
Guide service: (phone number: 010-62637539/7561)
1) The guide office is located at the Palace Entrance of Yichunyuan Garden and the East Gate of Changchunyuan Garden.
2) The tourist routes:
Route A: The ticket price is 100 yuan per person. (The route begins at the East Entrance of Changchunyuan Garden and ends at the same place). The main scenic spots are Xieqiqu, the Rabyringth, Haiyan Hall, Yuanying Temple, the Great Fountain and Watching the Great Fountain. The route takes more than 40 minutes.
Route B: The price is 150 yuan per person. (The route begins at the East Entrance of Changchunyuan Garden and ends at the Palace Gate of Yichunyuan Garden, or begins at the Palace Gate of Yichunmen Garden and ends at the East Entrance of Changchunmen Garden. The main scenic spots are Relic Area of the Western-style Buildings, Haiyuekaijin, Fenghelou Building and Jianbi Pavilion. It takes about one hour and 30 minutes.
Route C: The price is 200 yuan per person. (The route begins at the Palace Gate of Yichunyuan Garden and ends at the same gate.) The main scenic spots of the route are Jianbi Pavilion, Fuhai Lake, Bieyoudongtian, Fanghushengjing, Relic Area of the Western-style Buildings, Haiyuekaijin, Fenghelou Building, etc. It takes more than two hours and 40 minutes.