I found it most troublesome to flag down a taxi in Beijing, first, they are reluctant/refuse to use the metered second you will find it difficult to get a taxi that really what to go to the direction you wanted to go.
Based on my bad experience with Beijing Taxi system, I just wanted to take the public transportation to Summer Palace. As planned by my Redwall Hotel walked about 4 minutes to the nearest bus stop. Took bus# 111 and about 20 minutes (6 stops) got off at Ping’anli station to transfer to the subway line 4 towards Anheqiao North. Got off at Beigongmen station (12 stops about 27 minutes) exit from D to the street and then had to walk about 8-9 minutes to get to the North Gate of Summer Palace. I am sure you will feel good about it once you able to make it on your own by following maps and signs.
Got my entrance ticket (RMB 30) also rented a recorded audio guide. It was an early morning but the place was already crowded, school field trips, a busload of group tours, and plenty of locals and foreign tourist.
Long Corridor was fascinating with beautiful drawing on the beams. The corridor is said to be 728 meters long and has over 14,000 drawings. It is in between the Kunming Lake and the Longevity Hill.
Visiting Summer Palace needs more or less strong legs with a lot walking since it’s huge. So comfortable shoes are recommended as well as proper dress as in Summertime it gets really hot and humid.
Summer Palace is actually not just a royal palace where once Princes Dowager Cixi and the emperor lived and handled court affairs, received foreign diplomats etc but also it also epitomizes classical Chinese architecture, in terms of both garden design and constructions.
Normally it takes about 2 – 3 hours to walk around Summer Palace in addition to the time you need to make your nice shots, relax, boat ride etc may add up more. So for some, it could be a day trip and for some, it’s only a half a day trip.
Have you been to Summer Palace, Beijing, here are a few pictures from my trip: