The Summer Palace

The summer palace was where the Emperor and Empress used to spend their summers, and today it’s still a great place for tourist and locals to escape to away from the city.

Initially meeting the same crazy crowds as everywhere else in Beijing, once you walk further around the lake, away from the masses, the Summer Palace’s scenery fills you with peace, tranquility, and serenity.

The path around the lake takes you through well manicured chinese gardens, interesting high-arched bridges, and traditionally designed pagodas. It’s such a lovely, quiet, picturesque environment that easily wisks you into a relaxed, reflective mood as you stroll the grounds. I found myself smiling, grateful for this wonderful travelling opportunity, ‘The Greatest American Hero theme’ song playing in my head as I appreciated how beautiful my surroundings were, thinking about my life, about what I’m going to do in the future, then about my mortgage, then frowning, the music in my head changing to ‘Deeply Disturbed’ by the Infected Mushrooms. I picked up my pace and turned my light stroll into a sturdy march. Lucky, because the path still took a good 2 hours to complete.

At the Summer Palace, the Emperor had built a tower of incense to Buddha (the Buddha Temple of Incense), and as I reached the entry of the temple, my auto-guide informed me of a famous belief that ‘those who walk up the 100 steps to the Buddha Temple of Incense will live for 100 years’. My first thought was ‘what steps?’

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I didn’t follow my map correctly and went against the grain of people, somehow taking the gently inclined slope up, and the steep, thigh-burning, 100 steps down.

Will taking the easy way out and only going down the 100 steps have a reverse effect on my life’s longevity?

My arse was willing to take that gamble.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dalethesnail
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 03:42:04

    And tighten your buttocks, pour juice on your chin, I promised my girlfriend I’d pick up the violin…. 😛


  2. Jax
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 14:31:12

    Believe it or not, you’re walking on air, you never thought you would feel so free-ee-ee.


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