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Customer Reviews for The Summer Palace & the Great Wall of China

The Summer Palace & the Great Wall of China

Depart from the pier for an approximately three-hour transfer to the Summer Palace and the Garden of Cultivated Harmony. Built in the Qing Dynasty and surrounded by grounds laid out by Emperor Qianlong, as a place of retirement for his mother, this summer residence took on special interest for the notorious Empress Dowager Cixi, who fulfilled a wonderful, if expensive, dream by commissioning the palace in 1888. Using money intended for the building of a naval fleet, she constructed the Summer Palace. Originally a concubine of the third rank, Cixi placed herself on the Dragon Throne after the death of the emperor and ruled in an unscrupulous, egocentric way for 50 years, initially in the role of regent for her young child. By deploying young women and other earthly distractions, she kept her son away from matters of government until his death at the age of 18. Bypassing the legal inheritance, she installed her young nephew as emperor and governed from ‘behind the throne’ until he reached majority. She then retired to the Summer Palace, but did not refrain from meddling in court politics. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant near the Great Wall where you'll also have a half hour of shopping for local specialties. Continue to the Great Wall, whose construction began as early as the 8th century BC, but it was the first Qin Emperor who extended this bastion against the northern barbarians. Construction reached its zenith under the Ming Dynasty. Today, the wall stretches some 3,600 miles. Your visit features a walk along a restored section of the Wall’s battlements, which are wide enough to allow cavalry and chariots to pass. Board your motor coach and transfer directly back to the ship in Xingang—a drive of approximately three hours.Notes:Wear comfortable walking shoes. There will be walking and some stairs to climb at the Great Wall. Wear layered clothing and bring a jacket as the wind blowing through the valleys can be cool and the wall is quite exposed. The drive inland to the attractions is approximately 3½ hours each way.
Average Customer Rating:
4.8 out of 5
4.8
 out of 
5
(5 Reviews) 5
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (5 reviews)
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5 out of 5(100%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Summer Palace & the Great Wall of China
Review 1 for The Summer Palace & the Great Wall of China
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great Wall not be missed

Date:April 7, 2014
AC0001
Location:Canada and Australia
Cruise Date Year:2014
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
We enjoyed the two places we visited on this tour despite the very smoggy air and multitudes of people everywhere. After a very long bus ride we toured the Summer Palace along with throngs of Chinese tourists as well, which made it difficult to take a scenery photo shot without a body in it. We also found our Summer Palace photos to be very misty and unclear from the heavy smog. You could see many people wearing masks to help them breathe. The Summer Palace had many photo opportunities but finding an opportunity to take the shot was usually interrupted by moving tour groups. Unfortunately once shot was taken smoggy air took away from quality of shot.
The main reason for our China visit was the tour and climb of the Great Wall. The Wall did not disappoint whether you viewed it from below or above. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to climb wall as high as we wanted. We only had 1 3/4 hrs at the wall. A shorter lunch break or just a packed lunch would have provided more time at the wall. Try climbing the Wall after a big Chinese lunch banquet!!
Two different tours would have been better - one for those who really wanted to climb the wall and one for those who just wanted to see the wall.
The ride to and from the wall from the ship was quite long (over 6 hrs). For people planning on another tour in Beijing the next day, it would be better to stay in Beijing overnight!
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 2 for The Summer Palace & the Great Wall of China
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Not to be Missed

Date:April 5, 2014
AuntDeb
Cruise Date Year:2014
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The summer Palace, unlike the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven, WAS a bit cramped to get around. Perhaps it is smaller in scale than other places in Beijing or perhaps there really were more people visiting that day…
We went on a day that was fairly smoggy, which gave the Summer Palace a more delicate, beautiful look to it. I took a photo here that actually won the photo contest on our ship, so what's not to like about THAT? If you look closely, you will see the need for some basic upkeep: paint, repair of rotting wood, etc. but the beauty of this place is easily conveyed.
We had time to explore the Great Wall on our own, which I really enjoyed. The Wall itself is ALL steps, which may be a determining factor for you to consider going or not. I imagined it more like the Forbidden City, where there are inclines. For me, personally, The Great Wall of China is so iconic, I can not imagine coming to China and not experiencing it.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 3 for The Summer Palace & the Great Wall of China
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Exceeded expectations!

Date:August 1, 2013
EvelynK
Location:East Troy, WI
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:February
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Of course it hadn't snowed in 20 years...but it did during our tour! And all that did was make it better & more memorable. The photos & history at the Summer Palace are incredible with the ice & snow.
Lunch I can't speak to; but the jade store had incredible merchandise. It's a shame tour doesn't mention that restaurant is upstairs from jade shop.
The snow started coming down harder as we approached the Great Wall. All my photos are black & white & incredibly beautiful. The walk was hazardous; but a must do. If it's not snowing it will still be a worthwhile trek. Highlight of trip, absolutely.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+3points
4out of 5found this review helpful.
Review 4 for The Summer Palace & the Great Wall of China
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Worth the long ride

Date:March 15, 2013
Andrea
Location:Texas
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:February
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
It's a long ride to the Summer Palace and the Great Wall from the port....but I'd do it again!!! The Summer Palace complex is beautiful, situated on a lake. The Great Wall was the reason we took the trip and it didn't disappoint. The section of the wall we visited had several sets of levels as it went up the mountain, so you could go up some steps and stay on a lower part or continue up other sets of steps to a higher area. The last visible section went straight up the side of the mountain at a steep angle and was iconic to see. Some people took those many many steps to get to the top platform. It was the coldest spot during our February cruise, but we were dressed warmly and enjoyed every minute.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+11points
11out of 11found this review helpful.
Review 5 for The Summer Palace & the Great Wall of China
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 16, 2012
Cbear
Location:Florida
Cruise Date Year:2012
Cruise Date Month:October
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I would love to do this again. The tour is a lot of walking and the bus ride from the ship is long. There was ample time for resting and a good tour guide. Walking on the Great Wall I will remember forever.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+19points
19out of 19found this review helpful.