Monday, December 03, 2007

Chengde: Summer Palace Part 2

The northern part of the palace grounds is made up of an enormous park as well as a lake. And as you can see, the water here gurgles by itself (hot spring perhaps?), moonlight shines brightly in the light of day and dams go zig zag on their own.

The entire Palace Resort is about 5 sq kms and consists of the palace grounds and the scenic area which includes the lake district, the plains and the mountainous region. While the palace complex was by itself very impressive, it was the aptly named scenic area that took my breath away.

We were transported around the park on trams like these which afforded us a great many views of the woodlands exploding in the colours of autumn.

The river Rehe runs through the park and at 9 miles, earns the dubious title of being the 'shortest' river in the world.

I bet this place is crowded during Valentine's Day as it has quite the romantic feel to it, with its secluded leafy lanes and gazebos beside the picturesque lake and river.

The weather was also very sunny and bright, helping us to warm up a little even though we still had to be all wrapped up in at least three layers of clothing, much to the amusement of the locals.

I took this opportunity to have a snapshot taken with the tour-group's resident 'leng loi', Rachaelle. ;)

The guide told us that this place is most beautiful in spring when the flowers are in full bloom and the trees soothingly green. Well, I think the autumn reds,oranges and browns are quite lovely as well.

Rule of thirds... rule of thirds... How? This pic pass or not?

The plains area is all flat and completely covered with browning grass and orange leaves while barren trees strike interesting contrasts with the blue sky.

The weeping willows rustled their leaves in a melancholic dance as the dry autumn wind blew through their branches.

The fire red leaves on this tree made it stand out amongst the browning and dull green hues of the woodlands.

This is my favourite picture of the bunch. I took this picture while sitting in the moving tram. Hmmm.... the S80's not too bad, if I do say so myself. Hehehe

I can just imagine the sweet young maiden crying her heart out as she stood at the middle of the bridge, staring into her reflection on the water below, missing her star-crossed lover. Then lo and behold, who should suddenly appear in the distance but her lover, having just returned from the war, triumphant and .... missing one leg. Hehehe.... to be continued......

This picture would have been much better, had it been summer, when the lotus blooms creates a lovely contrasting green against the bluish backdrop. Still, I would have been sweating my head off if I were here in the summer. So, I am ok with a bit of brown.

Finally, last but not the least, is the Yongyousi Pagoda, in striking green and yellow, standing proudly amongst the ruins around it. It is what's left of an entire temple complex that was destroyed by the Japanese during World War 2.

As we headed back into town for our lunch, I was pondering why would anyone bother to go holidaying elsewhere when they have such a beautiful place right here at their doorsteps? The answer came to me when I saw this ad on the window pane. It's so that the ladies can run around naked, holding on to their breasts and not have their entire bodies freeze up in the cold winter wind! ;)

1 comment:

Josh said...

Wow, nice photos!