The most striking aspect of the buildings are the ways they are one with the landscape and the features of the palace grounds themselves. It is almost more of a park than a place. A grand park with temples and pavilions that could only be built for emperors.
Though swarming with poeple, there are many charming corners of the grounds where the crowds avoid because they involve climbing hill or don't feature any major accomplishments of Chinese engineering. These spots are the true heart of the Summer Palace. It showcases the China great garden building skills. Vast canals filled with lillies, well placed groves of twisting cypruses, ever umbrellaing willow stretching over gentle streams, and mazelike rock gardens sittle in the shade of Longevity Hill's forests all await those willing to dedicate a few extra hours for exploration. Beijing's summer palace is more than a gem of China, but a gem of this Earth.