The Summer Palace and Kunming Lake Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
The historic summer retreat of China's emperors The Summer Palace was the retreat of emperors for centuries, gradually enlarged and repaired after taking beatings in the Second Opium War (1856-60) and the Boxer Rebellion (1900). It's now one of Beijing's best-known tourist destinations, so in the summer it's crowded with visitors looking to catch a breeze around Kunming Lake. The palace is usually empty if you visit in winter, but the biting cold is the price you pay for uninterrupted views.