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summer palace

Caloundra, Australia
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959 posts
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summer palace

Is the Summer Palace doable without a guide

Beijing
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1. Re: summer palace

It certainly is, alll the historical information is written in both English and Chinese and there is a sizeable write up at each of the significant places within the palace grounds. It's a pretty big place so make sure you give yourself half a day to get round it and wear some sensible shoes as there are a lot of steps up to the temple part!

http://www.headseast.com

Sherbrooke, Canada
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2. Re: summer palace

Certainly. It is essentially a big lake surrounded by a park. Most of the structures are around the north-east area. I vaguely remember seeing people with an audio guide when I was there last. Either this or do some prior research. you can get there by subway.

Caloundra, Australia
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959 posts
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3. Re: summer palace

thank you both, it is looking like the only time we will need the help of a guide of a driver is to go the wall, I have been scouting around the forums for a fewe weeks now, thought would take Johnny yellow car or John Ping but on further reading it seems they are not all that I first thought they were,

thanks again Carole

Taiyuan, China
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for Pingyao County
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4. Re: summer palace

I agree no guide is necessary. It is worth getting information in advance, and since the Summer Palace is big, it can be good to have a planned route for your visit if you plan to go without a guide and also to have some background about the place. Guidebooks are very helpful for this!

The audioguide could be a good way to go, if you don't mind using one. They do have them. I like that you can start and stop them, skip sections, etc. and go at your own place, but still know what you are seeing.

Of course a private guide is an option as well, for people who prefer that.

Peak District...
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5. Re: summer palace

At the Summer Palace there is a map available which is rather artistic but not very good for finding your way round. I think there is also a cheaper one with better directions. Ask to see all the options.

Finding your way round and understanding things is not a big problem. I would have liked a guide for company but I did not need one for directions.

Many hotels have a tour to the Great Wall for about 380 RMB including a guide and shop stops. Some include the Ming Tombs and I would advise these. That is as much of a guide as you really need.

Caloundra, Australia
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959 posts
65 reviews
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6. Re: summer palace

thanks all for the input,

by the way Big Dave, I live in Australia now but I come from up the road from you in New Mills,(small world)

cheers

OH
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122 posts
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7. Re: summer palace

Certainly doable without a guide unless you are not at all familiar with Imperial Chinese history and then a guide might be useful. The audio guide is helpful (has a map right on it and gives lots of information and some interesting stories) and you can go at your own pace. We just came back from BJ and did the Zoo and Summer Palace in one day. Took the boat from the zoo to the Palace on the canal. It was about 1 hour and was a pleasant ride with mostly locals. Got us away from taxis for awhile. Took the subway back from Palace to Wangfujing area. A wonderful subway system that we found easy to navigate.

Chennai (Madras...
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8. Re: summer palace

Just back from China. We did the summer palace without a guide and had a great great time. The DK eyewitness guide to Beijing and Shanghai has a brief guide to the SP. I downloaded a detailed guide from the Travel China website (go to their Beijing attractions page)

As mentioned above working out a route beforehand can avoid backtracking

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Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai Region, China
Walnut Creek, CA
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109 posts
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9. Re: summer palace

There is really no need for a guide. However, I would buy a detailed map once you get there. I was there today and thought I would rely on my guide book which was a mistake. Their map just wasn't good enough and I also thought that the Summer Palace was not well signed. However, I really did enjoy just wandering around. Lot of hills though! Also very easy to reach by Subway Line 4!

Caloundra, Australia
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959 posts
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10. Re: summer palace

Thank you all for your input, We have hired a guide for the day and after going out to the wall we will go to the summer palace, same price for all day so all is good now for Beijing, we now have to start work on Xian, Yangshuo and Shanghai, June seems ages away but that is good as I have a lot of surfing and reading to do, cheers Carole

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Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai Region, China