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The Emperor’s Summer Palace is a complex of buildings around the edge of several huge lakes. To explore the buildings on the far side you can cross the nearest lake on a Dragon Boat. This highly decorated form of transport complete with Dragon’s head, is a small passenger boat allowing tourists easy access to the multitude of buildings in the 720 acres site.

This site is huge and once again the clock was ticking giving me just 5 hours to explore and photograph.

Taking the Dragon boat to the first set of buildings, it was clear there was just too much here to even try and visit the more popular parts of the palace. I decided to concentrate on the first few buildings I found and take my time, allowing 30 minutes to re cross the lake back to the meeting point. I had just 4 hours left.

The old highly decorated palace buildings were in stark contrast to the trees and rocks which in many places had been left wild. Taking the slowly ascending path from the dock, past a marble boat and a marble bridge the first few buildings are reached. The very hot sunny day made climbing arduous so it was with relief that the first shaded area was reached.

The bright sun and shady corridors made this a good subject for more HDR, along with copious patience waiting for the crowds to clear. The covered paths in front of the square buildings made composition very difficult especially with fully grown trees sometimes obscuring the best views, but slowing down allowed me to look at detail I would otherwise have missed.

Patience paid off and the photographs were the best taken on the trip so far.

DSC_8486_7_8 2a DSC_8417_18_19_20 1b

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