China // Beijing and around //

The summer palaces and far northwest

In the northwest corner of the city is a cluster of attractions that improve the further out you go. The Dazhong Si is worth a poke around on the way to or from more alluring destinations, and the nearby districts of Haidian and Zhongguancun are known for hi-tech shopping and youth culture.

Though it’s eclipsed by its newer neighbour, Yuanmingyuan, the old Summer Palace, is worth checking out for the sobering history it attests to. Nearby Yiheyuan, usually known in English as the Summer Palace, is an excellent place to get away from the city smog – a recommended escape, summer or winter.