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Summer Palace gives you a glimpse of the imperial family’s grand vacation abodes. The 700-acre retreat is the most well-preserved royal park in China. Within, you’ll encounter pagodas, temples, and arched bridges contrasted by elegant Chinese gardens. Spend a day here to escape the bustle of the city. Don’t miss out on boating along Kunming Lake. The activity makes for a great sightseeing tour!
Marvel at the magnificent examples of Chinese religious architecture at Temple of Heaven. Several Ming Dynasty buildings dot the massive 270-acre area. The most striking landmark is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, whose dark blue roof calls to the heavens. Its three-tier, circular marble-based structure is a feat of design, supported only by 28 pillars (and zero nails!). For centuries, emperors conducted worship ceremonies here to ask for good weather and an abundant harvest.
On Cheung Chau, seafront strolls, the Mini Great Wall, and cherry-blossoms at Kwan Kung Pavilion offer a change of pace throughout the year. However, the local Bun Festival is truly its main attraction. When Buddha’s birthday rolls around, tall towers are erected and covered with homemade buns. Witness festival-goers scale up to several stories high on a harness in a competition snatch as many buns as they can!
The Cheung Chau Bun Festival began as an occasion for locals to pray for protection against pirates and plague brought by evil spirits. That is why Pak Tai Temple, dedicated to the Taoist God of the Sea, is the eye of the storm during festivities.