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Maybe you have heard of Old Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan) in Beijing. It was a great wonder in China's architectural history and was first built in 1709 as an imperial garden with 40 splendid scenic spots. Unfortunately, the garden was robbed and burned down by foreign invaders 140 years ago, leaving a scene of devastation. For the sake of memorializing its prosperity, a reproduction of it was built in Zhuhai.

Lying at the foot of the Stone Forest Mountain of Zhuhai, the New Yuanming Palace covers an area of 1.39 square kilometers (343.5 acres). Being built and opened to the public in 1997, it reproduces 18 scenic spots of Old Summer Palace in the same size. Although the total area is just 1/6 of the original Old Summer Palace, the concentrated historical garden attracts millions of visitors every year. This palace was praised as the Provincial Patriotism Education Base; and in 2000 it was evaluated as the National AAAA Tourist Area.

Generally speaking, the buildings of New Yuanming Palace consist of three parts: the imperial garden of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, the classical garden of Southern China, and the Western building. The first part in the middle is the main structure of the garden. The palatial constructions were the places where the emperors held court. They were built by using colourful drawings and glazed tiles. The buildings around Fuhai Lake comprise the second part. The third part is in the western section of the garden. In order to satisfy the different interests of visitors, it was built with Gothic architecture and the fountains of ancient Rome. All these ingenious buildings in the garden were surrounded by over 500 varieties of plants, forming beautiful scenery.

In addition to its buildings, the New Yuanming Palace attracts tourists from all over the world with its various performances. Marked by the culture and art of the Ming and Qing dynasties, over 30 daily performances are given in different places. A play named The Legend of Concubine Xiang tells a love story about the beautiful Uygur girl Concubine Xiang who was born with a special aroma. The visitors will be moved by her touching story as well as by the cheerful Uygur dances and songs. It is performed at 17:00 in Yuanyingguan. The other plays are also very attractive, such as the fantastic dancing play, New Oriental Sacred Pearl and the Qing Dynasty.

Additionally, a Dreamy Water City was built in 2001 to the west of the New Yuanming Palace. The water city is exceptional for its subject-greenness, leisure and passion- and for its portrayal of the cultural atmosphere of ancient Egypt. Entering the water city, visitors will find themselves surrounded by the colorful paintings, reliefs and sculptures of ancient Egypt, and they will be shocked by the prominent civilization of human beings. As a water city, water naturally plays an important role here. Waterfalls, fountains, rapids, drift rivers, a children's swimming pool and waterways of different kinds can be seen everywhere. So this first-class water city is an ideal place for leisure and entertainment, and everyone can find their own places in which to relax.

Souvenirs can be purchased on the shopping street, which was modeled after the shopping street in Old Summer Palace, where the emperors tasted the daily life of common people. In the street here, the visitors can see row upon row of stores, restaurants, hotels and tea houses. Walking among actors appearing as the wagoner, the maid of honor and the odd-job man, visitors can have some personal experience of the customs in the Ming and Qing dynasties. There are many fineries and dapper handicrafts sold in the street. 

Admission Fee: Free from 9:00 - 18:00;
CNY120 from 18:00 - 22:00
Bus Route: 1, 13, 14, 20, 25, 30, 40, 60, 99, 201, 202, 205, 206

Daytime ticket to watch the performances Price
choose one of the following three performaces CNY70
choose one of the following three performances, pleasure-boat or cable car in addition with audio guide service CNY120
Performace Schedule
Name Time Location
Emperor helding morning court 10:30 the central theater
Amusing stories of the court 14:30 Yuanyingguan
Emperor choosing concubines 16:00 the central theater