After traveling to the glorious palaces, you should not miss the famous imperial gardens. One is the Summer Palace in Beijing, the other one is Norbulingka in Tibet. You can visit the Summer Palace after visiting the Forbidden City in Beijing and visit the Norbulingka after visiting the Potala Palace in Tibet. All of them are the best places to visit in Beijing and the best places to visit in Lhasa. You can catch a Tibet train from Beijing. The wonderful scenery on the way from Beijing to Tibet will be all in your eyes.
Both of the Summer Palace and the Norbulingka are the famous imperial gardens in China. The Summer Palace is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding esthetic value. When you take a train to Tibet, you will find that the Norbulingka is a little bit different from the Summer Palace. As the largest man-made garden in Tibet, the Norbulingka reflects both the ethnical and religious features of the Tibetan people and embodies the architecture style of inland China. You can look at Beijing-Lhasa-Xi'an-Shanghai Tour for more information.
The Summer Palace is situated in the Haidian District northwest of the Beijing and is about 15 km. (9 mi.) from central Beijing. With its famous natural views and culture interests, the Summer Palace has a great influence on the Chinese horticulture and landscape. It is one of the popular places to visit in Beijing. The Summer Palace is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. It covers an area of 3 sq. km. (about 1 sq. mi.) and 1/3 of the Summer Palace is under the water. Most of the building space features a variety of palaces, gardens and other ancient-style architectural structures.
Longevity Hill, on the southern slope is adorned with an ensemble of grand buildings such as the Cloud-Dispelling Hall, the Temple of Buddhist Virtue and the Sea of Wisdom Temple. The Tower of Buddhist Incense (Fo Xiang Ge) is in the center of the Temple of Buddhist Virtue and also is the focal point for the buildings on the southern slope of the Longevity Hill.
The natural beauty in the back hill can be in sharp contrast of the splendid halls and pavilions in the front hill. Having a full view by the Kunming Lake, both near and far, you will find that the glistening waters, the meandering banks, well-arranged islands and a host of architectural structures in different styles can combine to present a wonderful view of the Summer Palace landscape. For more information, please look at WindhorseTour's Beijing to Lhasa tour.
After visiting Beijing, you can take a train to Tibet. Here, Norbulingka which attracts a large number of travelers both from home and abroad is one of the most popular places to visit in Lhasa. In the garden, you can worship Buddha, relax and study the Tibetan-style palaces. Norbulingka consists of several palace complexes, such as the Kelsang Potrang, Tsokyil Potrang, Golden Linka and Takten Migyur Potrang. Each palace complex is divided into three sections: the palace section, the section in front of the palaces and the woods.
The most popular thing to do in the Norbulingka is watching the production process of Thangka and taking part in the activities which are held here. As a unique kind of Tibetan scroll painting with silk embroidery, Thangkas depict all aspects of Tibet including religion, history and culture. The activities here are shooting, archery, singing and dancing. Travelers also can have picnics and drink yogurt on the open ground. When you take a train to Tibet, you will find the culture and lifestyles in Tibet are completely different from in Beijing. Lastly, enjoy yourself in the journey and relax through the incredible journey.