The next day we went to see the Summer Palace, the palace of the Qing Dynasty. Like the Forbidden City, it was an enormous complex, however the Summer Palace was more spread out and thus the crowds were better dispersed. Surrounded by a large lake and built on a hill, it had magnificent views.
There were various sections of the palace, from exposed sunny areas to shaded overgrown corners, connected by trails (which also served to meter foot traffic). Even though we had a map, we got very lost and didn't get a chance to see everything we wanted to. I think we were content with what we did see though, and I know I enjoyed this trip much more than the one to the Forbidden City.
In places the structures looked newly painted and vibrant.
There was a nifty boat made from marble.
In other places, the structures were worn down and neglected. I liked these places because they were quiet and greenery was starting to peek through.