Hwacheong Palace is located on the peak of Mount Li featuring a scenic landscape, which resembles stacked rolls of silk. Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty brought Yang Guifei along to spend restful holidays at the palace fromwinter to spring every year. The imperial house brought lychees for Yang from Sichuan from thousands of miles away. As a horse ran toward the palace to keep the fruit fresh, a series of gates opened up and Yang smiled at the sign that the fruit from her hometown has arrived. Nobody would have known that the horse was carrying lychees to court Yang, rather than an urgent and important piece of news.
About 100 years later, a poet brings Hwacheong Palace in ruins to life. The 100 years were full of remorse as Emperor Xuanzong’s uncontrolled deviation caused the An Lushan Rebellion and became the beginning of the fall of the dynasty. The first of the three-part serial poetry is calm and euphemistic. However, the voice of the poet became rougher with the second poem – “Music echoes on every peak of Mount Li and central districts are collapsing at the dance of Yang Guifei.” – and the third one – “An Lushan dances to clapping sounds at Hwacheong Palace and laughter travels with the wind across a peak.” While some say that the claim that lychees were delivered for Yang is unfounded considering when the fruit ripens, the favorite fruit of Yang has always been the subject of criticism as literature focused on Yang’s extravagance and hedonism regardless of historical facts. Su Shi also wrote a poem that said, “A beautiful woman in a palace eats lychees and smiles widely but a cloud of dust and strewn fresh blood shall remain for a long time.”