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Lama Temple - Perfectly Preserved Lamasery in Beijing

Located in the city center, we arrived at this popular attraction at 9:00am easily by subway Line 2. While getting out of the subway station, standing on the street to the entrance of Lama Temple, we felt strong religious atmosphere. On both sides there are full of stores selling incense and amulet. The first day and the fifteenth day of a month are the best days for praying so on those days there must be full of tourists.

Lama Temple is open at 9:00am and today is Thursday, so it was not crowded in the early morning. The entrance fee is 25 RMB for adult and it is really worth the price. The entrance ticket even comes with a small CD which introduce about Lama Temple. I simply enjoy myself sightseeing as I am not there for praying and the architecture here is simply impressive. One word to summarize my feeling here is that "Fascinating insight into a Buddhist temple today".

Lama Temple in Beijing

Lama Temple is not very large which features five large halls and five courtyards (Hall of the Heavenly Kings, Hall of Harmony and Peace, Hall of Everlasting Blessings, Hall of the Dharma Wheel and Pavilion of Infinite Happiness) with beautifully decorative archways, upturned eaves and carved details. It also houses a treasury of Buddhist arts including sculptured images of gods, demons and Buddhas, as well as Tibetan-style murals. Hall of the Dharma Wheel and Pavilion of Infinite Happiness gave me a deep impression. With 5 gilded pagodas, Hall of the Dharma Wheel functions as a place for reading scriptures and conducting religious ceremonies. Every morning between 5:00am ~7:00am is the time for lamas reading. In the middle there stands a large, 6m high, gilded bronze statue of Tsong Khapa. Besides, the hall also contains a Five Hundred Arhat Hill, a carving made of red sandalwood with statues of the arhats made from five different metals - gold, silver, copper, iron and tin. The Pavilion of Infinite Happiness, the last main hall, is the highest hall of this temple. The large statue caught me eyes while entered the hall. The entire statue which is carved from a rare sandal tree is 26 meters (85 feet) in height, with eight meters (26 feet) buried under the ground. It is so huge that I have to look up to his face!

After visiting the 5 main halls, we go back the same way to the exit. Now 11:00am already and many religious come here to pray. For praying, in front of each hall, you had better light up 3 incenses but I do not know why. Tibetan chanting, incense, horns and drums and if you are so inclined, a marvelously spiritual experience.

In-depth Tour in Forbidden City

Forbidden City, the most famous and the representative attraction of Beijing deserves the high reputation, and it is really worth visiting for several times.

At 9:00 am we got to Tiananmen Square, early in the morning, here is already full of tourists in different colors. Through Tiananmen Tower, we got to the entrance of the Forbidden City. Although this is not the first time visiting Forbidden City, I was still attracted by its grand atmosphere. And thanks for the electronic guide device, I learnt much more about the history and the story about the Palace Museum.

Copper Lions

Through the entrance - Meridian Gate, we arrived at Taihe Gate. In front of the gate stand two copper lions. These two are the largest lions in Forbidden City. Through this gate, we arrived at the main subjects of Forbidden City - Hall of Supreme Harmony. It is the largest wooden structure palace in the Palace Museum which symbolizes the supreme sovereignty. In the sunny day, with resplendent and magnificent view, it is really spectacular. 18 bronze tripods surround the palace, 11 god animals on each corners of the roof top, all these implies the highest status of this palace. Here is the place for hold court by the emperors in ancient times and now you can still feel its power outside the palace. In front of the palace there are full of tourists. If you want to have a close look at the inner decorations and take some photos for remind, then you have to take some physical energy.

Behind the Hall of Supreme Harmony stand Hall of Central Harmony and Hall of Preserving Harmony, other two subject buildings in Forbidden City. Have you found anything interesting? Why in the big square, around the three palaces, there is not any tree here. This is because the emperors wanted to show the royal majesty and its power.

Palace of Heavenly Purity

Behind the three main palaces, on the axle wire is Palace of Heavenly Purity – the boundary of the outer court and inner court. Palace of Heavenly Purity is the living place for the emperors and during the daytime, the emperors of Qing Dynasty deal with the day-to-day conduct of public affairs. Above the throne hall is the most eye-catching plaque hanging "fair and square" written by the Qing Dynasty Emperor Shunzhi and behind the plaque is the possession of the densely built Crown Prince. At the time, the infighting of the throne between the Princes is quite intense. In order to alleviate this contradiction, since the Yongzheng reign he started to take a secret way to establish the Crown Prince - during his lifetime the emperor did not publicly establish crown prince instead secretly write the selected heir, one on the emperor's side; the other seal in the box and put it behind the plaque "fair and square". However, with the lack of the late Qing Dynasty royal heirs the secret built storage system was in name only.

With the limit travel time, we have to say goodbye to the magnificent Forbidden City. Thanks to the sunny weather, I took a lot beautiful photos here. And looking at the photos I have taken, I feel very proud. I am interested in Chinese history and I love here very much. Forbidden City is just like a history book telling me the detail information about the ancient China. I really enjoy myself here. Nice trip again in Beijing!

Beihai Park - Great Place for Leisure in Downtown Beijing

I like natural scenery much better so the tour to Beihai Park made me feel pleased and comfortable. Once I thought it was only a big park and will not cost much time traveling around it, however I was completely wrong. Walking around the Jade Flowery Islet, it was already cost me 2 hours. Together with Jingshan, very near to the Forbidden City, Beihai Park is one of the imperial gardens during Qing Dynasty.

Outside the park, the White Pagoda is eye appeal so my first destination is it. On the way to the White Pagoda, I arrived at Temple of Eternal Peace. The temples in Beihai Park have all become the tourist attractions, so there is no incense. On the first and fifth day of a month, the incense given by the tourists unified burned. From the Temple of Eternal Peace, the branches are hanging the visible brand for blessing. The Bell Tower in the temple costs extra three yuan, ring the bell three symbolizing peace auspicious.

Forbidden City View from Beihai Park

Boarded the White Tower is not easy. Tourists had to climb the 70 wooden steps. Additional three Yuan get to the top of the tower overlooking the scenery of the central zone of Beijing. Where vision is extremely open, panoramic views of the Forbidden City, the highest point of Jingshan Park, Tiananmen Square and the National Grand Theater, how spectacular!

Stepped down from the White Tower, around Jade Flowery Islet, I met the Yuexin Palace, Yuegu Tower, Long Gallery, Qiongdao Chunyin and other attractions. The worth mentioning attraction is the Fangshan Restaurant, which is a famous restaurant franchise court of authentic flavor. Since 1911 the Qing Dynasty was overthrown, the former Qing imperial kitchen cooks lost their jobs. In 1925, a former practitioners in the Qing imperial kitchen Zhaos Renzhai, inviting Sun Shaoran and other "imperial kitchen" workers opened a restaurant, modeled on the practices of the Qing "Imperial", making a variety of dishes, and take the name of "Fangshan". 1959, the "Fangshan" moved to the present site by the North Shore of Beihai, not only to expand the business area, but also add variety dishes. Fangshan produced exquisite dishes, paid attention to the appearance of color shape and the taste, inherited the Qing "Imperial" clean, fresh, crisp, and tender. If you want to experience the authentic Palace Food, here will be the best place.

Long Gallery, although not famous as the one in Summer Palace, it is very beautiful. A large number of tourists came here to have a short rest enjoying the scenery on the lake. I took the sightseeing cruise to the other side of the park. Overlooking, the gallery around the White Pagoda, surrounds the Jade Flowery Islet, so beautiful!

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