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Beijing Travel Reviews, Beijing Travelogue

Selected Beijing Travel Reviews, Beijing Travelogue from the valuable guests who either haved used our travel service or volunteered to write to us with happily slanted insights! Copious photos and travelogues, travel tips plus inside information about local food, history and languages.

"Review of Yonghe Gong (Lama Temple)" >>> Post by Zach from United Kingdom
If you visit only one temple after the Temple of Heaven, this should be it. A complex of progressively larger buildings topped with ornate yellow-tiled roofs, Yonghe Gong was built in 1694 and originally belonged to the Qing prince who would become the Yongzheng emperor.

As was the custom, the complex was converted to a temple after Yongzheng's move to the Forbidden City in 1744. The temple is home to several rather beautiful incense burners, including a particularly ornate one in the second courtyard that dates back to 1746.

The Falun Dian (Hall of the Wheel of Law), second to last of the major buildings, contains a 6m (20-ft.) bronze statue of Tsongkapa (1357-1419), the founder of the reformist Yellow Hat (Geluk) sect of Tibetan Buddhism, which is now the dominant school of Tibetan Buddhism. He's easily recognized by his pointed cap with long earflaps.

The last of the five central halls, the Wanfu Ge (Tower of Ten Thousand Happinesses), houses the temple's prize possession -- an ominous Tibetan-style statue of Maitreya (the future Buddha), 18m (59 ft.) tall, carved from a single piece of white sandalwood.

Once something of a circus, Yonghe Gong is slowly starting to feel like a place of worship, as there are now many Chinese devotees of Tibetan Buddhism.

My travel destination for this weekend was to go to the Yonghe Temple. I went here on a lovely sunday afternoon around 3pm and i spent just little bit over an hour exploring the incense filled temple and taking photos before the temple closed at 5pm.

Yonghe Temple "Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple" also known as the "Lama Temple", the temple is really easy to get to since it has its very own subway stop on line 5 and line 2 transfer. A ticket to enter this temple complex costs 25 RMB and even comes with a disc about the history of the temple. 1 hour is plenty of time to explore the temple buildings and walk around the complex. There are some great buddhist statues including a 26m tall Maitreya Buddha carved from a single piece of white sandalwood, which is just one of three pieces of artwork at the Yonghe temple that is entered into the Guinness Book of World Records.

"TianAnMen Square and Forbidden City" >>> Post by Wolfe Sharp from Australia
we headed to Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City with a local guide. I'm not going to write anything about Tianamen as it will likely cause this not to get posted (we experienced our first censored newcast today....
After ducking under the bridge, we arrived in the Forbidden City. The ancient Chinese believed this was the city of the Universe so there was a line of pavers called the Meridian line that showed the exact center line of Beijing. It was, of course, the path for the Emperor. The Forbidden City was impressively large with a different hall for every daily activity imaginable (this hall is for changing clothes, etc.). Many were only for the royal family and the Emperor's collection of concubines. Once we get pics China's Congress posted, you'll see the large number of ornate thrones, bronze statues, and impressive Chinese garden (the rocks and trees truly have to be seen to understand their otherworldly qualities).

"Old Summer Palace" >>> Post by Wisit from United States of America
Yesterday my China Foreign Policy class took a tour to the Old Summer Palace, which is just a few bus stops West of our campus. It was quite an afternoon, both relaxing, beautiful, somber, and saddening.
For those of you who don't know the history, I should probably start there. In 1860, the second Opium War was going and some envoys were sent to see a prince under the flag of truce to negotiate. Things didn't go so well and the British, Indian, and French soldiers and the envoys were captured by the Chinese and held for a little while. During this time they were tortured and several of them were brutally killed. When the Brits got them back, they were so appalled, they decided to destroy the Summer Palace. They posted signs in Chinese to warn of their plans ahead of time, and on the date they had set, sent in troops to destroy the place. It's huge, but I guess they had plenty of guys, because they got it all. The Chinese buildings (palaces, pagodas, etc.) at the time were all wood, and they were set ablaze after some looting. The only structures not completely destroyed were the European style ones, made of marble and stone, and thus a little more difficult to destroy. What wasn't destroyed the first time around was gotten later in the Eight-Nation Invasion or by looters (Chinese and foreign), and anything that remained was gone by the end of the Cultural Revolution. To this day, the sacking of the Summer Palace is a symbol both of Western aggression in China as well as a reminder of how weak the nation once was. We walked around, and saw only under kept lakes and foliage in what was once the most amazing gardens. We saw the ruins, that rather reminded me of the Forum in Rome, and had a little bit of lecture in the area. As my class (all four of us) posed for a picture, I couldn't help but feel torn between the usual smile one renders when posing for photos in historical or scenic spots, and a more somber expression that seemed a little more appropriate to the setting. However, after seeing enough Chinese tourists posing with smiles, finger 'V's, and children scrambling over the ruins, I decided it was probably OK to relax and take in both the sites and history, while still being more aware of my standing as a Westerner than ever, and how that might look in some Chinese eyes...
The magnitude of the destruction didn't even really hit me until we found a little museum after a boat ride across one of the lakes. It wasn't really a museum at all, just a building with a miniature-scale reproduction of what the Summer Place once was. It was there that the lose truly hit us. Countless structures across some large acreage (can't recall the number, but it's huge). Lakes, masterfully crafted gardens, pagodas, palaces, temples... My teacher said the best comparison he could make to help us understand the loss would be France having the Louvre, Champs Elyse, and the Arc de Triomphe all destroyed.
All the land is pretty overgrown now, as there has been almost no reconstruction here (there is the New Summer Palace where some parts of the Old Summer Palace were reconstructed and built, but that's another story). All that remains of the beauty that once was are hundreds of water lilies across the ponds and lakes. They are quite possibly the most beautiful flowers I've seen. So vibrant and large they've grown... and they are the only blossoms to be seen among the overgrown greenage that was once the Summer Palace.
There is still much debate over what to do with the grounds, as some argue for rebuilding while others argue it should stay the reminder it is, many also fearing the "Disneyfication" of history that many Chinese sites have become infamous for. I have mixed feelings on the issue, but it's not for foreigners to decide anyways... I would love to see a restored garden at least, but I understand the view of the people that want it to be the historical site it is, not become a scenic area.

"Fantastic Classic Beijing" >>> Post by William Taylor from United States of America
I have just came back from a Beijing Classic bus tour booked in I enjoyed this tour very much excepted the crowed people. But I know it is National Holiday in China, the crowed people in the tourist spots could not be avoided. In this tour I have visit the most classic Beijing Imperial palaces, I have visited the large and magnificent Forbidden City, according to the tour guide saying, Forbidden City is considered to be the largest imperial palace and ranks at the top of the 5 great palaces in the world. I was really surprised about that.
I have also visit the Temple of Heaven, it was very peaceful with awesome buildings, the tour guide is very professional, he told us a lot of interesting stories, the symbols used in the buildings of Imperial palaces and altar and garden, I feel it really very helpful for me to understand Chinese culture. Summer Palace is fantastic, it was sooo beautiful, I was impressed by its Kunming lake and its beautiful landscapes composed of temples, pavilions, gardens, bridges.
Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace are all my favorite, it’s hard to tell which I like better. In addition the souvenirs sold in the tourist spots are very good, my friends liked them very much which I have send them. The entire route is very tight, the tour guide explained that it was National Holiday, we may met traffic Jams on the road, and we all understand that. But if anybody would like to have this tour, I suggest you to pick a weekday or at least not in a holiday, I am sure you will have a better tour.

"My Beijing Night" >>> Post by Vinod Leou from Brazil
Chinese movement photo Night. a producer new place I have used to frequent is subculture Yard. It is definitely an intercontinental social centre, situated within a conventional chinese language program courtyard, near to to my apartment. Their vision can be to market dialect and social trade amid the neighborhood and expat neighborhood by method of workshops, dialect instructions and social activities. last four weeks I enjoyed Survival chinese language program and Mahjong. Now I am a frequent (kind-of) in the weekly chinese language program movement photo Night. And near to the first from the four weeks I watched the 1994 classic, To Live, with Ge You and Gong Li. The account can be the reality that of how a few wrestle using the terrible functions that occur near to them through the social revolution. I get rid of a tear or two. But then again, I continually do. look at it out in circumstance you have time.
New place. I think I have presently verified you images of my new place? I say place, but truly it is only a room. Of course, I write about a kitchen area and bathroom. However, devoid of a residing room, it does not really feel so homely. And in spite of the space getting OK (I required to purchase a second-hand table, chairs etc), I can say away from your get-go: this could be not the place for me...what? pondering of transferring AGAIN, K? Yeah, I am. With this sort of the build-up of earlier disappointments, I am merely in the place in which I can no lengthier describe to you, in hilarious, stomach-aching detail, how unpleasant I am here. All I can say near to the subject can be the reality which i need a place, for now. And I've obtained one. I need a place to store my stuff over the summer. And I've obtained that. And finally, I need a place when I arrive back again subsequent the summer. And I've obtained that too. when I activity back again in Beijing in the commencing of August, the lookup using the 'perfect' place will start afresh. I am hoping that this time I can be adequately equipped with enough experience to create a half-decent choice this time. And I will drag along as very numerous people as feasible to be certain that there is practically nothing I have forgotten near to the 'perfect place checklist'.
The Tree. spend evening Dinner took place in the Tree. A pub concealed apart at the rear of a law enforcement station within a maze-like hutong. very comfy though. The beer is cheap. as well as the pizza was big. However, the all round foodstuff taste wasnot that great, in spite of me consuming a whole pizza to myself (I was very hungry!). The chinese language program employees represented within type of Genna, Vanessa and Sunny. And Kirsty, Julian and Matt kept the educating employees on an even keel. I am all of a sudden feelng sentimental about these spend evening Dinners. I am steadily getting very much more and very much more busy, and I think up coming four weeks may be the last one I make an effort to organise. I practically really feel I really should consider it back again to in which it all started...yes, The Blue Frog...and the Blue Frog burgers! this space.

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