Apparently the centre of Tibetan Buddhism in Beijing, the Lama Temple is a popular tourist sight and one that's been on my to-visit list for years.

Inside, we passed through several temple halls and courtyards, each with the usual incense burners and Buddhas.

There were also Chinese style bell and drum towers.

Inside, the Buddhas were particularly golden and decorated, with brightly covered wall hangings and ceilings around them.

These prayer wheels reminded me of those I had seen in Mongolia last summer, quite different to those seen at more traditional Chinese temples.

As we kept walking, the halls became more and more grand.

In this hall, rows of desks were laid out for studying.

The last courtyard was particularly interesting, with bridges joining the upper floors of some of the surrounding halls.

The use of Tibetan (alongside Chinese, Manchurian and Mongolian) on the buildings was very unusual – marking this temple as the heart of Tibetan Buddhism in Beijing.

In some of the halls towards the rear of the temple, museums had been created – displaying Buddhist artwork and artefacts. I found some of the descriptions very interesting in particular – indicating the Chinese governments slightly biased view on how they had "encouraged" and "supported" Tibetan buddhists in their faith…

Although the temple was certainly impressive and interesting, sadly the atmosphere was somewhat ruined by the huge crowds of tourists. I would recommend visiting early on in the day or ideally out of peak season if you want some peace and quiet – or just not to be elbowed by people desperately trying to snap a selfie…


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