Beihai Park

One of the largest parks in Beijing's city centre, Beihai Park is a popular local hangout and tourist spot. It was established in the Jin Dynasty as an Imperial Palace - used for relaxing, handling important government affairs and sacrificing for the emperors.The park surrounds a large lake, on which visitors can explore a small … Continue reading Beihai Park

Lama Temple

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 … Continue reading Lama Temple

Jinci Temple Complex

My first impression of this place was being overwhelmed by its sheer size. The (admittedly rather brief) look I'd had online implied it was just a single temple with a few famous halls, built and expanded continuously between the Sui and Qing Dynasties... which was true I guess... but more warning about the sheer amount … Continue reading Jinci Temple Complex

Kaiyuan Monastery

This monastery has been mostly in a state of disrepair since the Qing Dynasty, and then almost destroyed in 1966 during the cultural revolution, with only a few buildings of interest preserved. The monastery has an usual layout, with the pagoda and bell tower side by side instead of symmetrically placed along a central axis. … Continue reading Kaiyuan Monastery

Linji Temple

Located just south of Zhengding in Linji Village, this active monastery is notable for its brick Chengling Pagoda. The temple was built during the Eastern Wei Dynasty, with the pagoda a later, Tang Dynasty, addition to serve as a shrine for the monk Linji Yixuan. At the back of the temple stands the main hall, … Continue reading Linji Temple

Guanghui Temple

While most of the temple has been destroyed, it was worth a visit to admire the still standing Hua (Flower) Pagoda. This really unusually flower bouquet-shaped structure is decorated with elephants, lions, Bodhisattvas and sea creatures. Apparently it was inspired by Indian Buddhism.I enjoyed spending a few minutes waking around the pagoda admiring the detailed … Continue reading Guanghui Temple

Longxing Temple

The most famous sight in Zhengding, the Longxing Temple (also known as the Longxing Monastery) was first built in 585 AD. However, most of the current structure dates from the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279 AD).Visitors enter at the Hall of the Heavenly Kings, which contains some impressively scary statues of four of the heavenly … Continue reading Longxing Temple