Excursion to YongHeGong Lama Temple and Confucius Temple
Beijing Travel Blog› entry 51 of 79 › view all entries
I'm offically all Beijing-Templed out. After Temple of Heaven (Tiantan), YongHeGong and Confucius, I'm done. They're all great and wonderful and beautiful... and all blending together.
I'm addicted to an app on Facebook, so I stalled playing that. But I eventually left the apartment, and headed for the subway. After changing to the Line 5 (more convenient than taking the Line 1 to the Line 2- Lines 2 and 5 both go to YongHeGong). It wasn't much of a walk to the Temple from the subway exit, and it was rather nice outside, if a bit chilly. After I payed my 25 rmb entrance fee (the ticket was rather unique, see pic below), I headed inside. And no, I didn't buy incense. There was enough burning already, I could smell it from the street.
A short history of the Temple- It was built in 1694 as the residence of Prince Yong (this is in the Qing dynasty). It was changed by another emperor in 1744 to a lamasery. It wasn't opened to the public until 1981.
I had a nice walk around the Temple, and there were plenty of other people there for a Friday afternoon. Of those, they were mostly fellow tourists, there seemed to be a good number of worshippers and a handful of monks. But there was enough room to comfortably walk around without tripping over anyone else. It's a pretty spacious place, with a lot to see. Unfortunately, I'm sure I missed some pretty cool things when I left early. But the incense was kicking my allergies into overdrive (I'd even taken medicine before I left as a precaution), and I bailed.
After crossing the street, going through a gate and heading down a street while avoiding hawkers, I paid my 20 rmb to get into the Confucius Temple and Guozijian (Imperial College). Inside the gate, the first thing you see (besides the information booth) is a statue of Confucius. Then looking around, I noticed a lot of stone pillars. Apparently there are 198 of them, with the name of jinshi scholars that passed a special exam during the Qing, Ming and Yuan dynasties. I walked around in relative peace, there were so few people and no incense. There was a tour group and some random tourists, but no one bothered me and I was able to look around and take pictures at my leisure.
From there, I made my way out of the Temple and back to Yonghegong Dajie and to a hutong for a late lunch.
And as for the special Lama Temple ticket- Part of the ticket is a VCD, which is pretty cool. It has some background of the Temple, and some scenes as well. The audio is all in Chinese, and most also has English subtitles (except for when the monks are talking, then it's also subtitled in Chinese or not subtitled at all).