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Temple of Heaven

Beijing Travel Blog

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Map of the Temple of Heaven grounds

Woke up early again, got ready and had some fruit for breakfast.  We got into a taxi and headed toward the Temple of Heaven.  We paid an entrance fee and entered through the South Gate.  The park was full of people exercising and relaxing, I guess that's the thing to do over here.  There were groups of people playing a type of badminton game with wood paddles and no net.  We made our way toward the temple, but it wasn't open yet so we walked around the park.  We walked through the long corridor and by the Seven Rock Garden.  There were people walking their birds, which I though was interested. They had a bird cage that was covered in a white sheet and they were swinging it back and forth. I heard of people walking their dogs and maybe their cats, but never their birds.

Temple of Heaven

We hiked up to another entrance to the Temple of Heaven just as the doors were opening.  We rushed in to take pictures while there still weren't very many people around the temple.  We got some pretty good shots with no one else in the background.  The temple looked pretty amazing, supposedly the entire temple was pieced together and there were no nails used to build it.  We took a peak inside the temple and it looked pretty dark and dusty inside with an altar and desks.  After walking around the temple we went to the Echo Wall, which was across the way.  The way the circular wall was built allowed the sound waves to travel along the wall acting like a telephone.  Sadly for me, the wall is now blocked off so I couldn't test out the theory.

Morning exercise
  Across from the echo wall was the circular terrace. The circular terrace was used during the winter solstice to pray to the gods.  It's said that the way the terrace was built allows sound to magnify toward the gods.  There were so many people around the circular terrace trying to get their picture standing on the mound.  There really wasn't a line, jump a clump of people pushing/forcing their way onto the mound.  I think this was on of the things that I didn't enjoy about China, the aggressive culture.  People were way to pushy, jumping onto the mound. They didn't even care if you had been standing there waiting patiently for your turn, it's was a dog eat dog kind of experience. I finally pushed my way onto the mound and took a victory picture.
Long corridor

We made our way back to the South Gate to exit the park.  The plan was to make our way to Tienanmen Square. We walked half way and then took the bus the rest of the way.  We finally reached Tienanmen Square and found a KFC to have lunch and cool down.  It was really really hot, so we decided to skip the square. I would just come back later by myself another day, since  both my aunts had already seen it.  So we hopped onto another bus and headed to the shopping center.  It was super crowded on the bus, there was a ticket lady trying to direct us to squeeze in.  It was amazing how many people she managed to fit into the bus. I took a picture of the cramped bus and I think she thought I was taking a picture of her and yelled at me.

Inside the Long corridor
She surprised me and sounded mean, I was speechless and didn't know how to respond.  Luckily, my aunts explained things for me.

The shopping center was huge, four floors full of counterfeit merchandise from Gucci bags to North Face jackets. Everything looked pretty real to me, I couldn't tell it was a knock off until I took a closer look.  There were a bunch of foreigners shopping and haggling, it was funny watching the shop keepers speak English, German, and Spanish.  Didn't really buy anything, so we took a taxi back to the hutong.  Rested a little before heading over to the Olympic Garden and then dinner.  We took the subway over to the Olympic Garden, it was nice and convenient.  It only cost 2RMB to ride the subway with unlimited transfers.

Seven Rock Garden
  The Olympic Garden was a lot further than I had expected, we made about 5 transfers before getting there.  We finally made it there and saw the Bird's Nest and Water Cube.  I really liked how the Water Cubed looked at night, glowing a neon blue.  The design of the Bird's Nest was pretty funky and interesting as well.  After taking a few pictures, we hoped back on the subway to go to dinner.  We went to this pretty cool place that pretty much served everything on a stick. 

Tomorrow we fly to Hailar and start our tour, we'll be meeting up with a bunch of my aunt's friends and traveling through the North East part of China.

 

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Map of the Temple of Heaven grounds
Map of the Temple of Heaven grounds
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
Morning exercise
Morning exercise
Long corridor
Long corridor
Inside the Long corridor
Inside the Long corridor
Seven Rock Garden
Seven Rock Garden
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
Inside the temple
Inside the temple
On our way to the Echo Wall
On our way to the Echo Wall
Echo Wall
Echo Wall
Circular terrace achieved!
Circular terrace achieved!
KFC
KFC
Figuring out the best way to get t…
Figuring out the best way to get …
Jam packed bus
Jam packed bus
Shopping Center
Shopping Center
Olympic Garden
Olympic Garden
Birds Nest
Bird's Nest
Water Cub
Water Cub
Dinner
Dinner
Beijing
photo by: Deats