Great Wall at Mutianyu
What’s better than watching grown men and women struggle up 5164 steps? Joining in on the fun by signing yourself up for the half or full marathon in Tianjin China. Each Spring in 2000-3000 participants gather to run and crawl their way up and down the largest man-made built barrier in the world. Aside from the wall, runners get to go through a local village and a valley with spectacular views of the China’s iconic wall.
Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang)
It was around 3 by the time we reached back to city. Now was the time for visiting other landmarks - Tiananmen Square, Temple of heaven and Forbidden city. We spent some time at Tiananmen Square. Forbidden city is just opposite to it. But we missed the other two places by some wrong time estimation as Forbidden city last entry closes early and you can visit only limited portions in Temple of Heaven if you are reaching post 5.30 pm. Although this miscalculation cost me the experience to see those other creations, but I guess the visit to Great Wall itself was itself good enough an experience to cherish. We were to take afternoon flight next day for our onward journey. But guess the Beijing experience was not just over for us. Next day early morning when I woke up, there was this beautiful snowfall. The road, the cars, the roof, the trees all were covered with snow flakes.
The Jokhang is surrounded by the Barkhor, a fascinating maze of narrow streets, and the most popular circumambulation with Buddhist pilgrims and inhabitants of Lhasa. A little further is the famous Potala Palace: the primary residence of successive Dalai Lamas until 1959. Composed of the white palace that was once the residence of the Dalai Lama, and the Red Palace, which was entirely devoted to religious study and prayer, it has 1000 rooms and houses 200 000 Buddhist images.
Jade Buddha Temple
First stop for the day was Jade Buddha Temple that houses two jade Buddha statues of a 1.95 meters tall sitting Buddha weighing 3 tons and a smaller reclining Buddha. I took metro line 7 to reach to the temple and got down at Changshu Road instead of Changshou Road, a difference of an O and I get down three stops ahead. Lesson learnt read the name of the stations till last alphabet and don’t let your bird brain get confused between similar sounding names.
National Center for the Performing Arts
An institution when it comes to live performances, the NCPA opened in 1969 on land reclaimed from the sea. The multi-venue centre has five auditoriums to host a range of performances, from intimate classical dance performances and poetry readings to concerts and plays.
Chi Lin Nunnery
If you have had your fill of the noise and business of HK, then spend atleast half a day, if not more, at these two places, which are next to each other. Calming Buddhist chanting, greenery, the smell of incense and the peace at the Chi Lin nunnery will immediately make you loosen you shoulder, drop you bag and sit down for a bit. You know that the busy city exits just outside the gates and you can see it all around you in the background, but you feel safe and guarded inside. From here, walk over to the other calming place – the Nan Lian Garden. The lack of many people, some water bodies and the many flora around will make you want to spend the day here. Both these places offer free entry too.
9. The Potala palace present in LhasaThe palace in Potala is famous in Tibet and is a part of the UNESCO world heritage site since 1994. This place has artifacts in relation to the Tibetan history, culture and religion as well as art. It is popularly known for its precious murals, antiques, sculptures, and ancient precious jewelry, scriptures that is housed within.