Temple of Heaven (Tiantan Park)
The next day after breakfast we went for sightseeing. Our first stop was the Temple of Heaven where Beijing’s seniors gather each morning to enjoy a variety of activities; from badminton and Tai Chi to street opera and ballroom dancing, This is a true taste of Chinese community life! Of course you also visit the magnificent temple itself.
Great Wall at Mutianyu
It was an amazing experience to see the Great Wall Of China and to set your feet on it as you have only heard and learned about in Books and Television only. But the feeling you get when you see thousands of people from all around the world and even you are part of it. It is as beautiful as we all have seen in pictures.
Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang)
The Tian'AnMen Square is known as the spiritual heart of China. Famous for its historical events, like demonstrations on May 4th, 1999, that inspired young Chinese to fight imperialists and warlords, and build a strong independent country. The Gate of Heavenly Peace is on the square's north end. And at the center of the square is the 40m-high Monument to the People's heroes and Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum. Also, the Great Hall of the People lies on the west along with the Museum of Chinese History.
Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tian'an Men)
Most people visit Tian'anmen Square on their way to the Forbidden City. Both can be done together in a morning or afternoon. Tian'anmen Square is the largest public square in the world. It is arguably the most-visited site in Beijing. It lies on the historical central axis going through the Forbidden City.
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.