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China – Beijing – Lama Temple 22nd November

We wanted to capture some more of Beijing’s famous temple sites and had been recommended to visit the Yongegong Lama Temple along with the Confucius Temple, both located very close to the subway stop on line 2 and not far from the Drum and Bell towers.

The Lama Temple is described as being the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of Tibet and houses several shrines, incense burners, pavilions and an 18m high statue of the Maitreya Buddha sculpted from a single block of sandalwood. It’s a very impressive sight and draws people from all around to burn incense and pray to their gods. It’s a busy place to go but during the week it is quieter and nowhere near as crowded as The Forbidden City. The colours of brick work have been maintained to a very high standard and on a bright day it’s a really beautiful place to be. Further south from the Lama Temple and down a tourist Hutong we found the Temple of Confucius. Much quieter than the Lama Temple and a little less looked after this place does have some controversial history surrounding one of Beijing’s most famous writers Lao She. We didn’t really know much about this but have read up on it since. Aside from this though it has some impressive Chinese Classics engraved on huge stone slabs kept in a cold and dark warehouse. It’s quite eery in there and very cold!

After our Temple sightseeing escapade we walked along the streets to an area we’ve grown to love in Nanluoguxiang where we grabbed an okay bite to eat at Passby Bar before making our way back to Xinjeikou on the tube. Just a quick note on the subway over here in Beijing. At times it can take a while for you to get to your final destination due to the lack of lines joining in convenient areas…but it is incredibly cheap and if you don’t mind the masses of locals using the subway you can get anywhere for 2 yuan per person which is around 20p. Sometimes it’s quicker than getting a taxi and it certainly helps for those on a budget.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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