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BEIJING DAY 2-Yonghe & Heaven Temples

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April 21, 2011.  We went to see the Lama Temple, officially known as Yonghe Temple. It is one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. 


In front of the temple there is an incense burner, and a Tibetan monk prepares the burning offerings.



There are lots of pavilions within the temple confines, with lions guarding them and multiple incense burners for offerings.



As the sign indicates, we were able to see different representations of the Buddha in all aspects of his life.



There was a lamasery on the temple grounds, and we could see monks going into it. There were many ornamental fountains, and a banner by the temple entrance.



Here is a ceremonial bell, and ornate drums that hide prosaic garbage cans.  A guard sleeps while an ubiquitous lion stands guard, and the Two Pats pose by the lion.



By now we were getting hungry, so we ventured into the streets to find a place to eat. Lo and behold, we were surrounded by Chinese restaurants!  Good thing the menus had pictures, and maybe a list of prices, but we didn't care, we just ordered by pointing to the photos. And it was not bad!




Next we visited the Temple of Heaven, where we saw the Hall of Prayers for Good Harvests. Here we see the northern gateway to the temple, and then some views of its interior.



This is an annex to the temple, and we could see a pilgrim playing a very ancient Chinese musical instrument. Along the Long Corridor of the temple, men gather to play fortune games. Since gambling is allowed, many pilgrims take advantage to socialize through games.



 As  we left the Temple of Heaven, we could see the typical roof lines of Chinese architecture Before we returned to the hotel Pat went shopping for a silk scarf and made some new friends.                                            



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