We pulled out the map of Beijing to see the different sites around to visit and saw that there were two religious sites pretty close together – a Buddhist Temple and a Confucius Temple. We thought it would be great to check out two Eastern Religions while we were here in China so we headed that direction. Our hotel was great because it was very central to a lot of the different places that we wanted to see – we got on the subway for a short ride and go out at the Yonghe Temple (also called theLama Temple)- it’s a Tibetan Buddhist monastery that is said to be one of the most important monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism. We knew we were going the right direction because there were people selling incense on the street. They were quite large bundles of incense and we didn’t understand why until we got into the temple – it’s a huge place with tons of people! It was really interesting to walk through – I had never seen people making offerings to Buddha before – at each Buddha, they had to leave 3 sticks of incense as an offering and there were also several people who were lighting it and saying prayers in front of the various temples.
They also had the largest Buddha carved out of a single tree (26m) – it was even in the Guinness Book of World Records! It was a great experience to see how important the Buddhists temples are to the people here in China.
Afterwards, we walked over to the Confucius temple across the road. This was much quieter than the Buddhist temple which made it very peaceful.
We heard some music playing towards the back of the area and we poked our head in and realized that they were performing some dances. We watched the show that they had for a little while and they we walked through the stone tablets.
There were some great statues there…this one was my particular favorite. I’m not quite sure how to describe his look here but you know he means business.
The atmosphere of each of the temples was very different but we enjoyed seeing both – one being very busy and full of people and the second being much quieter and peaceful. I’ve always found it interesting to learn more about peoples’ religions around the world so this was a great stop during our time in Beijing.