Monday, November 4, 2013

Temple of Heaven

This was our last day in Beijing. We're actually on a sleeper train on our way to Xi'an right now, but we'll get to that later.

For our last day, we went to see something that is on almost every Beijing tourism poster or pamphlet we've seen. Probably more often than the Forbidden City.

The Temple of Heaven.

Funny enough, there is technically no actual Temple of Heaven. The picture above is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. Here's the inside:

The whole park is called the Temple of Heaven park, but no structure within it shares that name. The park is vast, with the Hall above as the main focal point, and walkways going in each of the cardinal directions from it. Beyond those main walkways are paths through gardens and trees and open spaces.

It's really pretty and nice to enjoy a relaxing walk. Here are some pictures from around the grounds.

In an attempt to make up for yesterday, we only bought the entrance ticket this time, not the through pass. This was a huge mistake, as you can't get anywhere near the main Hall without the extra fee. Luckily, just outside the Hall are more ticket booths, and the additional fee is the same price as the through ticket minus what we already paid, and it gives you access to everything else too.

This pass also gets you into the Circular Mound Altar, which was kinda cool but packed with people and really difficult to find a decent angle to photograph it unless you have a helicopter or something.

But on our way to the Circular Mound Altar, we passed through some "street performers" in traditional costume having a grand ol' time.

They looked for people to join in but we chickened out and continued down to the altar.

We walked out through the south and caught the subway over to the CTV Building, which is one incredible piece of architecture.

We're not sure how that thing stays standing.

Then it was time to go back and grab our stuff, eat a quick dinner from 7-11, and go to the train station to catch our sleeper train to Xi'an.

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