BEIJING CITY, Beijing Province:
Got up early this morning and got the bus into Beijing City.
Started at the Lama Temple - got there before closing this time round! The Lama Temple (Yonghegong) was actually really impressive - but very very crowded, lots of people giving thanks to the Gods and burning incense. The temple is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world (I've been doing my wiki research!), and in the Pavillion of Ten Thousand Happinesses, there's an 18m high statue of the Maitreya Buddha, apparently carved from a single piece of sandalwood! It was an amazing sight.
After the Lama Temple we went to Confucius' Temple - a temple just round the corner, dedicated to the philosophy of Confucianism. Much quieter and peaceful, it was nice to look around, but a bit of a let down after all the activity of the Lama Temple.
We then went to Wangfujing for a Starbucks (so good!) and to have a look around a bookstore featured in Sarah's guidebook because of it's large imported books section. Bought some reading material to keep me sane for a week or so, then went to meet Casey to go to the Silk Market.
Which was an experience! Apparently on a website Sarah was looking at, people had claimed to be abused in the Silk Market - I can understand why! They definitely try for the hard sell - they also start at ridiculous prices! I bought a dress for 150元, but the original price was over 600元!