Beijing Travel China
Big Bell Temple
This famous Buddhist temple on Central North Third ring Road has been converted into the Chinese Museum of Ancient Bells. Among the hundred or so ancient bells on display is the Yongle Bell cast during the Ming. Weighing 46.5 tons, it is extolled as China's "King of Bells".
South of the Xiangshan Park in Beijing's northwest suburb stands the Biyun Temple, or Temple of Azure Clouds, a Buddhist sanctuary first built during the Yuan. In 1748, or the 13th year of the Qianlong reign of the Qing, the Diamond Throne Pagoda and the Hall of Five Hundred Arhats were added to the complex. Sculpture is a salient feature of the Temple of Azure Clouds.
Built prior to 1700 as the first Buddhist sanctuary of Beijing, the Tanzhe (Pool and Zhe Tree) Temple is perched majestically on a mountain slope once covered with zhe trees (Cudrania tricuspidata) in the city's suburban Mentougou District. Standing in the compound is a huge gingko tree, which is still growing luxuriantly despite an age of more than 1,000 years.
The Wofo Temple, or the Temple of the Recumbent Buddha, is a Tang Buddhist Establishment enshrined with China's largest statue of a recumbent image of Sakyamuni cast of 54 tons of bronze and 5.3 metres in length. The temple is found north of the Xiangshan Park.
Eight Great Sites
The Eight Great Sites refers to the eight ancient temples, which form a sacred Buddhist center in some wooded hills in Shijingshan District. One of them, the Lingguan (Divine Light) Temple, is enshrined with a tooth of the Buddha, the Eight Great Sites today has been converted into a public park where the natural beauty of the scenery remains largely unperturbed.
The Jietai (Ordination Terrace) Temple in the south of the Fengtai District was built during the Tang. Housed in the main hall of the temple is the renowned Ordination Altar, a white marble structure with a statue of Sakyamuni sitting on it. The entire temple is nestled in the shadows of old pine trees.
There are more than 40 Islamic mosques that are open to the public in Beijing. The one on Ox Street stands out for its ingenious combination of traditional Chinese architecture with authentic Arabian influence.
China's best-preserved Ming murals with a Buddhist theme are found at the Fahai (Ocean of Law) Temple, a famed Buddhist sanctuary built in 1439 during the Ming. These murals figure prominently in the world history of wall painting.
The Yunju (Cloud Dwelling) Temple 70km from the city proper in Fangshan District was a Buddhist center during the Sui and Tang. It is lauded as Beijing's answer to Dunhuang because of its collection of 14,000 stone slabs caved with the full text of the Tripitaka (including sutra-pita ka, vinaya-pita ka and abhidharma-pitaka).
The Baiyun (White Cloud) Temple in West District is the largest Taoist establishment in Beijing. It was built in the 713-714 period during the Tang. Buried in the compound are the remains of Qiu Chuji, a famed Yuan guru of Taoism who had lived in the temple until his death. For this reason Taoists in China regard the White Cloud Temple as their ancestral sanctuary.
Catholic South Church
Built 330 years ago, the South Church (known in Beijing as Nantang) is the oldest Catholic church in Beijing. The church, known for its elegant interior décor, comes alive at 6:30 a.m. During weekdays, and on Sunday mornings as local Christians arrive for Mass.
NEW TOURIST SCENE
Beijing botanical Garden
No botanical garden in north China matches the one in the national capital in size and variety. Sprawling at the foot of the Fragrance Hill in the northwestern suburb of Beijing, the Beijing Botanical Garden is home to 4,500 kinds of plants that are on display in nearly 20 exhibition zones, including a Peony Garden and a Lilac Garden.
This colossal theme park in Fengtai District is an assemblage of the scaled-down replicas of 106 reknowned scenes and sights from 30 countries around the world.
Equipped with high-tech recreational facilities, the 405-metre-high CCTV Tower in Haidian District enables visitors to feast their eyes on an all-encapsulating view of Beijing. Beneath the tower is Beijing's second aquarium, the Pacific Undersea World Exhibition
Beijing Amusement Park
The Beijing Amusement Park in Chaoyang District is a large facility with such facilities as a rollacoaster, pirate boats and sightseeing trains.
Beijing Fuguo Undersea World
This is another large, modern aquarium in Beijing which is in the possession of 6,000 tropical sea fishes in nearly 100 breeds and Asia's longest underwater tunnel (120 meters).
Old Beijing Miniature Candscapes
The city wall, shops, hutongs, teahouses and other scenes associated with life in 15th-century Beijing are recaptured in a collection of miniature structures in this theme park in Changping County, Beijing.
Grand View Garden
The Grand View Garden in Xuanxu District is one of a series of imitation ancient gardens built in Beijing in recent years by drawing inspirations from narrations in the classical Chinese novel A Dream of Red Mansions.
Minghuang Waxwork Museum
The Minghuang Waxwork Museum in Changping County is designed to capture life behind the vermilion walls of the Ming imperial palace by combining consummate waxwork art with modern audiovisual, acoustic and lighting techniques.
Chinese Ethnic Culture Park
The varied lifestyles of China's 56 ethnic peoples are captured in the Chinese Ethnic Culture Park near the Olympic Sports Centre in Haidian District. Life size replicas of villages of such ethnic groups as the Tibetan, Dong, Miao, Korean and Dai have been built in this park, where folk singing and dancing are performed and scenes of production and daily life relived on a daily basis.
Museums in Beijing usually open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every day of the week except Monday.
||4 Jingshan St. Front
|Museum of Chinese History
||East side of Tian'an men Square
|Beijing Museum of Natural History
||126 Tianqiao Nandajie
|Beijing Ancient Observatory
|Ancient Bells Museum
||31 A, West Rd., 3 rd ring Road N.
|Beijing Aviation Museum
||Datangshan, Changping County
|Peking-Man Exhibition Hall
||Zhoukoudian, Fangshan dist.
|Chinese Art Gallery
||1 Wusi St., Dongcheng Dist
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