Beijing Day 4

My mission today was to look at everything north of the Forbidden City.  I started at Jinshan Park.

The southern side

Lots of evergreen planting here and the compulsory rock formations, including one where one of the emperors hanged himself.  They have a butterfly enclosure on the northern side, and a peony garden when they’re in season.  There were some people playing 50s jazz on rather honky-tonk saxophones when I was there.

Climb up the hill for a view of Beijing

To the north

To the south - the Forbidden City

There are some pagodas at the top of the hill, but they’re nothing special.  From here I went out the west entrance, straight to Beihai Park – a 200m walk.  The main draw here is the Buddhist temple at the top of the hill.

The White Dagoba

However there’s an extra charge if you want to go right up to it.  Instead i paid Y1.50 to look at the little area to the south.

The jade jar used by Genghis Khan for wine drinking

Also in here is a tree the Emperor sat under and received some welcome shade, so he gave it a title.

The Marquis of Shade!

From here I walked north to the Hu Hai lakes area of hutongs.  They’ve all be sanitised, so are really only good if you want hipster t-shirts or kitchen objects.

A hutong alleyway

In the area there are the drum and bell towers.  They charged, so I didn’t go in.

The Drum Tower

The Bell Tower

It’s quite nice to walk alongside the lake.  If you have some money you can get rid of it at one of the many bars or restaurants.  The locals go swimming in the lake, but I wouldn’t, unless you want leprosy.  There is quite a good fitness park next to the lake, but you will get some looks if you use it for fitness and not sitting or leaning on.  There were some other things in the area:

Anti-theft device?

Lost in translation

I caught the metro to the Lama temple.   It was saved from the Cultural Revolution by the personal intervention of Zhou Enlai.

The esoterics

The big drw is the statue of Buddha made from a single piece of sandalwood.  It’s 28m high, but you can’t take photos.  It’s in here:

Note the walkway on the first floor. Why go up and down stairs unnecessarily?

He does have 2 torsos.

From here I went looking for a cheap restaurant for some wontons.  There are no fried wontons in Beijing.

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