Archive for the ‘Beijing Self-Service Tour’ Category

How to Visit Lama Temple

Friday, October 19th, 2018
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Dear Travelers,

We’d like to have the following quick guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Lama Temple. If you have any questions or anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
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Plan your Beijing Tour? If you are interested in Chinese Lamaism or Chinese Buddhism, Beijing Lama Temple is not to be missed.

Beijing Lamasery Temple is called “Yonghegong” (雍和宫) in Chinese which literally means” Harmony and Peace”. “Yonghegong” is a romanization form (pinyin) of the Chinese characters – 雍和宫 (Lama Temple).

Pinyin is quite useful in China, especially on people’s names, shop fronts, street names and place names etc. When Chinese people write their own names in English, they use Pinyin. All the bus stops and subway stops for Lama Temple are named “Yonghegong” in English instead of Lama Temple.

For many foreign travelers coming to Beijing, Yonghegong (Lama Temple) is a very important attraction just after Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven in the city center. Yonghegong Lama Temple was originally built as the residence of Emperor Yongzheng when he was still a prince. After he came to the throne (Emperor Yongzheng), he changed his old residence into a temporary palace called “Yonghegong” in 1725. In 1744, his successor, Emperor Qianlong turned the palace into a lama temple. This Tietan Buddhist Lama Temple is still popularly called Yonghegong.

Built along a central axis from north to south, the Lama Temple’s compound is mainly composed of six major halls, which make seven courtyards. The six halls include Yonghe Gate Hall, Yonghegong Hall, Yongyou Hall, Falun Hall, Wanfuge Pavilion and Suicheng Hall. There are also many side buildings built on the both sides of the central axis. Before you visit the six halls and seven courtyards, you will first see the Memorial archway.

How to get there?
Well, taking the subway is highly recommended. You either take subway line 2 or Line 5 and get off at the stop of “Yonghegong”, exit from the Exit C.

From the EXIT C of Yonghegong Subway Station, you turn left and walk along the sidewalk below a long red wall, inside which Lama Temple is located. The 400 meters sidewalk is teemed with front stores selling incense, fortune-tellers and so on.  Then you will get to the entrance to Lama Temple on your left hand.

On your left side, you will see the entrance to the compound of Lama Temple.

The entrance to the compound of Lama Temple

In the middle of the compound is the archway leading to the six halls and seven courtyards to the north of the archway.

In the middle of the compound are the three connected Memorial archways

On the right side of the archway is the ticket office.

On the right side of the archways is the ticket office.

Entrance Fee: CNY 25 per person
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 16:30 ( April – October)
09:00 – 16:00 (November – March)
Note:  You don’t have to book your ticket in advance. Just get there as early as possible,  and line up for buying your ticket on the spot.
By the way, , they have both English-speaking tour guides and English audio-guide for rent. Please contact them while you are going to purchase your entrance ticket at the ticketing booth.

Follow me into Lama Temple (Yonghegong).

Have your ticket collected at the side gate of the archway, you walk north along the imperial carriage pathway where in Qing Dynasty the straight path was used for the carriages of the emperors and their empresses during the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911).

You walk north along the imperial way

At the northern end of the imperial carriage pathway is the Zhaotai Gate only used for emperors.

At the northern end of the imperial carriage pathway is the Zhaotai Gate only used for emperors.

Entering Zhaotai Gate, you will be in the second courtyard which has a Drum Tower on the right side and Bell Tower on the right side and more side buildings in the courtyard.

To the north of the courtyard is Yonghe Gate. Built in 1694, originally the main gate to the Lama Temple. Now Yonghe Gate is enshrined with the four heavenly kings and the statue of the big belly Meitraya Buddha.

Now Yonghe Gate is enshrined with the four heavenly kings and the statue of the big belly Meitraya Buddha

North of the Yonghe Gate is Yonghe Hall. Yonghe Hall ( Hall of Harmony and Peace ) is the main palace in the temple.

Inside the hall, there are three bronze Buddhas – Sakyamuni (Present Buddha) in the middle, The Past Buddha on the right and Maitreya ( Future Buddha ) on the left. 18 Arhats are placed on both sides of the Hall.

Yonghe Hall ( Hall of Harmony and Peace ) is the main palace in the temple

 

North of Yonghe Palace is Yongyou Hall. The Yongyou Hall was originally the living place of Emperor Yongzheng before he was throned. When he died, his coffin was placed here in the hall.

Now inside the hall, a statue of Amitayus (Longevity Buddha), with Bhaisajyaguru ( Medicine Buddha) to the right and Simhanada (Meaning Wisdom) to the left.

North of Yonghe Palace is Yongyou Hall.

North of Yongyou Hall is Falun Hall. The hall was named Falun Hall in 1744 when Yonghegong was transformed into a lamasery. The Hall was originally the living place for the Emperor’s wives. Its architecture features both Chinese and Tibetans styles.

A large statue of Tsong Kha-pa, the founder of Lamaism is positioned on the altar of the Hall with sacrificial offerings. Behind this statue is an Arhat Hill which has 500 Arhats. Falun Hall is the places lamas chant, read scriptures and hold Buddhist ceremonies.

North of Falun Hall is Wanfu Pavilion (The Pavilion of Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happiness). Wanfu Pavilion is the highest building in the temple.

It was built between 1748 and 1750. Now it enshrines the Meitreya Buddha. The statue is 18 meters above ground and 8 meters under ground and carved from a single trunk of white sandal wood. In August 1999, it was in Guinness book of records.

The last hall is called Sui Cheng Building. Originally built in 1744, the hall now enshrines the White Tara, the Green Tara and the founders of Gelugpa sect of Lamaism in different periods.

 

The last hall is called Sui Cheng Building

Kids are happy to turn around the prayer wheels.

Kids are happy to turn around the prayer wheels

A foreign buddhist

A foreign buddhist


Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Beijing guided tours:Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P 
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Any questions, just drop line.

Tourist Information Centers in Beijing

Monday, September 17th, 2018
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Plan your Beijing tour? Beijing tourist information centres will help you arrange your individual Beijing travel. Beijing Tourist Information Centers are open 7 days a week, 8 hours per day. Some tourist information centres operate year round and others are seasonal. Travelers may obtain literature about destinations and attractions.

There are about 20 tourist information centres in the city proper of Beijing. Find out the nearest Information Centres  to you and well plan your Beijing trip.

Beijing Tourist Information Centre Sign (Logo)

 

Beijing travel information logo


1. T3 Beijing Capital Airport

Station Name:Beijing Tourist Information Center T3 Beijing Capital Airport 北京旅游咨询服务中心首都机场T3航站楼咨询站
Tel:64532610
Add: Inside T3 of Beijing Capital Airport2. T1 Beijing Capital Airport
Station Name: Beijing Tourist Information Center T1 Beijing Capital Airport 北京旅游咨询服务中心首都机场T1航站楼咨询站
Tel::64540989
Add:Inside T1 of Beijing Capital Airport3. T2 Beijing Capital Airport
Station Name:Beijing Tourist Information T2 Beijing Capital Airport 北京旅游咨询服务中心首都机场T2航站楼咨询站
Tel:64598145
Add:inside T2 of Beijing Capital Airport4. Beijing Railway Station and Beijing West Railway Station
1) Station Name: Beijing Tourist Information Beijing Railway Station 北京旅游咨询服务中心北京火车站咨询站
Tel:65288448
Add:16 Laoqianju Hutong, Dongcheng District 东城区老钱局胡同16号

2) Station Name:Beijing Tourist Information Beijing West Railway Station 北京旅游咨询服务中心海淀西客站咨询站
Tel:63982337
Add:Northen Exit 2, the north square of Beijing West Railway Station 北京西客站北广场北二出口

5. Wangfujing Street
1) Station Name: Beijing Tourist Information Center Wangfujing Station 北京旅游咨询服务中心王府井咨询站
Tel:85110468
Add:Ling2, 269 Wangfujing Street 东城区王府井大街269临2号

2) Station name: Beijing Travel Information Wangfujing Roast Duck Restaurant 北京旅游咨询全聚德王府井店咨询点
Tel::65253310
Add::9 Shuaifuyuan Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District 东城区王府井大街帅府园9号

6. Beihai Park and Jingshan Park
1) Station Name:Beijing Tourist Information West Gate of Beihai Park 北京旅游咨询服务中心北海公园西门
Tel:64002378
Add:West Gate of Beihai Park, 1 Wenjin Street 西城区文津街1号北海公园西门

2) Station Name:Beijing Travel Information Jinshan Park 北京旅游咨询服务中心西城景山公园咨询站
Tel:64038098
Add:Inside Jingshan Park, 44 Jingshan West Street, Xicheng District 西城区景山西街44号景山公园内

7. Houhai Area (Shichahai)
1) Station Name:Beijing Travel Information Houhai 北京旅游咨询服务中心西城后海咨询站
Tel:84033792
Add:17 Gulou Xidajie, Xicheng District 西城区 鼓楼西大街 17 号

2) Station Name:Beijing Tourist Information Center Prince Gong Mansion 北京旅游咨询服务中心西城恭王府咨询站
Tel:83288149
地址:Inside Prince Gong Mansion, 17 Qianhai West Street, Xicheng District 西城区前海西街17号恭王府院内

8. Beijing Zoo (Panda House)
Station Name:Beijing Travel Information Center Beijing Zoo 北京旅游咨询服务中心西城动物园咨询站
Tel:68390274
Add:Beijing Zoo, 137 Xizhimen Beiwaidajie 西城区西直门外大街137号北京动物园

9. Beijing Olympic Sites
Station Name:Beijing Tourist Information Olympic 5 北京旅游咨询服务中心朝阳区奥林匹克中心区5号站
Tel:84370526
Add:Inside the Olympic 朝阳奥林匹克公园

Station Name:Beijing Tourist Information 3 北京旅游咨询服务中心朝阳奥林匹克中心区3号站
Tel::84370660
Add:Inside the Olympic Site 朝阳奥林匹克公园

Station:Beijing Tourist Information Centre 北京旅游咨询服务中心朝阳区奥林匹克中心区4号站
Tel:84370468
Add:Inside the Olympic Sites.朝阳奥林匹克公园

10. Qianmen Dashilan
Station Name:Beijing Tourist Information Center Dashilan 北京旅游咨询宣武大珊栏咨询站
Tel:63182505
Add:Inside Neiliansheg Shoes Store, 34 Dashilan, Xicheng District 宣武区大珊栏街34号内联升鞋店内

11.  Changfu Gong
Add :Beijing Beijing Tourist Information Chang Fu Gong Center Hotel 北京旅游咨询长富宫饭店咨询点
Tel::65126107
Add:26 Jianguomenwai, Changyang District 朝阳区建国门外大街26号

12. Beijing curio city
Station Name: Beijing tourist information centres 北京旅游咨询北京古玩城咨询点
Tel:59609999
Add:21 Sanhuan South Road, Changyao District 朝阳区东三环南路21号

13. Yansha Outlets Shopping Center
Station name:Beijing Tourist Information Yansha Outlets Shopping Center 北京旅游咨询金源燕莎购物中心咨询点
Tel:88874611
Add: Yuanda Lu 1, Haidian District 海淀区远大路1号

14. Ming Dynasty City Wall Relics
Station Name: Beijing Tourist Information Centre Ming Dynasty City Wall Relics 北京旅游咨询服务中心崇文明长城遗址公园咨询站
Tel:65270874
Add:Inside Ming Dynasty Wall Relics 明长城遗址公园内

15:Qianmen Area
Station Name:Beijing Tourist Information Qianmen 北京旅游咨询服务中心崇文前门咨询站
Tel: 83531111
Add: East side of Zhengyang Gate 崇文区前门正阳门箭楼东侧

16. Yuanmingyuan
Station Name: Beijing Tourist Information Yuanmingyuan 北京旅游咨询服务中心海淀圆明园咨询站
Tel:62566911
Add:South gate of Yuanmingyuan 海淀区圆明园公园南门外

17. Laoshe Teahouse
Station Name:Beijing tourist information and the list.北京旅游咨询宣武老舍茶馆咨询站
Tel:63036830
Add:Building 3, Zhengyang Market, Qianmen Xidajie, Xicheng District 宣武区前门西大街正阳市场3号楼内

18. Liulichang
Station Name:Beijing Tourist Information Centre Liulichang 北京旅游咨询宣武琉璃厂咨询站
Tel:63017427
Add:Inside Hongbaotang, Liulichang Xijie, Xicheng District 宣武区琉璃厂西街3号宏宝堂内

19. Hepingmen Roast Duck Restaurant
Station Name:Beijingg Tourist Information Hepingmen Roast Duck Restaurant 北京旅游咨询全聚德和平门店咨询点
Tel:63039916
Add:Xidajie 14, Xichang District 宣武区前门西大街14号

20. Haidian District
Station Name:Beijing Tourist Information Haidian 北京旅游咨询服务中心海淀咨询站
Tel:82622895
Add:Dangdai Shopping Plaza, Haidian District 海淀区当代商城一层客服中心

Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
06611If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

Early Morning Stroll along Chang’an Avenue

Friday, September 7th, 2018
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Chang’an Jie (长安街) in Beijing is often regarded as the longest and widest street in the world. Chang’an Jie, known as Chang’an Avenue, literally means “”Eternal Peace Street” named after the ancient capital of Tang Dynasty which was the present city of Xian.

The original construction of Chang’an Avenue started with the building of the Forbidden City in Ming Dynasty during the period of 1406 -1420 with over 600 years of history.

The Chang’an Avenue used to be only 4 km long centered on Tiananmen Square which divided Chang’an Avenue into two sections – East Chang’an Avenue and West Chang’an Avenue.

Now in a very broad sense, the present east-west Changa’an Avenue has been largely widened and extended, adding up to a total length of 45km starting from Beiyuan, Tongzhou District in the east to the eastern gate of Shougang at Shijingshan District in the west.

Chang’an Avenue is a major through route in Beijing running from east to west through the heart of Beijing. But you cannot find the real name of Chang’an Avenue on maps since it is a general name of 10 roads and streets that encompass the Chang’an Avenue including Shijingshan Road, Fuxingmen Outer Street, Fuxingmen Inner Street, West Chang’an Avenue, East Chang’an Avenue, Jianguomen Inner Street, Jianguomen Outer Street, Jianguo Road and Jingtong Expressway. The Subway line 1 runs under the Chang’an Street.

At the time of my writing, small cars, trucks and freight vehicles are forbidden to drive along Chang’an Aavenue day and night. No commercial posters and advertising are allowed posted on the buildings along the street.

Plan your Beijing walking tour? Pick a fine day and have an early morning walk along Chang’an Street to feel the heart beat of Beijing.

Please follow me to have a stroll along the Jianguomen Outer Street starting from Jianguomen Bridge in the west and Guomao Bridge in the west, a 2.2km-long walk.

Jianguomen Bridge links the Jianguomen Inner Street on the west and Jianguomen Outer Street on the east. The second ring road is under Jianguomen Bridge from north to south.

Jianguomen Bridge links the Jianguomen Inner Street on the west and Jianguomen Outer Street on the east

Jianguomen Bridge links the Jianguomen Inner Street on the west and Jianguomen Outer Street on the east

The Hotel New Otani Chang Fu Gong is located to the southeast of Jiangguomen Bridge. One of the earliest office building in Beijing known as International Plaza.
One of the earliest office building in Beijing, nickamed "Chocolate Building

One of the earliest office building in Beijing, nicknamed “Chocolate Building

The longest public bus in China is moving on Chang’an Avenue, which is 18 meters long and can hold 180 passengers.
The longest public bus in China is moving on Chang'an Avenue, which is 18 meters long and can hold 180 passengers.

The longest public bus in China is moving on Chang’an Avenue, which is 18 meters long and can hold 180 passengers.

A bus stop on Chang’an Avenue
A bus stop on Chang'an Avenue

A bus stop on Chang’an Avenue

Twin Tower
Twin Tower

Twin Tower

More Office Buildings
More Office Buildings

More Office Buildings

Xiushui Street Market Plaza (Silk Market)
Xiushui Street Market Plaza

Xiushui Street Market Plaza

The Subway Line 1 runs under Chang’an Avenue
The Subway Line 1 runs under Chang'an Avenue

The Subway Line 1 runs under Chang’an Avenue

The Buildings for the Headquarters of foreign companies
The Buildings for the Headquarters of foreign companies

The Buildings for the Headquarters of foreign companies

More Buildings for the Headquarters of foreign companies and Hyatt Hotel
More Buildings for the Headquarters of foreign companies and Hyatt Hotel

More Buildings for the Headquarters of foreign companies and Hyatt Hotel

Jianwai SOHO off Chang’an Avenue, 20 high rise towers and four villas
Jianwai SOHO off Chang'an Avenue, 20 high rise towers and four villas

Jianwai SOHO off Chang’an Avenue, 20 high rise towers and four villas

China World Trade Center
China World Trade Center

China World Trade Center

06611Tip: Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Beijing guided tours:

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Any questions, just drop line.