Beijing Layover Tour
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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Ox Street Mosque

From the outside.the mosque could be mistaken for a Chinese Taoist or Buddhist temple until you notice that it is laid out on an east-west axis. This is because Moslems face Mecca when praying and from China Mecca lies to the west. Nearly all Chinese places of worship, as well as the palaces of the Forbidden City, face south asevil influences were supposed to originate in the north,and auspicious buildings had to turn their back on that direction.

The Ox Street Mosque is the oldest in Beijing, having been founded about 1.000year ago. In the course of several reconstructions. Chinese architectural features have supplanted the original Islamic influences.

Inside the front gate is the Mon Watching Tower. This is where the imam observes the waxing and waning of the moon in order to decide when the fasting month of Ramadan begins and ends. In front of the tower is a memorial archway and a screen wall covered with carved murals. Beyond is the main prayer hall.

To the rear of the main prayer hall is a group of smaller halls. some of smaller halls. some of which are used as classrooms, and stele pavilions. There is also a bathhouse. The wall decorations consist of Arabic letters and geometrical patterns. There is an inscription in Arabic and Chinese dating from 1496,but over the centuries it has become illegible. In the center of this section there is a minaret from which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer five times a day ,beginning at dawn.

In the grounds are the tombs of two travelers, one from Iran and the other from Uzbekistan.

Islam was probably introduced to China in the Tang Dynasty ,and now four percent of China's population is Muslim. Beijing has some 210,000 Muslims. Relations between. Muslims and non-Muslims have been strained in the past. It is said that a Chinese butcher would open a pork shop opposite the shop of a Muslim butcher. In order to frighten the sheep that were brought to the Muslim shop, he would paint a huge tiger in front of his own shop. The Musilm butcher would the hang up a large mirror so that the reflection of the tiger would devour the pigs in the pork shop.

During the cultural revolution.when religious buildings were under attack, the personal intervention of the late Premier Zhou Enlai saved the Ox Street Mosque from destruction.

Address Niujie Street,Xuanwu District.

Traffic:Bus No.6,10,38,53,57,109 and 626

Tel: 86-10-63532564


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