Beijing '10 Day 4 - At The Golden Tripod & Lama Temple, Time Stops, Things Change and the World Goes On

July 8, 2010 (Thursday)

I went out in the afternoon with everything all planned out. I rode the bus and stopped at my newly found parallel street to QingHua University 清华大学 that would take me to the WuDaoKou area so that I could go first to my old bank. Thankfully, I did not have to go very far today to exchange my dollar for cash. Unfortunately though, I forgot my passport so I would have to come back another day. I would have to remember that.

My next destination – Subway Line 13 WuDaoKou Station.  Some subways still had bag scanners now like in WuDaoKou, which they set up for the Olympics so it is more secure I guess. The fare now was also cheaper at 2RMB no matter where you go, according to my friend. I believe it is the same rate whether by YiKaTong Card or a single-journey ticket. More than 5 subway lines opened for the Olympics in 2008. I was shocked when I went here 2 years ago only to find out that almost all of the places we wanted to go to back then were plotted out in the new lines. I did not have the chance to experience the new lines during that short 3 days. I was too used to getting around by bus or long-distance walking when I was a student here.

I planned the day in a way that I will get to the Lama Temple (YongHeGong) 雍和宫 after I stop by the Golden Tripod for the discounted dimsum I used to love. To get there though, I chose the long route all the way to DongZhiMen 东直门 via Line 13. Most of the scenes I saw through the window were undeveloped land and trees. I did not expect the travel time to be almost an hour long. It was a good escape and rest though from the uncooperative hot weather.

I decided to have a little snack first over at the Golden Tripod so I took Exit A. 

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Some of their dimsum are discounted until 5 p.m. so I didn’t pass up the chance to eat my favorite Sichuan Spicy Dumplings and Egg Tarts. 
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It’s just too bad that some things do change, the taste wasn’t quite the same as before. I should have walked directly to the temple through exit C.

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The Lama Temple is a very simple and peaceful place for me. You would easily walk by and not notice the entrance because you will have to take a left in a parking lot. 

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A local family friend once brought my family to this historical site because locals usually pray for their businesses and schooling here even at this modern age. He said that when the wishes come true, they would come back after a year to offer their gratitude. This place held true meaning for this simple man, this was why he brought us here. 

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While walking, I remember him telling us what to do and what not to do in the place, where to pray and for what, and explaining to us the stories and significance of the major statues that are here today. I don’t remember all the details now but I brought back home with me a yearning to go back here when I can.

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After that first time, I always found myself going back to YongHeGong. It has now become a must-go-to part of my Beijing visits and in those next visits I went back alone enjoying the feeling that I made it back to this place again. For personal reasons, I choose to share only that this place is a place of peaceful and quiet moments and it draws me in away from distractions the moment I walk through the gate. 

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Slowly though, as I leave the place, everything comes back and I launch myself again to the real world.

My day started to fall apart from then on. I wanted to go to The Village in SanLiTun 三里屯 through the TuanJieHu 团结湖 subway stop like my friend said. I tried to ask around when I got to the exit but since it didn’t have a Chinese name, no one could point me to the right direction. Instead, I decided to check out my old hangout place, the big shopping mall in GuoMao 国贸, through the new subway line. I used to go there for some window-shopping since all the big brands such as Louis Vuitton are there. Who knew that the new subway line was so big and complicated and long, I couldn’t find the right exit. I should have stuck with the old line 1 since it will take me directly to the mall in one of the exits. My feet were sore and I wanted to go back home. I got home later than I would ever imagine and got caught with the rush hour, bad service and bad food at the Bravo restaurant near the Lotus Center 莲花 and traffic jam with the bus. I wished my day ended sooner.



Read more about Beijing:

Beijing '10 Day 1 - A Very Hot Welcome, Beijing in July
Beijing '10 Day 2 - At  HaiDian, Vegetarian Restaurant at WuDaoKou to Meet Up with an Old Friend
Beijing '10 Day 3 - Giving In to Korean Influence, Kimchi Rice, Kimbap and Koreanovela in Beijing!
Beijing '10 Day 4 - At The Golden Tripod & Lama Temple, Time Stops, Things Change and the World Goes On
Beijing '10 Day 5 - Taking On an Old Route, Food Delivery in Beijing
Beijing '10 Day 6 - Staying Awake on a Night Out
Beijing '10 Day 7 - The First Time’s the Charm
Beijing '10 Day 8 - Banking, Shopping & Commuting Tips
Beijing '10 Day 9 - In Time for the Lotus Season, the Festival at YuanMingYuan!
Beijing '10 Day 10 - Dumplings and Meatballs, YaShow Market & IKEA
Beijing '10 Day 11 - Trapped in the Rain, Eating Lamb Chuanr in Beijing!
Beijing '10 Day 12 - 798 Art District
Beijing '10 Day 13 - Tripping Through the Olympic Green, Bird's Nest & Forest Park
Beijing '10 Day 14 - Saying Goodbye With the Best Hutong Experience, SheShaHai, 100-Year Old Lamb Restaurant & NanLouGuXiang
Beijing '10 Day 15 - Going Home

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