Having completed our first six months of the Starks’ Epic Adventure, we could tick off Malaysia, Thailand, Bhutan, Nepal, China, Hong Kong, Macau and Japan from our growing list of the world’s countries and territories.
A planned return home to Melbourne, Australia for a friend’s wedding, gave us a few months home to recharge and apply for upcoming VISAs. Alas, we set off again for our second chapter. This time we would embark on an epic journey across Asia and into Europe for the first time.
We would start by flying to Beijing, China. Having been to Beijing already, we checked into the Dragon King Hostel once more. It didn’t take long to shake off the cobwebs and back into the travelling groove.
We were back.
With only one day in the capital, we braved the sweltering heat and headed out for the day.
Lama Temple (more accurately Yonghe Temple) means Palace of Peace and Harmony. It is a temple and monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, combining Han Chinese and Tibetan styles into the building and the artworks.
Originally built in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty, it eventually became a residence for large numbers of Tibetan Buddhist monks from Mongolia and Tibet and became the national centre of Lama administration (hence the informal name).
There are three giant golden Buddhas as well as Tibetan script in the artwork. Very cool.
A couple of hours was enough, mostly due to the unbearable heat and humidity being outside in the afternoon. Definite difference between our last visit in winter 5 months ago!
We couldn’t leave Beijing without going back to our favourite restaurant, Dawanju Restaurant, for more Peking Duck (for the third time now!). Tucking into our other favourites of fried pork with beans and fried eggplant, we watched with amusement as the locals sitting at the table next to us were getting very drunk and sleepy on beer.
They kept standing up for each shout, downing their beer, then collapsing headfirst onto the table, while the stronger one egged them on for “just one more”!
Hilarious. But when the food is this good, why not celebrate?
Visited 1st August 2014.