Published: March 26th 2010February 13th 2010
Aren't they pretty? The one in Shanghai doesn't do this...
Well, we tried to get an early start today, but we are not so great at getting up early. Finally we did, and we headed to Costa on Qianmen Street to get something to eat. We ended up staying there longer than planned because we met some Turkish people there! I couldn't believe it! The entire time I've lived in China I haven't met anyone from Turkey, and not only did we meet three Turkish people, there were others in Costa as well! They were really friendly and tried to help Enis with his visa woes. The travel agent in Istanbul who failed to explain the visa procedure to Enis (she was Chinese) was actually in Beijing getting married to her Turkish fiance and she was friends with these three people! So he called her and, of course, she wouldn't admit it was her mistake for not explaining the visa terms. Anyway, she was no help. But these three people were really nice.
It was too late to go to Forbidden City, so we decided to go to Lama Temple. I hadn't been there before and I thought it would interest Enis as he has visited some temples in Beijing
Enis and Qianmen Street
This is the very cool, very beautiful entrance to Qianmen Street.
on his own. It costs about 30RMB to get in if I remember correctly. It was easy to reach on the metro and has its own metro stop actually. It was really crowded today. Too crowded to enjoy it or see it properly in fact.
The Lama Temple is the largest and most renowned Tibetian Buddhist temple outside Tibet. It was originally the home of Emperor Yong Zheng and was converted into a temple in 1744. It is impressive and worth a visit in my opinion, but I don't recommend going on a holiday.
After we left we went to Tiananmen Square to see it during the daytime. It is so huge it is easy to navigate even when it is crowded. Security is pretty tight and they scan all bags going in. It is free, of course, and if you want to view Mao's body, you can between the hours of 8 and 12 every day except Mondays. I haven't bothered.
There are more photos below