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Published: January 9th 2008
Tuesday 8th January
This morning we walked through the hutongs eventually reaching our destination the Lama Temple. We were amazed at the number of people there all burning incense at one of the temples there. This complex is the largest Buddhist temple outside of Tibet. The Lama Temple is home to the Yellow Sect of Buddhism, which is the same sect as the Dalai Lama. It is an active lamasary, which means that monks of the sect live and work in the temple. The temple is also home to an amazing relic: the largest Buddha statue carved from a single tree. The colourful temples and stunning frescoes made it a photographer's delight as can be seen in the photos. We did wonder about all the incense which was left at the shrines where they weren't lit and also of the huge sales of incense which were made. Just our cynical nature we guess!
After returning to our room we had a little time to rest before going out to a local spot for lunch where we had a great meal previously. The staff appeared to recognise us and came to our table for our orders and delivered them when
they were ready. This wasn't the norm here, you were meant to order at the kitchen and then pick it up when they called it out. Dumb foreigners!
From here we went by taxi to the area, Zhongguancun ePlaza, where most electronic equipment is sold and checked out laptops and other gear. We soon realised we weren't going to get any bargains here, in fact their prices were on par to what we pay at home without the Australian warranty. As soon as we walked it we were virtually attacked and it soon became obvious that we couldn't walk around and browse quietly. They all wanted to "help" us and show us what they had. Needless to say we bought nothing.
This area was very impressive with its massive modern buildings. We did explore a couple of other buildings but yesterday's trek was catching up with us and we ran out of steam so we found another taxi to return us to our hotel.
Our evening meal was at a restaurant we hadn't been to before, just up the street from the hotel. Very low chairs and tables made the seating difficult and the meal was not
Lighting the incense
People believe that all pray can become true after lighting the incense and praying...
as tasty as many we have had. Not a place we would go back to on our return.
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