It was such a beautiful sunny day! :) My son and I headed to YongHeGong 雍和宫 (Palace of Peace and Harmony) or Lama Temple as our first stop. It was a Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism temple, located conveniently under metro Line 2. The entrance fee cost CNY ¥25 (S$5.50) per person inclusive one box of joystick for us to pray.
|YongHeGong or Lama Temple - Beijing|
The temple was built in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty. The building structure was a mixture of Han Chinese and Tibetan style. It became the national centre of Lama administration (source: Wikipedia).
We visited every prayer altars available and offered our prayers there. It felt good being able to visit the place again. I used to come here once in a while during my school time back in 1996-97. Being far away from home, the sight of Buddha statue offered me comfort and a great deal of peacefulness inside my heart. I was glad that I could bring my son here :) Hope he felt the same! ^^
|Lama Temple Youth Hostel :)|
We checked in to a youth hostel nearby, called Lama Youth Hostel. My bestie recommended me this place. It located not far from metro station and many other scenic area around the temple. It too my son's first experience staying at youth hostel, a cheaper alternative accommodation when traveling abroad. We chose the room for two and it cost us CNY ¥220 (S$50) with toilet inside. The room was so so, but the heater worked well so we both could sleep comfortably that night :)
|My favorite snack in Beijing - Jian Bing or scallions pancake|
We put our bag inside the room and went out again. Our stomach had growled! We wanted to eat steamed dumpling at nearby area. However, it turned up to be the place for cooking lesson :P Luckily on our way, I found my favorite snack, the scallions pancake, and steamed meat bun to warm our stomach temporarily.
|Guojizian and Juer Hutong - small alleys near YongHeGong Lama Temple|
We continued walking and passed by small alleys at Guojizian St, where you could find Confusius Temple. The houses, cafés, and museum on the left and right of the alley were antique and beautiful. It's worth having a walk there as it brought us back to the life many years back. As we walked, it led us to a big street, called AnDingMen St. And there, we decided to have a proper lunch at Lao Beijing Restaurant :)
|Our lunch at Lao Beijing Restaurant :)|
Hm.... I managed to let Baobei trying the authentic ZhaJiang noodle (soya paste sauce noodles) plus JiaoZi (steamed dumpling) - both were the famous local Beijing delicacies :) Both dishes cost us CNY ¥56 (S$12).
While eating, I chit chatted with my son. I told him this trip would be my birthday present for him. One day, when he reached 30 years old, would it be possible that both of us be here again, sitting at the same seat and enjoying the same food. But by that time, it would be him the one who said, "Ma, this trip would be my birthday present for you," and he could only smile without agreeing. Lol! :P
|Nan Luo Gu Xiang, Beijing - China|
After lunch we continued walking to many other famous and well-preserved alley, still with traditional Chinese architecture in the area, and it led us to Nan Luo Gu Xiang - at DongCheng District. It was a long stretch road with many shops and restaurants on its left and right.
|Took rest and had coffee - Nan Luo Gu Xiang :)|
Both of us walked and shopped until our legs were so tired! We decided to enter a café and took a rest there. Btw, the coffee price in Beijing didn't come cheap you know! It's price could fight with Starbucks in Singapore. E.g. this cup of cappuccino of mine cost CNY ¥30 (S$6.50) per glass and a normal cup of coffee cost CNY ¥25 (S$5.50).
|Baobei with frosted cream above his lips ^^|
In the evening we met up with my cousin. We were having the famous Beijing roasted duck together at Qian Men. The restaurant name was Si Ji Min Fu. According to her, this place was usually visited by her school mates as the price was reasonable, CNY ¥188 (S$40) per piece, the taste was equally delicious, and the duck bones could be deep fried and eaten there with a small charge. At other restaurants, the price per duck would usually cost above CNY ¥220 (S$50) and the guest could bring the bones back home or they would cook the soup using it and served it there after meal.
|Si Ji Min Fu - Delicious roasted Beijing duck in Qian Men|
Hmmm... True enough! It tasted delicious. We ordered one piece of duck for 3 of us with pancakes and condiments to be eaten together plus another meat dish. Nyummy!!! I could still remember its taste even now! :P Altogether we paid CNY ¥279 (S$60) for 3 of us (inclusive 1 big bottle of YanJing Beer - the local produced Beijing beer). ^^
The place was not so big but consisted of two storey. It was in the alley but easy to find, within walking distance from Qian Men metro station. When you saw Madame Tussauds building, there was an alley on the right. The restaurant was just within 20 meters walk. Well, people's taste bud might be different from one to another but for me I loved it and would come back for more! :)
So that was how we spent our 3rd day in Beijing. Food, sightseeing, prayer, coffee time, what a great combination to spend your day with. Try it yourself if you visit the city! :)