China, post 13 – Temple of Heaven reprise

Doug took Friday off his conference and we headed for the Temple of Heaven in the morning.

We had breakfast as usual. By now I was mostly having friend eggs or omelets. I discovered they had what was essentially won ton soup. It was really good! Another morning, I thought they had it, but it had shrimp in it and tasted really bad.

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A map:
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It was a much nicer day than the last time I was there.
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This is, again, the Temple of Prayer for Good Harvest.
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Inside:
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As you may or may not recall, the big temple and this building were pretty much I saw last time:
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This building is the Imperial Hall of Heaven:
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This is what’s inside:
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More about the stone carvings:
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In one of the side buildings:
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We finally got a chance to see the rest of the complex, which is HUGE! The ovens you’ll see below are to the east.

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Heading out for the next area of the park.
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This is the Danbi bridge. It’s really freaking long. And was hot.
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Part of the Echo Wall. Back in the day, you could apparently send whispered messages across enclosure along the wall.
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The Imperial Vault of Heaven:
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Ancient Junipers:
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This man cracked me up with is frilly pink parasol:
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More on the Echo Wall:
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Imperial Vault of Heaven:
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There was a huge line to see inside and we waffled on whether to wait. In the end, the line shortened a bit and we went ahead. I was glad we did, the inside was pretty cool.
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Before we got on the line we looked at one of the side building:
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Here’s what was inside!
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The ceiling:
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Next, the Alter of Heaven temple mound:
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There was a line to take your picture at the center:
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Looking back towards the Imperial Vault:
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You know that ice cream I really liked? Here’s what it looks like:
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We didn’t know if we’d find lunch, so we had ice cream!

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We did manage to find a place that had food, so we decided to have lunch.

This little restaurant advertised hamburgers, so we thought, great! We were dying for some western food by then.
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This is what we got.
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Yes, that’s ham. On a bun. With ketchup.

Fortunately we also ordered some Sichuan chicken which was delicious:
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After the hamburger was a bust, we also ordered some dumplings, which were delicious. There were too many to even eat them all!
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We went back across the bridge to west of the Hall of Prayer of Good Harvest to wear the gardens are.

Here’s the Rose Garden.
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Next we headed for the Hall of Abstinence (where the Emperor would fast), which was one of the loveliest places in the Temple of Heaven:
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There were some things on display in this hall, but my pics weren’t particularly interesting. They did have pics of past emperors:
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Did I mention that it wasn’t crowded here? That was nice!
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The best part was a nice, clean bathroom with western toilets!
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And on back over the Danbi Bridge.

The Dressing Hall. Now a gift shop. Seriously.
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Back over the hot, long bridge again. We decided to exit on the south side of the park and catch a taxi to the Ancient Observatory. This would be a mistake.
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So, we got out of the park – and then we had *a lot* of trouble getting a cab to the observatory. Either they didn’t want to take us, didn’t know how to find it, or wanted 120 yuan, which was a ripoff. So we decided, screw them, we’d take the subway since the observatory seemed to be near a subway stop. Unfortunately we were not any more. It would have been way faster to walk back through the temple, but we’d already left. So we started a long, hot walk back north. We finally got to the subway stop – and once we did, it was all very easy!

So, next post, Ancient Observatory!

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