Getting Lost in Beijing, by Tayla Collins

While touring Beijing it’s very easy to find the tourist attractions, but once you get inside it can be a bit difficult to find your way around because you don’t know which exact building you’re looking for, or the English signs are directly translated so they aren’t helpful. This can be a terrific way to get to see the entire site as you explore every nook and cranny. I have seen some amazing things that I would have never seen if I had known where I was going.

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Ba Da Chu is a great place to hike that is only a twenty-minute subway trip away. It has eight temples scattered throughout the grounds, which are still in use. You can’t get to all eight temples in one day so it is definitely a place that requires repeat trips. We were looking for the path to hike to get to the top of the mountain without using the cable car and we came across this cemetery that had amazing stonework and engraving.

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The Lama Temple actually contains a series of temples, one behind the other. If you don’t keep looking you would miss the best bit which is in the last temple. It is a gigantic statue that is about 4/5 stories high that was carved out of a single tree. It is an incredible sight to see, though it does make you curious to see what the tree looked like.

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While exploring the Confucius Temple, I thought I was exploring the music hall, then music started playing so I took a seat to listen for a bit. All of a sudden, I found myself watching a dance concert with music and commentary (that I obviously couldn’t understand). It made my week!

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Exploring Beijing made me realise that sometimes it’s a good thing to not know where you are going or what a sing says because it makes life so much more interesting. The best way to see and explore is always to get lost.

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