In October 2014 and in May 2015 I travelled to China for work. I’ve spend a total of 10 days in Beijing and 2 days in Shanghai. China was a complete new world for me. Up to this point, I had only travelled to Western countries. The United States and a lot of countries of Europe. Needless to say that I had no clue whatsoever of what to expect in China.
Let me take you back to my first time visiting Beijing in October 2014. The first thing that struck me was the smog that hit me right in the face and the noise when I got off the airplane. After a few hours I didn’t even noticed this anymore.
China really surprised me positively. I think this will have something to do with the fact that you just don’t know what to expect upon traveling there for the very first time. It is a complete culture shock obviously. This was the first non-western country that I’ve visited. When I travel, I really like to learn more on the country by eating my way through it and that’s exactly what I did in China. The food was awesome, really good and I discovered some very good typical Chinese dishes. There is no comparison possible with the Chinese food we get her in Belgium.
As a travelled with a sales mission, this gave me the opportunity to discover some interesting places with fellow travel companions. On one of the first days we had the afternoon of so we decided to visit the Temple of Heaven. One of my travel companions was really well prepared and informed us we should go see this.
As you can see in the picture, there were more people with the same excellent idea of visiting the Temple of Heaven. Let me tell you this; it is almost impossible to take a picture of anything in China without people in it.
The Temple of Heaven is situated in the Southern part of Beijing and is surrounded by a huge calm park. I have a thing for parks, I couldn’t even tell you why. But this park was without a doubt one of the most beautiful and serene parks I have ever seen. The Temple itself was a sacrificial Alter where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would worship the god of heaven and pray for good harvest. Basically you get to visit the alter, the temple and other surrounding sacred buildings.
Being the first temple that I have visited it was truly impressive. The colors of the building all have their own meaning and the part of the temple that you see in the picture used to be the hall of prayer.
After a stroll around the grounds we decided to walk back to the exit through the park. This truly was magnificent. It is quiet, peaceful and beautiful. Every now and then you will see groups of elderly people do tai chi.
Add this to your must-visit list when in Beijing. It is worth the visit. We took a taxi to get there and it only cost us € 3 from our hotel (near Wangfujing Shopping street).
Address: East of Tianqiao, Chongwen District
Ticket fee: 35 RMB = € 4.85