Yonghegong (雍和宫) Lama Temple

Although the temple is a tourist attraction, it was quite serene and people stopped frequently to pray at the various alters.

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We were provided with a bundle of incense when we arrived. We burnt the incense and prayed at a few of the alters while taking in the sights. I wasn’t able to take photos inside the temples, but some of the Buddha statutes were amazing! One of the rooms was so awe inspiring I was moved to tears.

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After we had enjoyed the temple, both Zhen and I had worked up a serious appetite. It didn’t take much wandering around for us to stumble upon an interesting vegetarian restaurant. Both Zhen and I love our meat, so we were both sceptical about this place, especially since it was so close to a tourist attraction, however, the food was very good! The waitress warned us that we had ordered too much, something we had been doing consistently the whole trip, but we stuck with our order and finished everything.

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Vegetarian hot dogs and lamb skewers

After the delicious lunch, we connected with Zhen’s mom again. This time, she was at work, tasting tea with several of her colleagues. This was a real treat for me, tasting some of the finest tea in China. Wherever Zhen and I visited ‘high end’ tea spots in Canada, she always pointed out the problems with the tea. Even though, in some cases she found it reasonably good (she had advised me that it was actually terrible). After having some tea here, I have to agree with her.

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Some of the teas we enjoyed were Tieguanyin poking, Pu’er and Black gouqi (goji) berry. They were all amazing.

Finally, we finished the evening dining with Zhen’s mom, her friend and her friend’s husband. Her husband had ordered some liquor so I was encouraged to partake. It was a delicious rice liquor, but I could have sworn it had a Poire Williams flavor.

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The dishes at this meal were pretty tame, and again, incredibly delicious! There was duck, pork belly, cauliflower to die for (yes, cauliflower), and even a curry chicken.

Tomorrow, we are headed to Shanghai bright and early, so I’ll sign out for now.

Cheers from China,
Philip Mark

Posted from my phone. Please let me know of typos or other errors.

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