Phoenix Mountain Nature Park, Beijing

Me and Xiaolin decided to visit West mountains range west of Beijing with a group of MBA graduates.  Since I had to rush a bit of work in the morning, so I told her to come a bit later, little did we know that she was stuck in traffic for another half an hour, before we knew it we were an hour late.  Since we did not follow the group into the park, the lady would not let us in without paying a separate ticket.  Thankfully it wasn’t an expensive affaire.

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Nonetheless we were quite excited by the sight of the mountain in our lateness.

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I have never seen this kind of grandeur from a driving school. Apparently all the student drivers get out around the same time, tantalizing the traffic.

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Country roads.

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great-grand-parent of modern fence Smile

We were suppose to drop in a temple. This sign (Chinese for “moral”) gave us a bit more confidence on our sense of direction.

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After back-and-forth with the gate lady, we solved to pay the fee to visit the temple.

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The gate is still original apparently.

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The renovated, working temple.

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Here, dogs are the most free and well-off.

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We were lucky enough to land in a blue sky day, now a rare phenomena here in Beijing.

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Little garden in the back.

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The newly built temple somewhat resembles a citadel.

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Work-under-construction further afield.

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Our vegetarian lunch at the temple.

Faithfuls.

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After lunch, we caught up with the rest of the MBA group, now watching a video in a classroom.

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The leader of the group gave me a little handkerchief, so that she can see the group members when we wear these as headbands or scarves.  They did not miss the chance to advertise themselves on Weixin.

Reading rooms, where people copy scriptures to relax.

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Calligraphy table.

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Scripture copiers, they say this is a great way to calm down your soul.

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Touring the rest of the temple building.

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Library lobby.

Character from a cartoon made from this temple.

Organic garden.

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Moon gate.

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walking on reflective mirror, where you can see the sky looking down.

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Me and Xiaolin.

There were a lot of climbing in this tour, inside and outside the building.  Living here can definitely work you out without any sports equipment or allocating any extra time.

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Monk’s living quarter, do not venture any further.

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Another small café.

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We were led into a circular VIP conference room.

Impressive ceiling with a dragon in the center.

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A film featuring the early hardships of this temple, how they renovated everything from the very start.

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Master Xianjia teaching a class.

In Chinese culture, you should never visit someone empty-handed. The leader of the group offered the master a gift on behalf of the group.  The master monk returned everyone with a gift bead bracelet.

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Translation: Namo Amida Butsu

The very original site of the temple…. Built around Liao Dynasty a thousand years ago and destroyed around Ming Dynasty. 

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A great thing about this temple – everything is organic and reused several times before it is retired, including these organic incenses.

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After visiting the temple, it’s already late afternoon, we decided to take a short walk at the base of the mountain.

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Break tables with Chinese chess décor.

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Another, much smaller temple, perhaps not much of a worshipping as a tourist place.

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Scultures of the twelve Chinese zodiacs, people stood around their own zodiacs.  I dared not fall into such age-guessing pit again.

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Across from the zodiacs is another old building.

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Heavenly Ladder

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On top of the ladder there is a small room. We kept wondering what was it used for in old times.  Perhaps this is where those ancient godly worriers practicing their skills in solitude, or a princess waiting for her white knight in shining armor.  Now in modern times there is another way to get there by climbing from the back of the rock, where the slope is much more gentle and easier to manage. 

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