If you choose only one sight to see in Beijing…

Make that the Temple of Heaven. The mix of ancient architectual structures, a huge, green park and thousands of locals treating it as their retirement club makes it a perfect place for sightseeing and people watching. The round altar and temples are beautiful in their simplicity, but most enjoyable is watching all the old folks getting together to exercise, dance, sing, play cards and domino, or just catch up on the latest news.


Autumn in Tiantan
Yellow ginkgo leaves and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest
Tiantan pillars
4 + 12 + 12 pillars hold up the three layered blue roof, symbolizing the seasons, months of the year and hours of the day.
Tiantan dancing
Couples dance in the morning sun
Tiantan Taiji
More traditional exercise
Tiantan cards
Full concentration over the cards
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Christine Surlien

Christine has studied Chinese culture and language extensively. She has spent two years at The People’s University of China in Beijing, done five years of Chinese studies at the University of Oslo, and has her masters degree from Hong Kong University. She has been associated with KinaReiser, Norway’s leading agency for travel to the The Far East, for a decade. She was also employed at the administration of the Norwegian Embassy to China for two years, before relocating to Washington DC with her diplomat husband and their two children.

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