Telephone: 8610-62591561 Address: Xiangshan RD, Haidian District Ticket: 5 RMB, but 10RMB is required to enter the Botanical Garden
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha, or Wofo Si, is situated at the foot of the Western Hills about 30 kilometers west of Beijing. It was first built in the 7th century at a cost of 5 million taels of silver. When it was renovated and expanded in the Yuan Dynasty, a huge statue of the reclining Buddha was cast. It was renamed the Temple of Eternal Peace during the Ming period. When it was restored under the Qing Dynasty, it was given another name: the Temple of Universal Awakening. It is generally referred to as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
The way leading to the temple is lined by towering ancient cypresses, with a glazed archway standing right in front of the temple. The archway is made of marble and crowned with glazed tiles of various shapes and colors.
In the centre of the first courtyard is a little pond with a stone bridge spanning it. The Bell Tower and the Drum Tower stand respectively on each side of the courtyard.
The buildings are symmetrically laid out. Five main halls stand one after another; each has side halls on both sides. The third hall is the Hall of the Reclining Buddha and contains a copper statue 5.2 meters in length in a reclining position with one arm straightened and the other turned to support the head. It was claimed that 250,000 kilograms of copper was used to cast the enormous statue. The statue was completed in 1321. Around the Reclining Buddha are twelve smaller statues. It is said that the posture of the group represents a scene in which Sakyamuni was giving instructions to his disciples under the bodhi tree while he was ill. To make the setting conform to the story, several bodhi trees were planted in the temple. They are believed to have come from India. The bodhi tree has long, narrow, dark-green leaves and its white flowers blossom in late spring and early summer and they resemble myriads of little white jade pagodas hanging upside down amidst the dark leaves. The buildings were renovated and redecorated after 1949.
Bus: 331, 737, 714, 833, 733, 318 or you can arrive at Xizhimen subway station first (by Line 2), then take bus 360, 904 from Xizhimen
Opening hours: 8:00-16:00
Souvenirs and Food
1. Na Jia Xiaoguan serves Manchu dishes in a quaint indoor courtyard setting. The Na family's signature dish is huang tanzi, a thick soup that is slow-cooked in an earthen pot for at least for 18 hours. There are seven types offered with various prices, depending on the ingredients in the soup. The broth is made from chicken, duck, bone marrow, pork bones and ham and then mushrooms, seafood, or beef tendon are added.
Recommended dishes: Mizi supi xia (crispy shrimps in sweet sauce), diced chicken with walnuts (kongpao chicken minus the mala-chillis and Sichuan peppercorn), and conghua bing, or scallion pancakes, a typical northern staple. The names of the dishes on the novel menu are carved on small sticks of wood that are placed in two wooden trays.
Address: No. 29 Xiangshanyikesong (South of Jizhuyuan Crossroad)
2. Sculpting in Time
It is a comfortable western-style coffee shop that features a study and chat space which provides coffee, pasta dishes, pizza and desserts amid shelves of books and crafts.
Address: Xiangshan area, 50 Xiangshan Maimai Jie, Haidian District
Telephone: 8610-8259 8296
3. Xibei Youmian Cun (a hybrid of Mongolian and Shanxi fare). The signature dish is youmian wowo (steamed oatmeal noodles) served with mushrooms (sushijun retang) or lamb (yangrou retang) broth, with coriander and chili on the side. Familiar yangrou chuan'r (mutton skewers with cumin) and yogurt (suannai) with honey make excellent side dishes, while the house salad (Xibei da bancai) is a meal in itself, crammed with unusual ingredients such as wild greens, radish, purple cabbage, and topped with a delicious sesame dressing. The one dish customers must try is zhijicao kao niupai (lotus leaf-wrapped roast beef with mountain herbs).
Address: No.88 Xiangshan South Road, Haidian District
Telephone: 8610-62597778 65297028
Address: Xiangshan RD, Haidian District,
Bus : 331, 737, 714, 833, 733, 318 or you can arrive at Xizhimen subway station first (by Line 2), then take bus 360, 904 from Xizhimen.
Opening hours: 7:00-17:00
Fees: 5 yuan, but 10 yuan is required to enter the Botanical Garden.
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