The Lama Temple in Beijing is one of the many must do’s. Located more in the north of China’s capital, it was once an actual palace before being converted to a temple.
It was a beautiful, sunny and clear day (a real rarity in Beijing) when I decided to check off another thing on my long “Things to see in Beijing” list. (No, I did not finish it.) The weather was mainly why I decided to bike to the temple. That and it’s just 30min from the CBD area where I stayed.
After a slightly sweaty bike ride, I arrived at the Lama Temple to no queues and lush vegetation. As mentioned above, I mainly went because everyone and their grandma told me that it’s a must-see. I was not disappointed. regardless of how hot it was on the streets, on the temple grounds a cool breeze and plenty of shade helped me cool off.
Once I bought a ticket (again don’t forget your passport), I entered through a beautiful arch into a corridor of green. The whole Lama temple seems to be enveloped by trees and greenery. Everywhere you go, you can smell the burning incense.
Not only is the park area at the entrance wonderful, the whole temple is just gorgeous. It’s worth it to look up at the ceilings and to take the time to really take it all on. The path through the temple is clockwise and ends back at the entrance so that you can look at everything and not worry about missing something.
Architecture and atmosphere-wise, the Lama Temple reminded me a lot of the temples in Hong Kong. Especially the incense was at times a punch in the nostalgia feels. (Yes I was a little disappointed when I exited back into Beijing.)
So is it worth a visit? Yes. It’s in a great neighbourhood with lots of shops, other temples and sights and thus can be part of a fun day out and about. Just remember to bring water and sunscreen if you are going in the summer like myself.