National Stadium and Yong-He Temple

Author: Jiyang Chu

Although it was rainy today, we started our trip quite early in the morning with positive expectation. Two students from Tsinghua University, Yilin Liu and Chengzhu Zhang, acted as guides in today’s tour.

Our first destination was the Olympic park, which was built for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The national stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, caught our attention as soon as we reached the Olympic park. There was a small exhibition in the stadium illustrating the technology applied in construction. 24 trusses were used to support the surface of the building, and the steel structure was open in the air, which formed the unique nest shape. The stadium could take as many as 91,000 audiences. After taking photos inside the stadium, we visited the box preserved for VIPs, which was incredibly luxurious and splendid.

“When the group saw the famous Buddha statue, which was as tall as 18 meters and made of one whole sandalwood, everyone was too shocked to say a word.”

After the Olympic park, the Lama Temple was our next destination. The shower became heavier, but people still had a lot of interest in this religious and cultural place. With sufficient respect to Buddhism, we entered the temple and explored the buildings and statues in it. The buildings there had yellow roofs and red walls, which had the same high standard as the Forbidden City, because it used to be the palace for Yong prince who became YongZheng, the fourth emperor of Qing dynasty, and QianLong, the fifth emperor of Qing dynasty, was born here. People were deeply attracted by the peaceful and sacred atmosphere in the temple, and admired the exquisite decorations on the buildings. When the group saw the famous Buddha statue, which was as tall as 18 meters and made of one whole sandalwood, everyone was too shocked to say a word. It was impossible to imagine how the workers built it in Qing dynasty with only their own hands.

We had lunch as soon as we arrived at Wang Fu Jing in a Nanjing style restaurant. The foods there were sweet and delicate. The highlight of the lunch was the rice wine, which was spiced and had a low alcohol percentage. After lunch we started shopping in the Wang Fu Jing stylish street. People bought some souvenirs and enjoyed bargaining with the vendors very much. Some of us returned to hotel early because they were exhausted. Unfortunately, they missed the most marvelous minute of today! Daniel and Charles bought three deep fried scorpions and ate them. But they still thought it wasn’t exciting enough, thus they bought three alive scorpions with struggling legs and tails! Daniel, Charles and Steven, three scorpion warriors, shared these creatures with great courage and determination.