“Tiantannnnnnnn!” we shouted happily the moment we decided that it will be our next place to visit.
From Qianmen subway station at Line 2, we stopped at Chongwenmen interchange to get to Line 5, and stop at Tiantandongmen station. For the forth-fifth time (whatever), subway station has eased us in getting to the designated place. From the subway station, we walked about 5 minutes before we reached the main gate of Tiantan, a.k.a Temple of Heaven.
We purchased the entrance ticket for the price of RMB15 each, and chose not to visit any halls and other scenic places in there. (At this moment, quite sombong lagi la, thought can take picture from far only…)
Looking at 200 meters straight line before the main building, we stopped first at one corner and had our lunch…scoops of “serunding”. Pity us, sooooo darn hungry but had nothing to eat. (Owh, only God knows how I missed “nasik lemak” and “laksa” at that time!)
The main park full with green grass, trees and inhabitants. The park is filled with more than a thousand species of tree, some of which are hundreds of years old, despite their relatively small size. Like other parks, locals were also attracted to be here, and they came here for singing, dancing, opera acting, tai-chi, practicing martial arts, calligraphy, playing chess and cards. We then snapped few pictures with the background and started to explore the park.
The main building has a very long interconnected corridor. This 350 meters length corridors is composed of 72 rooms, beautifully decorated and designed with colorful traditional carvings, which most of the colors were blue, green and gold. At these corridors, we saw locals whom 90% of them were old folks, gathered and played cards (I don’t know whether it’s “pakau” or blackjack or other type of game lah, but it does look fun.)
“Jap, nak tengok diorang main…”
“Macam main snap je! Hahaha!” (You know how to play snap right? Throw your card one by one and when both cards are the same number or color or shape, you smack them and say “snap!”)
With liquor/herb/tea drinks, ciggies and antique hand fan, they played, laughed, won, and lost. It was a pleasure to see them doing this, for it strengthened their relationship with family members and friends. And I bet, what they are having today isn’t replicated from the ancient time (except for the dancing part la…where got radio that time…)
At the end of the corridor, there was a small park with benches, where people kept on taking pictures of this one unique grandfather tree. This cypress was known due to its branches that looked like nine dragons and was planted 500 years ago…but I saw no dragon at all. Hahaha!
We stopped for a while to take a rest under this tree and saw three ah-so doing reflexology, walking barefooted on the therapy stones. Then there was one lady pointed at hubby’s empty drinking bottle. I nodded, and she took it. Then she pointed at my half empty drinking bottle. I said “No, no…” and she walked away. Yeah, like other countries, here in China, locals can make their own earnings by collecting drinking bottles to be recycled. You can see this at almost every part of Beijing town, mainly at those tourist places of interest. Good huh? You don’t have to walk to the bin, someone will wait and come to collect from you. I bet, they make money from it, for MANY locals are doing it.
Until we saw father and daughter snapping pictures next to the counter, in front of the high wall, where the temple was seen partially at the background.
“EH, TU TEMPLE OF HEAVEN!” we surprised as we didn’t see it before them.
“So how? Want to go in? We have to pay another RMB20.” Hubby said.
“Alang-alang dah datang, masuk je la…” And so we paid the fee, to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, Circular Altar, and Echo Wall. Which mean, in total, we had to pay RMB35, where this fee, initially was for ALL ACCESSS. Duhhhhh! Same lor…
Once we entered, we saw one large tower at the center piece. This tower is being made, entirely of wood and not using any single nail! WOW! (Macam Istana Menanti ke ape tah kat Negeri Sembilan tu kan?) And it is HUGE! (See how small she is hehehe!)
“Cantiknyeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!” we extremely happy, looking at the colors of the temple.
This tower symbolized heaven and earth and being divided into inner part and outer part. The most magnificent building will be the circular mound altar that has three layered terraces made by white marbles. 28 huge poles then represent the four seasons, 12 months, and 24 hours in ancient time (which we still apply till now). And yes, they had sacrificial ceremony every year too.
I was looking straight at the roof and giggled. Looked like farmer’s head in black, yellow, and green colored glaze, with one gold tip on the top. Then I started to make fun of myself, doing some Chinese martial art moves. To get a good shot, I had to pose three times in front of thousands who visited the temple. Malu gak la! To bring down the heat, I asked hubby to do the same, but he made a “flying to heaven” move. Haha!
Around this altar, there were Hall of Ceremonial Music, Hall of Abstinence, Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest and Echo Wall. What I liked about this place, it has Three Echo Stone and Echo Wall. If you speak on the first stone, you will hear one echo; standing on the second and then the third stone, you will hear two and three echoes respectively. Meanwhile, Echo Wall owning special feature. If you and your friend stand at the east and the west roots of the wall respectively and you whisper a word, then your friend will hear clearly what you say. Haaaaa! But we didn’t try la, hehe!
And so we pose, pose, and pose.
Around 5.30pm, we made a move back to the gate. Bye-bye Tiantan. We'll go to our own heaven la ye, not this heaven.
Along the way, I was so excited to see greens here, there and everywhere. There was a fat Garfield too!
“Beli air dulu! Air!” dahaga nak MAMPOS and we got ourselves two bottles of freezing cold water at the exit.
At the subway station, I FINALLY got the chance to capture Lin Dan’s picture! Kahkahkah! But hubby didn’t allow me to take Lin Dan’s picture, by my side. So we took separate picture lah. Lin Dan was holding the racket, while me holding frozen ice cold water. Muahaha!
We stopped by at Silk Market again, and this time, we had a blast where I bought 12 t-shirst and 1 Bird Nest ashtray for RMB300, and 12 fridge magnets for RM60. CHEAP WEH! I kowtim the price until the salesgirl said,
“You Singaporeannnnn…up more, more…haiyaaaaaa…I die lor…” sukati je aku Singaporean ek? She continued “Aih…bosan la…” (Yeah, they know bit of Malay, Arabian, French, Russian, you name it, just like what we saw in Bali, Hanoi, and Petaling Street.)
Back at hotel, as usual, I did some costing and budgeting. Tips for you guys who like to travel smart, always jot down EVERYTHING, regardless money, event, something, anything, so that it can be something to remember the next day, the next month, the next year.And these were our "bekalan" hahahaha! Sian...