The Tea House was a great experience. We are given our own private room with various tea leaves sitting in front of us in containers. Our hostess then came in and prepared our teas for us to taste. The tea was amazing, we tried Juniper, Oolong, Pu'er, and fruit tea. We learned about tea and how it is prepared and how it should be served. I thought that the Tea House was a great cultural experience for us and it really helped immerse me in the culture. The next stop on our tour would only immerse us more.
These buildings have a courtyard and multiple buildings within them for people to live in. These households have four main buildings, the northern building is for the elders of the house, the eastern building is for the young men and the western building is for the women. They believed that because the sun rose from the east, the boys should be there because it would bring them hope and a good future. Of course, things are now very different. These households have been converted to allow a maximum amount of people to live inside them. Small houses have been put inside so that more people are able to live within them. After a brief ride through the district, we were taken to a small house inside of one of these household and served a wonderful home cooked meal. We learned a lot about the history of Chinese living and what some of the struggles are of the standard person that lives inside the city.
I am so glad that we were able to do this part of the tour because this put an amazing perspective on things for me. After this, we went to our final stop for the day, the Lama Temple
The Lama Temple was a beautiful temple that many Buddhists go to to say prayers and to give tributes to the many Buddhas. As we made our way through the Temple, we saw all the different Buddhas and learned about what they each represent. The most common Buddha that is seen in America is the laughing Buddha, he represents happiness. But other Buddhas represent past, present, and future, wealth, health, and live. It was a very beautiful and tranquil place. As we walked through there were many people praying and burning incense. It is believed that when incense is burned, it allows for peoples troubles to be taken away from them with the smoke. It was a very interesting experience to see a different culture practice their religion. In the last building of the Temple, there was the world's largest single carved Buddha. It was 18 meters tall and extremely humbling. Seeing the Lama Temple was another amazing immersion experience for us and I would love to go there again.
Once we left the temple, we went back to the hotel. We were all very tired from the day so we decided to take a nap. I guess we were more tired than we expected because that nap ended up lasting until the morning. I feel like I am slowly adjusting to the massive time difference. My next post will be about our second day in Beijing.