Yonghegong is a precinct named for this famous temple, located in the north of the Dongcheng administrative district of Beijing. It's a historic part of the capital, especially for those interested in Buddhist culture.
The precinct is served by the wider Beijing public transport network. Subway Line 2 runs east-west through the precinct. Line 5 runs north-south and meets line 2 at Yonghegong station.
- Yonghegong (雍和宮; Yōnghégōng; also known as Lama Temple or Palace of Peace), Yonghegong Dajie, at intersection of North Second Ring Rd (Yonghegong Lama Temple Stn (Lines 2 and 5)). Closes at 16:00. The temple was built by Chinese emperors who harbored a deep fascination for the Tibetan (Tantric) version of Buddhism. Over the years, many Tibetan and Mongolian monks lived and taught here, and there are still monks in residence today. The temple is famous for its 18m statue of Maitreya Buddha carved from a single piece of sandalwood. Visitors are not allowed to take pictures of holy statues inside most of the temples. You can view most of buildings in an hour or less. ¥25. edit
- Confucius Temple (孔庙; Kǒngmiào), 13 Guozijian St (国子监街13号; Guózǐjiàn Jiē) (500 m SW of Yonghegong Stn (Lines 2 and 5)), ☎ +86 10 8402-7224. 09:00-17:00. The temple was built in 1302 and honors Confucius (孔子; Kǒngzi; 551-479 BC) who was one of China's greatest thinkers, still with significant influence on all aspects of daily life. The pavilions along either side have displays about Confucius and the history of Confucianism The courtyard is a pleasant place to relax or watch art students practice sketching. ¥30, includes admission to Imperial Academy. edit
- Imperial Academy (国子监; Guózǐjiàn), (Immediately to W of Confucius Temple). The academy was the highest level college and location of examinations for the civil service in Imperial China. Very much related to the neighbouring Confucius Temple in that the studies and exams were conducted in the Confucian tradition. Displays documenting the history of the imperial exams system and the lives of students. Pleasant courtyard, slightly quieter than that of the temple. ¥20, includes admission to Confucius Temple. edit
- Beijing Dadu Museum of Art, No 28, Guozijan Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing (it's near Yonghegong Lama Temple subway station using exit A or B within a 10 min walk), ☎ 8610-56937555, . Opening Time 09:30 am - 17:30 pm, After 16:00 No Entering and it's Closed in Mondays. is a stylish and modern cultural museum for exhibition of Russian Oil Paintings. It's considered as a luxury art Musuem using the latest art materials. This museum include also an immense equipped conference room for company seminars as well as for their products exhibition upstairs in a highly standard apartment which has a stunning view of Hutongs. 20¥. edit
- Ditan Park (地坛公园; Dìtán Gōngyuán; also known as Temple of Earth), Andingmenwai St (安定门外大街; Āndìngménwài Dàjiē) (300 m N of Yonghegong Stn (Lines 2 and 5)), ☎ +86 10 6421-4657 ([email protected]), . 06:00-21:00. Park with a lot of cypresses and also a small amusement park area. ¥2. edit
Walk through the Hutongs
Hutongs are the old neighbourhoods and alleyways of Beijing. West of Yonghegong are some of the most extensive and best preserved hutongs, most enjoyable for wandering. Turn off any major thoroughfare and you will find yourself in real, living neighbourhoods, filled with local residents, small shops and food stalls and markets. For a good introduction to the hutongs, the area between Bell Tower and Yonghegong Lama Temple is easy for exploration, as most of the lanes run east-west, making it quite easy to wander from Bell Tower to Lama Temple or vice-versa, which should take about half an hour.
- Culture Yard, 10 Shique Hutong, Dongcheng District (Beixingqiao Stn exit C walk 400 m to your L), ☎ +86 10 8404-4166, . 09:00-21:00. Explore Chinese culture through various workshops. Culture Yard is a foreign run cultural centre in the heart of Beijing that offers language courses as well as cultural workshops, which focus on introducing Chinese culture to the international community, as well as foreign culture to the local community. Culture Yard hosts film, mahjong, tea, calligraphy, discussion seminars, art classes, chinese and other language study programs, and wine tastings. Free. edit
- Natooke (Natooke), 19-1 Wudaoying Hutong 五道营胡同甲19-1号 (near the Lama Temple and Yonghegong Station exit D), ☎ 8402 6925, . Daily 10am-7pm. Bicycle shop for hire, purchases and upgrades owned by a champion bike acrobat. (39.9483,116.415) edit
- NagQu (那曲), ☎ 6403 3472. A small shop selling handcrafted bag, scarfs and pottery with natural materials edit
Guijie "簋街/鬼街" Beixinqiao Stn (Line 5) is at the W end of the strip".The most famous street for food in Beijing is probably Guijie (sometimes called Ghost Street), which runs east-west along Dongzhimen Nei Dajie from Jiaodaokou Dong Dajie to to Dongzhimen Lijiaomen Bridge on the Second Ring Road, Dongcheng District. Red lanterns were ordered to be removed in early 2014, but traditional courtyards dot the scene and hundreds of restaurants remain along the street. Eating on Ghost Street is about more than food and drink, it's a way of life for many Beijingers. Take your pick of restaurants, there are all kinds here. For more information, see Dongzhimen for a full desccription of this street.
For vegetarians, Beijing's first pure vegetarian buffet restaurant is in the Confucius Temple on Guozijian Street, west of the famous Lama Temple. No English menu so far, but one can just ask for the buffet, which contains a large variety of delicious vegetarian dishes, as well as a vegetarian hotpot, and a large selection of dessert.
- Vineyard Cafe, 31 Wudaoying Hutong (五道营胡同31号) (Close to Lama Temple: First alley south of and parallel to Second Ring Rd). Great place for Western-style breakfast and brunch in a restored hutong home. Also great European/fusion dishes, including some vegetarian options. A good dessert choice is the chocolate brownie with ice cream. edit
- Underground Restaurant (爱在地下), No.26 Wudaoying Hutong, Yonghegong 东城区雍和宫五道营胡同26号. Romantic Italian-Chinese fusion in an underground hideaway (39.91916,116.44855) edit
- Mao Mao Chong Bar, 55A Wudaoying Hutong (市东城区交道口南大街板厂胡同12号; 12 Ban Chang Hutong Jiao Dao Kou Nan Jie (Near South end of Nan Luo Gu Xiang) Dongcheng District), ☎ +86 139 2692 4563 ([email protected]), . 17:30-late. This relaxed hutong pub serves reasonably priced international beers, wines and stellar cocktails. The walls are decorated with art and t-shirts for sale by the bar's owners, a husband-wife team who also cook up some of the city's best pizzas. Just east of Nanluoguxiang, Mao Mao Chong is a the perfect escape from Beijing's flashy bar districts. Cheaper than most bars in Beijing. edit
- Slow Boat Brewery Taproom, 56 Dongsi Batio; 东城区东四八条56号 (Zhangzizhonglu Stn, Line 5), ☎ +86 10 6538-5537, . Arguably some of the best craft beers in the city and all of China. Have won several awards for their craft brews and pub fare, including their beef and tofu burgers and imported potatoes used to make fries. It's a low key sipping place that has purposefully quiet background music and plenty of attention on refilling empty pint glasses. Food is brought to the table but drinks require venturing up to the bar. edit
- Star Live (星光现场; Xīngguāngxiànchǎng), 79 Hepingli Xijie (和平里西街79号; Hépínglǐxījiē), ☎ +86 10 6425-5677 ([email protected]), . 09:00-19:00. Medium sized live rock music venue specialising in death metal. Staging both Chinese and international bands. edit
- Tango (糖果; Tángguǒ), 79 Hepingli Xijie (和平里西街79号; Hépínglǐxījiē), ☎ +86 10 6428-2288. 24 hours. Big club with a vaste dance floor, a chillout lounge and KTV. Features big DJ names. edit
- Tantra, 79 Hepingli Xijie (和平里西街79号; Hépínglǐxījiē), ☎ +86 10 6421-0695 ([email protected]). 20:00-late. Buddha temple themed cocktail lounge with English speaking crew and house music. Beer from ¥35. edit
- Hepingli Hotel (北京和平里宾馆; Běijīnghépínglǐbīnguǎn), Xinghua Rd, Hepingli (和平里兴化路; Hépínglǐ Xīnghuàlù) (500 m SW of Hepinglibeijie Stn (Line 5)), ☎ +86 10 6428-6868 ([email protected], fax: +86 10 6421-4087), . Three star hotel. The cheapest rooms are quite small. Rooms with free internet. Business center, ticket office, fitness and sauna available. Chinese restaurant. This hotel should not be confused with the more up-scale Beijing Hepingli Hotel. Doubles in old building ¥268, discounted from ¥172; breakfast ¥28; rooms in new building more. edit
- Home Inn (Beijing Jiaodaokou) (如家酒店 (北京交道口店); Rújiājiǔdiàn), 113 Jiaodaokou E St (交道口东大街113号; Jiāodàokǒudōngdàjiē) (600 m W of Beixinqiao Stn (Line 5)), ☎ +86 10 8405-0909 (fax: +86 10 8405-0505), . Small rooms with free internet. Business center and laundry service available. Chinese restaurant and room service. Doubles from ¥219, discounted from ¥182; breakfast ¥15. edit
- P.LOFT Youth Hostel (北京炮局工厂青年旅舍; Běijīng Pàojúgōngchǎng Qīngniánlǚ shè), (500 m SE of Yonghegong Stn (Lines 2 and 5)), ☎ +86 10 6402-7218 ([email protected]), . Located close to Yonghegong Lama Temple and Guijie Food Street. Internet, ticket office, laudry, table tennis, billiard, basketball and bike rental available. Restaurant and bar. Discounted rates for dorms from ¥30, doubles from ¥180. edit
- Star of City Hotel (北京都市之星酒店; Běijīngdūshìzhīxīngjiǔdiàn), 216 Dongzhimennei St (东直门内大街216号; Dōngzhíménnèidàjiē) (300 m E of Beixinqiao Stn (Line 5)), ☎ +86 10 6402-1188 (fax: +86 10 6402-8557). Large rooms with free internet. Ticket office and laundry service available. No restaurant but a tea house. Can be loud, get an interior room. Clean bathroom, but very old beds. More suited to Chinese, though English speaking staff is available. One stop away from the Lama Temple. Doubles without window from ¥268, discounted from ¥198; breakfast ¥15; rooms with window only slightly more. edit