Beijing Day 7 – 798 Art District, Temple of Heaven, and Yashow Market

We headed to the north east side of the city to 798 Art District where rows and rows of galleries, public art, shops, and cafes line the streets. I had a great time weaving in and out of galleries to admire the modern art movement of Beijing. The the art is modern and heavily influenced by the rest of the world, it still retains itsChinese-ness. There were also a few non-Chinese artists like Sugimoto and Hirst. We could have spent all day at 798 but we needed to get some more sights in.

After 798, we took another cab (I think we’re getting the hang of getting around via taxi) to Temple of Heaven. Because there were 7 of us in our group, we had to take 2 taxis. None of us considered the fact that Temple of Heaven has 4 entrance gates. Our taxi took us to the south gate (we took the airport expressway so got there in about 20 minutes or less) and the other group was taken to the north gate (which is shorter in distance but takes longer to get to due to traffic, about 45 minutes). So we waited at the south gate (and waited some more) until we realized that they were most likely on the other side of the Temple (which is massive). We figured that since we’ve had so much luck randomly bumping into people we know in this city, we would probably just bump into them inside the Temple. Well, it turns out that Carly and Robyn (from the other group) took a rickshaw all the way around to our gate but by that time, we already went inside the Temple. It all worked out in the end! We found each other and we all got to walk through the Temple.

We can’t last a day without doing some sort of shopping so we headed back to Sanlitun (again) to hit up Yashow Market. Like the Silk Market, Yashow also sells a lot of fake goods but it caters more to the local crowd. I wasn’t as impressed with Yashow as I was with Silk but I still managed to buy some fake goods. A lot of energy is required to bargain in these types of markets, so by the end of it, we were pretty tired and hungry. We came upon a delicious traditional Beijing restaurant and ordered a ton of food for only 180 yuan! My favourite was this sizzling roasted chicken with garlic and chilis.

We have perfect timing because we decided to take the metro home when the football (soccer) match finished. The football stadium called Workers Stadium was literally across the street from our restaurant and I swear, we got the bill at the same time the crowds were pouring out of the stadium. Despite the huge crowds, the metro was still manageable and we made it back to our hotel in a reasonably crowded train.

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