• The Circular Mound Altar in Beijing, China, was built in 1530 by Emperor Jiajing during the Ming Dynasty. The altar was built to host rain prayer ceremonies and Winter Solstice sacrifices.

    Temple of Heaven: Circular Mound Altar

    After we finished up at the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests we decided to wander around the grounds as the sun went down. We hadn’t done a ton of research as our trip to China wasn’t planned far enough in advance to do more than list places that looked interesting, so we didn’t really know what all was on the grounds on the Temple of Heaven. We saw people heading through a gate opposite from where we had entered the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests area and decided to see where they were going. We had no idea what was there and were excited about being ‘surprised’. The first thing we…

  • Temple of Heaven: The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

    If you ever go to Beijing, one of the places you’ll want to visit is the Temple of Heaven. It’s a 15-minute drive south of the Forbidden City and close to several other areas of interest. We did a circuit where we visited the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and then the Temple of Heaven in one day and felt like we were able to enjoy ourselves at each one without feeling rushed. The Temple of Heaven began construction in 1406 and was completed in 1420, just 4 years before the Yongle Emperor died. The complex is made up of two sections, the inner section and the outer section, covering 660 acres. The outer…

  • The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China in the Huairou District of Beijing is one of the best-preserved and most beautiful sections of the Wall.

    Visiting the Great Wall of China

    I’ll tell you now, before I get into my post, that this post has a LOT of pictures. I hope you enjoy my journey along the top of the Great Wall of China! To pick up where my last post left off, after we hung up with Kevin we wandered around the Beijing Olympic Stadium for a while. The tour company called us several times, asking if we wanted them to come get us, where we were, what had upset us (haha, that one was funny) and if we could work out a deal. We weren’t about to tell them where we were and we definitely didn’t want to attempt another…

  • How We Almost Didn't Get to the Great Wall of China

    How We Almost Didn’t Get to the Great Wall of China

    When you visit China, there are several things you want to see. You want to see the Terracotta Warriors, giant pandas, the Forbidden City and, of course, the Great Wall. When we were in China we planned to spend the majority of our last day at the Great Wall. The first part of our trip had several hiccups, but we’d meticulously planned our last day and felt like everything was going to be perfect. And then we woke up. Scott, Troy and I got up early and made sure we were ready well before our tour guide was supposed to arrive. It was an early day, 7am, but we wanted to get an…