7 Fayuansi Front St, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
Photo by Lanzellotto Antonell0/agefotostock
Fayuan TempleFayuan Temple (Fayuan Si) doesn’t get the top billing that the Lama Temple and the Temple of Heaven do, and that’s what makes it such a treat to visit. This is Beijing’s oldest surviving temple—well, parts of it are, anyway. The temple was originally constructed in 645, in honor of soldiers killed in battle. Due to rebuilding because of fire, earthquake, and war, much of the temple now dates to the early 18th century. The Chinese Buddhist Academy was founded here in 1956, and today retains an active Buddhist community. It’s an oasis of peace, off the paths of tourists and locals. If you’re lucky, you’ll arrive in time to see monks in yellow robes partaking in acts of prayer.