The richness of its culture, the language I speak as my mother tongue, the diversity of sights and sounds, and the familiar yet strange feeling -- these are all the reasons why China is one of my favourite holiday destinations.
Due to my work, I am often required to travel to Asian countries, and China is one of them. I’ve been there before since my parents had often brought me to China when I was younger for vacations to explore its beautiful natural scenery.
This time, I was brought once again to Beijing, the cultural hub and capital of China for work. In between the craziness of having to make sure everything was running smoothly and that our clients were happy, I managed to get some time to steal away to the Temple of Heaven.
The Temple of Heaven, or Altar of Heaven, is a complex of religious buildings in Central Beijing. Often visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer for good harvest, it is contained in a vast and beautiful park, where many of the elderly of Beijing now head to on a daily basis to engage in a variety of activities.
Some of the elderly are there to worship the heavens; some to find a quiet corner to read the papers; or to dance and sing with friends in an open space.
It’s a lovely and colourful place that epitomizes how beautiful yet simple life in Beijing is, and this is why it remains one of my favourite holiday destinations.