21 Mar Lama Temple The Lama Temple, that'sYonghegong in Chinese, is a temple and monastery located in Beijing that’s largely used by Chinese individuals who follow Tibetan Buddhism. History shows that the Lama Temple was first built during the Qing Dynasty (late 1600’s); decades later, half of the temple was used as a lamasery – a monastery for monks that practice Tibetan Buddhism, then the other half of the property remained as an imperial palace for the emperor back then. The Lama Temple today is still a place of worship for Chinese followers of Buddhism, but it is also a tourist attraction, which people appreciate for the tranquil and calming atmosphere it offers. On a nice, warm spring day, Go Abroad China invited candidates who were in the Mandarin Chinese language course group to head out and spend the day at the temple and continue with sightseeing around the hutong areas that surround the Lama Temple. Walking amongst the smaller Temples and worshipping spaces, you got the feeling that everything here was about prayer, worship, reflection and a lot of symbolism in the temples, the statues and the layout. One of our candidates, Janine, who was doing a marketing internship in Beijing and had only arrived in Beijing just two weeks prior, couldn’t help but marvel at the intricate artwork in the buildings and the big Three Bronze statues of the Buddhas of the Three Ages; statues with a lot of symbolism behind them. Another one of our participants, Sara, who was doing the intensive Mandarin language at BLCU was greatly interested in the worshipping, burning of incense sticks and seeing how believers of Buddhism approached their religion. The last part of our afternoon of sightseeing was walking around the hutong alleys; hutongs are important in Chinese culture, they are the courthouses that traditionally, Chinese people used to live in before Beijing was occupied by towering skyscrapers and intertwining freeways. With the sun dwindling down, our clients returned safely to their host family accommodation and apartments in the center of Beijing. It was truly a special way to spend an afternoon with participants who only recently just came to China.