I had found a description of Tanzhe Si on some travel site, complete with directions how to get there – other than taxi drivers would have you believe, an easy and pleasant trip by subway, and then a relaxed trip by bus which has its terminal right at the complex’s entrance, while on the way you get great views of the beautiful mountainous landscape surrounding Beijing.
The Tanzhe Temple immediately became one of my favorite spots in Beijing: I spotted exactly one other Westerner (who came by taxi), otherwise only Chinese visitors, not all of which were tourists. That makes for a much more authentic atmosphere than that in the Lama Temple in the center of Beijing (it’s also beautiful, but the complex is smaller, and packed with tourists).
The temple’s location in – and on – the mountains provides some spectacular views, too, including over much of the complex itself: lots of roofs like this one, one after the other, with lots of little roof tiles: all buildings seem to have the same type of roof. This roof looks quite sturdy and capable of keeping out the rain – not to mention wonderfully decorative.
Camera: Fuji Finepix F30