Leaving the park we wondered north, taking note of some sights along the way, and happened upon a lively "bar district". The neon lights along the river created a beautiful sight, and we found some very cute little shopping streets located nearby. We found another szechuan restaurant and again enjoyed a delicious inexpensive dinner before hurrying "home" so that Bob could connect to an important conference call.
Craig Davis told us that his favorite temple in Beijing is the "Lama Temple", so we headed out to see it on Saturday afternoon. Originally, this temple was the official residence of the Qing Dynasty court eunuchs. But it 1722, much of it was converted into a lamasery - a monastery for monks of Tibetan Buddhism. Probably because I don't understand the religion, my appreciation for this kind of place of worship is diminished. I just see a bunch of golden idols which to me represent false Gods and unholy devotions. Not only does reason speak of God as a true and living being, but with all my heart I know that He is the Father of us all. We are created in His image and likeness and each of us will someday return to His presence. Anyway, I do respect the desires of others to create a place of peace and tranquility in a confusing world, where one can meditate and pray as they see fit. I will make mention of a huge Buddha statue housed within the Lama Temple, which stands 26 meters high and is carved from a single piece of white sandalwood. It reminded me a bit of the sea goddess Calypso, from Disney's "Pirates of the Carribean" movies, who in a moment of rage morphed into a gigantic woman.