YCIS Beijing believes that exposure to Chinese culture is an invaluable asset to living in Beijing. It remains an essential piece of their curriculum at every level of schooling, from preschool through Year 13. Children in Primary School have the opportunity to explore Beijing with their teachers, discovering different aspects of traditional Chinese culture through field trips to cultural sites around Beijing that align with what they’re studying in class.
April Peng, YCIS Beijing’s Primary Chinese Coordinator for over 10 years, orchestrates these trips each year for all of our Primary School learners. Below, she gives three of her favorite less-known Chinese cultural sites perfect for families to visit as the weather warms.
Temple of Confucius (孔子庙) and Guozijian Museum (国子监)
Temple of Confucius (孔子庙)
Guozijian Museum (国子监)
Even if you’re not a superstitious student looking to Confucius for help in your studies, strolling the grounds of the Temple of Confucius and Guozijian Museum are great ways to experience Chinese history firsthand. Serving as an imperial college throughout the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, the site is a beautiful example of traditional Chinese architecture and a great way to learn about the influential Chinese thinker and educator Confucius.
It’s centrally located (just across the street from the Lama Temple), making it an ideal place for a spur of the moment family field trip or just a fun and educational way to spend an afternoon.
The Former Residence of Soong Ching-ling (宋庆龄故居)
Another ideal spot for lovers of traditional Chinese architecture and atmosphere is the former residence of Soong Ching-ling, wife of Sun Yat-sen and honorary President of the People’s Republic of China in 1981. The site offers a glimpse into the life of this influential and inspiring figure in modern China’s brief history as well as a snapshot of Qing dynasty life through the immaculately preserved home and facilities.
The site sits just north of Houhai Lake, so be sure to make a quick stop to take in this beautifully restored architectural relic next time you’re in the neighborhood!
Tanzhe Temple (潭柘寺)
This third suggestion isn’t quite within the city limits, but it’s of such historical significance that we couldn’t help but include it. The Tanzhe Temple, located approximately 40 km outside of Beijing, is over 1700 years old, having first been constructed during the Jin dynasty (265-420 CE). To this day, the temple attracts tourists and practicing Buddhist monks alike, both to take in the beautiful scenery and marvel at the grandeur of the ancient architecture on a massive scale (the entire site occupies over 112,000 square meters!)
Be sure to plan a trip this spring to enjoy blooming flowers and crisp spring air before the heat of summer arrives!
Learn more about YCIS Beijing’s China Culture Studies programme by visiting their website.
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Keywords: Temple of Confucius Residence of Soong Ching-ling Cultural sites in Beijing Tanzhe Temple
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