Attraction of the week

Tianjin's famous Grand Mercy Monastery (Dàbēi Chányuàn, 大悲禅院) is located beside the Haihe River on Tianwei Lu (Tiánwěi Lù, 田尾路). Belonging to the Zen...

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As the name implies, these 1,700 year old monuments to both the devotion and engineering aplomb of ancient Buddhists, is set in a cliff side and make for a great place for a little hike close to the city.  Just 15 minutes out of town, the structures, and the walkways that join them, were recently renovated. Once you've hiked up to the pagoda at the top of the hill you'll be rewarded with some pretty good views of the city. A pretty good attraction by its own right, but the temple makes a great two-hour activity if..

Xining's premier Islamic education center and the largest mosque in Qinghai Province, the Dongguang mosque, built in 1380, is a pleasant spot for a stroll, some people-watching (especially just before or after prayer times) and a taste of China's Muslim life.  Though casual visitors generally cannot enter the main building, the grounds are appealing and the friendly locals usually up for a chat. The architecture combines Muslim and Chinese features in a fascinating fashion, even if the overall fusion is a bit awkward, as if reflective..

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