Meet at CCC to catch the coach
Registration is essential, no walk-ins.
Fahai Si Temple & Murals
They are nestled in the hills in a modest, peaceful area. It is listed as a state-level relic under government protection. The decoration of this temple in 1443 was funded by Li Tong, a wealthy eunuch who attracted artists from the Imperial court to produce stunning murals and statuary.
The statues didn't survive the Cultural Revolution, but Red Guards failed to notice the exquisite Buddhist murals in the gloom of the main hall. These over 560 year-old murals, miraculously preserved intact, were modeled on the art of the Tang, but show influences of Song dynasty landscape painting, and later Ming innovations in the use of perspective and depth in portraiture. The color is still very fresh and the brushwork, particularly in the depiction of eyes, robes, clouds, and flowers, is extraordinarily fine.
Tianyi Tomb & Museum for eunuchs
A 5 minutes' walk from Fahai Si temple, you will see Tianyi Mu. The cemetery was built in 1605 for Ming Emperor Wanli's favorite eunuch, Tian Yi, who served three emperors and acted as Wanli's mentor and confidant. During the accession of the Wanli emperor (reign 1573-1620), the Imperial City housed nearly 20,000 eunuchs (huan guan, later gong gong or tai jian).
The graveyard is said to be constructed in a shape of a penis. It has a spirit way, an underground tomb complex, and memorial stelae wreathed in dragons, an unprecedented honor for a eunuch. Buddhist and Taoist motifs are carved onto their graves, along with images depicting folklore and morality tales.
A small exhibition hall has more information about Chinese eunuch (all captions are in Chinese), from oracle characters of the word "castration', pictures of castrated eunuchs to Dowager empress Cixi and her eunuch Li Lianying, and China's last eunuch, Sun Yaoting (1902-1996), who is pictured making a visit to the Forbidden City in 1993.
We will also meet the local huge open air market and everyday life of locals on the way up to the hill, where you can find everything. It is like what you can see in the centre of Beijing in 1980's.