The other day we accidentially discovered a small buddhist temple in Beijing’s Xicheng district. It was a beautiful day, we just came back from the old CCTV Tower and saw the tip of the pagoda while riding past in a bus. Although it was surrounded by the usual overdone new structures that you also find at other more ‘touristy’ sights, the original 13 story builing was an authentic piece of history seldomely seen in Beijing. Some female monks still live and worship in the temple and a couple of women from the sorrounding neighborhood communities volunteer to help maintain the structure. Unfortunately it is located pretty far off any other tourist sights, so it might be hard to convince visitors to go there instead of, say, the Confucius Temple, but if someone is interested in a place that really dates back hundreds of years (and also still looks like it, in great condition), I highly recommend it!