Health and wellness

Sport and Worship in Historical Beijing

How to challenge your body and satisfy your soul while visiting the capital of China

Body: Ups and downs

Body and Soul, Beijing, Great Wall Marathon, China
Matt Karwen

You still have plenty of time to train for Beijing’s Great Wall Marathon on 18 May. Be sure to practise on hills and steps: the 42.2 kilometres are an incredibly challenging route along the wall and through surrounding villages. But it’s all worth it as you run past ancient structures, surrounded by mountainous beauty and in the company of equally motivated racers. And the ecstatic feeling of crossing the finish line will likely leave you feeling inspired to take on more physical challenges.

Soul: Fit for an emperor

Body & Soul, Beijing, China
A. Aleksandravicius / Shutterstock

Wafting incense and an atmosphere of piety greet you at the tranquil Tibetan Yonghe Lamasery (or Lama temple) in Beijing’s Dongcheng district. Formerly an imperial palace, it’s known for an awe-inspiring, 26-metre-tall sandalwood Maitreya Buddha, a gift from the seventh Dalai Lama to Emperor Qianlong. Seek out The Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happinesses and The Hall of Harmony and Peace – they’ll provide calm sanctuary from the bustle of the city and everyday life.

Cathay Travell Book


Discovery online brings together all the inspirational travel writing from our two inflight magazines, Discovery and Silkroad. Be sure to look out for the print editions when you next fly with Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon.
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