Ritan Park – the Temple of Sun – is one of the four royal shrines, and is the altar of the Sun. Built in 1530 it was used by Ming and Qing Emperors to make sacrifices to the gods. But now Ritan is one of Beijing’s more peaceful parks. Certainly not as impressive or lively as the Temple of Heaven, Ritan is one of the best spots to see old folk practise t’ai chi, swordplay or twirling napkins in the morning without hordes of tourists flooding the place. Stop in for a rest at the Stone Boat Café or one of the other restaurants surrounding the park.