The Yangstze River cruise was great but it is time to pack up and head to Dazu City to see the Buddha Rock Carvings I have read so much about.
We left at around 0800 by bus to Dazu City. It is about a three-hour trip and we encountered absolutely no problems from the trip. There are at least three (probably more) bus stations in Chongqing. We went to the one the hotel staff said would take us to Dazu City. The station was crowded but Sunee managed to get the tickets and find out where we needed to be. It is great if one speaks fluent Chinese!
Checking out of our hotel at around 0700. They kept our big luggage
The bus schedule inside the Chongqing bus station
One needs to speak Chinese to buy a bus ticket in China
We check in to the Dazu Hotel at around 1130. A three-star hotel but we stayed in the back
We arrived in Dazu City and caught a taxi which took us to the Dazu Hotel. Expensive and not very good but . . . we were only going to stay one night. The idea was to take our time and see the two most important areas at our leisure. We ended up in the back "Chinese" section of the three star hotel with no elevator and smaller rooms. It cost of 180 yuan and was definitely not worth the money.
I have since read an internet article about a guy who went to Dazu City and got a cheap hotel room locally. He was accosted at around 11 PM by police informing him he could not stay at that hotel but had to move to the Dazu Hotel. One of those "bushiwai" hotels, I guess. He refused to move and faked his inability to understand Chinese. Promised to move the next day. Sooooo it looks like we got "touted" once more. In fact, the first evening we walked in the area of our hotel and found two very nice and small places for around 100 yuan. No big deal but one does have to be careful of touts everywhere in China.
After settling in, we walked to the main road and hailed us a taxi. This guy wanted 30 yuan to take us to the nearest rock carvings at Beishan. I had done my research and knew that the place could be reached for 2 yuan by bus or 5 yuan by taxi. Seems we looked like a couple of "chump" tourists to that taxi driver.
We got a taxi and, sure enough, the fare was 5 yuan. A nice guy, he explained how to get transportation back to our hotel from the rock carvings as well as how to get to the bigger rock carvings at Baodingshan. A nice guy, but not surprising as most Chinese are very friendly and helpful.
As is now our custom, Sunee negotiated the price of entrance. We got in at half price because of our age and also due to us being teachers at Southwest Jiaotong University. She showed them my Expert Certificate and passports to prove our age. Good for both sites and two days. There is some benefits to being old in China!
Negotiating our tickets. No consistency across China. Sometimes it works
Here is the ticket pricing to enter the Dazu Rock Carvings sites
Easy and casual walk to the carvings
A beautiful Chinese entrance to the site
Panorama view of the first groupings of carvings
This guard was at the first set of carvings and was extremely helpful
The carvings were supposed to have been done done between the 9th and 13th Centuries AD
A study in Buddha heads:
Enough of these Buddha heads. I took hundreds of pictures of these carvings. Way too many to try to put in this blog.
Nice little pagoda between the first and second areas of carvings
A panorama of the second area of carvings
This guy was a lot taller than the rest of the carvings. More than life-size
A couple of walls of carvings with dozens of carvings inside a cave area
A few of the dozens of carvings I took during our visit:
Panorama of the third area of carvings
This was in the third area I think. Very intricate carvings
This guy and bird were inside a cave area with three full walls of carvings
Again, very intricate carvings of everything surrounding the Buddha
Lots of arms on this Buddha
More arms can be seen on this one as well
We finished our visit at around 1700 and got a taxi back to our hotel. It had been a hot day but the carvings were as fantastic as we had expected.
After relaxing a bit, we decided to walk to the city square to find out what the local seniors were up to. In our experience, the local seniors always come out at dusk to the city square to do all kinds of neat things. To our surprise, we had another adventure. Check out our Dazu City Evening Adventure next.