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Entries about buddhist temples

Chengdu and Mount Emei area March 23 - 26

We spend a few days visiting old friends before the next leg of our Holy Mountain Tour

overcast 55 °F
View Buddhist Pilgrimmage on inchinahil's travel map.

[b]March 23

With Sunee's family gone, it was time for us to go to Southwest Jiaotong University at the foot of Mt. Emei to relax and visit friends and students. It was nice to be able to relax for a few days before we set out to visit the last two mountains on our agenda.

01-BusCircle

01-BusCircle

Welcome back to Emei City on the way to Southwest Jiaotong University!

02-Dinner

02-Dinner

The first group get together, of course, was that evening with friends and associates joining us for dinner. A wonderful dinner I might add.

March 24

The next morning our friends from the pharmacy store dropped by and we went over to Baoguo Temple to meet with our friendly monk, Xing Ming. We had a great visit and, of course, I took a lot of pictures.

101_hdrelephant

101_hdrelephant

102_AmericanMonk

102_AmericanMonk

Here we meet a visiting American monk who lived in a monastery in Hubei province. He had come to Baogua Temple and was staying for about a week. Fu Xing, I thing he said his Buddhist name was. He was a very interesting character.

102_Baoguo

102_Baoguo

103_Baoguoincense

103_Baoguoincense

104_Lightingcandles

104_Lightingcandles

105_Morelights

105_Morelights

106_Ovalview

106_Ovalview

See, I told you I took a lot of pictures. Baogua Temple always delights.

107_Rosetree

107_Rosetree

Our group around the blooming rose tree in one of the courtyards.

108_RoseTreeme

108_RoseTreeme

109_lighting

109_lighting

After the candles were lit, we went to visit some friends near the river. We had been there before for dinner. Xing Ming came along for the visit as well.

109_Monkframed

109_Monkframed

We then went to visit where Xiao Lin"s (Chinese pharmacist) husband worked. He is the director for one of the local retired folks housing developments. It looked to be a very nice place for the seniors to live. The ones we met seemed to be happy.

110_Cat

110_Cat

111_cat2

111_cat2

This was one of the friendliest cats I have met in China. It also had beautiful green eyes and very bossy, not wanting us to leave.

112_PeachBlossoms

112_PeachBlossoms

113_AnotherPeachBlossom

113_AnotherPeachBlossom

114_Peachcrowd

114_Peachcrowd

We then traveled to look at some peach blossoms that was now in their full beauty. While there, a bunch of students came by and I got to pose with them. They all seemed to have a good time with the visiting Laowai. It is always fun being around Chinese students.

115_leshanbridge

115_leshanbridge

Finally we visited the bridge in Leshan which was several hundred years old. The day was topped off by another dinner that evening with our good friends.

March 25

Today we spent with our friends from Leshan. Yan Miao (our nun friend from FuHu Temple) met us in Leshan and took us to a wonderful vegetarian restaurant overlooking the river. Her friend was a local government official and we had a marvelous time visiting and sharing stories about the past year.

201_HostsLunch

201_HostsLunch

YanMiao and our wonderful host for the lunch.

201_Veggie-lunch

201_Veggie-lunch

Just another great vegetarian lunch with at least seven courses.

Sunee's teacher, Mr. Ai, came by and picked us up after lunch and took us to his village where every one was named Ai. From my understanding, during the early years of the Qing Dynasty, a son of a wealth Manchurian family in Beijing fell in love with a local Han Chinese girl. Such things were unacceptable to the ruling Manchurians so the couple had to flee south in order to start a family. Thus the village of Ai was established and the people are all related from this original couple. Most of the people are, in fact, ethnic Manchurians. Mr. Ai, took us for a tour of the town, one of the most interesting experience we have ever had in China. The people lived a simple life with only the bare necessities. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I did taking them.

202_Aibathroom

202_Aibathroom

This is the bathroom in the house where Mr. Ai grew up. Basically it was a basket in a darkened room off the kitchen. Pretty rustic!

203_AiVillageScene1

203_AiVillageScene1

204_AiVillageScene2

204_AiVillageScene2

A couple of shots of the buildings next to Mr. Ai's house.

205_MapReader

205_MapReader

Mr. Ai had brought his father a new map of Chengdu. His father used to live in Chengdu and was always interested into looking at maps to see how much had changed.

206_AiCat

206_AiCat

This was one weird looking cat. Not friendly and quite dirty. Nice eyes, though.

The following pictures are of Ai village as we toured around the tiny hamlet.

207_Aidoor

207_Aidoor

208_AiThrasher

208_AiThrasher

209_AiBuffalo

209_AiBuffalo

210_AiFarm

210_AiFarm

211_MeAndAi

211_MeAndAi

That is Mr. Ai, one of the finest artists in Leshan and Sichuan. Sunee spent three years studying under him. He was my favorite instructor of all the instructors Sunee had in the three years we lived in China.

212_AiPictureTaking

212_AiPictureTaking

That is Mr. Ai's brother.

Time to go back to the house and get ready to eat.

214-StokingFire

214-StokingFire

214_MoreStoking

214_MoreStoking

Sunee helped by stoking the fire in the wood stove.

215_AiChef

215_AiChef

Our chef was also an Ai who was a cousin or some kind of relative. He is a very good chef.

216_AiFam

216_AiFam

217_AiFam2

217_AiFam2

218_AiFam3

218_AiFam3

The above are some pictures of Mr. Ai's family. The lady on the left is Mr. Ai's wife.

Time for dinner.

219_FoodPrep

219_FoodPrep

220_EatPrep

220_EatPrep

221_EatPrep2

221_EatPrep2

And eat we did. Such a great time we had visiting authentic rural China. The people we met were as friendly as any group we have met in China and in the world. Our trip back to our hotel in Emei was uneventful but we were tired.

March 26

Another trip to Baogua Temple and quick visits to Southwest Jiaotong University pretty much took up the day. We caught the evening bus to Chengdu where we would meet Enliven and Arthur. They would set up our trip to the airport early in the morning for our flight to Hefei. Another adventure was waiting for us the next day.

222_BaoguaAgain

222_BaoguaAgain

223_Baogualook

223_Baogualook

224_BaoguoSide

224_BaoguoSide

225_BaoguaLion

225_BaoguaLion

A final visit to Baogua Temple to have our farewells to our monk friend.

Posted by inchinahil 03:23 Archived in China Tagged china emei_city buddhist_temples sichuan_province southwest_jiatong_university Comments (0)

Courtyard Dream House Adventure (July 15)

Shaolin Temple near Luoyang


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Shaolin Temple near Luoyang

Yesterday we walked down to the bus station area and made arrangements for a tour company to drop by our hotel to pick us up. We were to join a tour to visit Shao Lin Temple. The agent stated plainly that this tour was to Shao Lin and covered the bus trip but not the entrance fees. We were paying for the convenience of not taking public transportation and we were a bit tired from running after buses. A nice respite, we thought

The car came right on time at 8 a.m. and took us to the agent's building where we climbed onboard a very crowded bus. There were four other foreigners on the bus and a lot of Chinese. I sat next to two lovely Italian students who had finished their classes in Shanghai and were traveling around before returning to Italy. We all relaxed for what we expected would be an easy hour or so trip to the famous monastery and temple.

Wrong!

Within around thirty minutes we made a stop at a cultural site that I never heard of. It was the tomb of the third wife of the fourth emperor's cousin who lived in the area after his first two wives had been killed by the emperor. Not really but it was a newly hatched cultural site that we were not interested. We began to complain to the tour guide that we had not signed up to stop at every temple along the way to Shaolin. He got testy! Eventually he said it was not his problem but several others in the bus had the same reaction. He eventually gave our money back and sent us to the main road to catch the public bus to Shaolin Monastery. The other foreigners stayed with the tour.

The tomb of some wife??

The tomb of some wife??

Waiting for the public bus

Waiting for the public bus

The bus to Shaolin

The bus to Shaolin

Tickets were 100 Yuan for everybody, so we paid our money and entered the world-famous Shaolin Monastery.

Shaolin beginning Practicianers

Shaolin beginning Practicianers

The Shaolin phone system

The Shaolin phone system

On the bus we sat next to a couple of students from Beijing so we decided to visit Shaolin together. I believe they were engineering students.

Our Beijing Friends

Our Beijing Friends

As one enters the complex, on finds an open area for shows. Indeed, there was a show be presented by a bunch of baby monks. After watching several martial arts shows on and around Emei Mountain, this was in comparison "cheezy!"

Baby monks on display

Baby monks on display

More baby monks

More baby monks

Greetings for Shaolin Monastery

Greetings for Shaolin Monastery

More greetings snaps

More greetings snaps

Another Shaolin Phone

Another Shaolin Phone

Wheel of Fortune (actually Life)

Wheel of Fortune (actually Life)

Happy snaps at Shaolin Entrance

Happy snaps at Shaolin Entrance

Guardian 1

Guardian 1

Guardian 2

Guardian 2

Red Door Guard

Red Door Guard

Many Guards

Many Guards

Good Luck

Good Luck

Newly renovated Pagoda

Newly renovated Pagoda

Guard lion

Guard lion

Steal that Stele

Steal that Stele

Turtle Stele

Turtle Stele

Lionhead

Lionhead

HDR (high dynamic range) Post

HDR (high dynamic range) Post

Knockers are my favorite

Knockers are my favorite

Another KNocker photograph

Another KNocker photograph

Filming an important movie

Filming an important movie

A Darkened Lion Head - Rub it for good luck

A Darkened Lion Head - Rub it for good luck

Not a baby but a real Shaolin Monk

Not a baby but a real Shaolin Monk

What is behind the red Lion Door

What is behind the red Lion Door

Crash dummy Bronze Head

Crash dummy Bronze Head

Crash dummy Bronze Bod

Crash dummy Bronze Bod

For a price ride theCamel

For a price ride theCamel

Shaolin monks hawking their wares

Shaolin monks hawking their wares

Teaching about Zen Buddhism

Teaching about Zen Buddhism

Forest of Pagodas

Forest of Pagodas

Very famous Pagodas

Very famous Pagodas

Guarding the steps

Guarding the steps

Open the Blue Door at your own risk

Open the Blue Door at your own risk

Still None Life Photo - Stele with Chair

Still None Life Photo - Stele with Chair

Knocker on Blue

Knocker on Blue

Three thumbs up for the monastery

Three thumbs up for the monastery

Sunee does some Charity

Sunee does some Charity

This Shaolin Monastery was enjoyable and worth the effort. The Monastery, IMNO, is not real - a commercial venture where they are selling the Shaolin Brand. Capitalism at its best. Even though it was very commercial, we enjoyed the visit and the monks played their parts perfectly. We did visit with a few who seemed to enjoy their acting parts and were really friendly. I think the Emei Mountain monks who do martial arts would wipe the floor with these monks but who knows. Wutang Mountain also is well known for its marital arts as well. Shaolin has got the name and the star power behind it and is a very successful tourist attraction. We both liked it very much.

Returning to the entrance at around 4 p.m. we met the foreigners who had been on the bus with us. They had spend a lot of money to get into five different sites on their way to Shaolin. None of them was happy about their current lack of time to enjoy Shaolin. We visited awhile about their adventures then rented a taxi back to our hotel and much needed rest.

Posted by inchinahil 06:34 Archived in China Tagged food mountain monks tourist_sites ancient_town martial_arts buddhist_temples henan_province Comments (0)

Courtyard Dream House Adventure (July 18)

Kaifeng, Henan Province


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Kaifeng

The trip through Zhengzhou was uneventful except we had to change buses in a weird residential area. The second bus then took us on to the bus station where we again had to change buses to get to the Kaifeng bus. All the service personnel we interacted with at the bus stations were really great and went out of their way to insure we were headed in the right direction or on the right bus. The people on the bus seemed genuinely interest in us and Sunee struck up a conversation with several of them as we went from bus to bus.

On the Bus to Zhengzhou

On the Bus to Zhengzhou

We arrived in Kaifeng and tried to locate a hotel which I had read about in one of the Lonely Planet articles on the internet. No luck as our taxi driver had never heard of it. We ended up about a block from the night market downtown in a hundred plus year old hotel. The rooms were comfortable and a little run down but . . . one hundred years old and in a great location at a good price.

For lunch we walked across the street from the hotel and found a cute little restaurant with cute little Chinese girls waitressing. What can I say? They were overjoyed to see us and we had a great lunch and friendly conversation

Our wonderful waitress

Our wonderful waitress

The people at the restaurant told us all the neat things to do in Kaifeng starting with the Kiafeng museum. We arrived by taxi and had to wait a half hour for it to open. It was also free. A very professional museum with a lot of stuff to see. The Print Museum section was especially interesting because they were in production when we visited. Even bought a couple of the prints hot off the presses.

The Print Museum

The Print Museum

Printmaking

Printmaking

Sold a finished  Chinese labor-intensive Print

Sold a finished Chinese labor-intensive Print

Museum Gold

Museum Gold

A huge carved Wood panel

A huge carved Wood panel

The Kaifeng Museum

The Kaifeng Museum

After about two hours in the museum we visited second site on our list from the restaurant.

Bao Zheng 包拯 Memorial Temple and Park

Judge Bao Zheng or Bao Qing Tian 包青天 was a magistrate in Kaifeng during the Song Dynasty. Every Chinese knows who he is because he is considered to be the symbol of justice in China. He was born in Hefei, Anhui Province into a scholar family. He passed the highest level Imperial Exam and was assigned to Kaifeng or Bian as it was called during the Song Dynasty. There is a TV series that Sunee never missed about him. She knew who he was and what he did from watching all the TV serials about him. She was very happy to be able to visit where he lived and worked.

Bao Zheng Entrance

Bao Zheng Entrance

Again half-price tickets without negotiations

Again half-price tickets without negotiations

Ceremonial Drum

Ceremonial Drum

Ceremonial Gong

Ceremonial Gong

Statue of Bao Qing Tian

Statue of Bao Qing Tian

Lion Door

Lion Door

Beautiful red Porch with pillars

Beautiful red Porch with pillars

As we walked around enjoying the architecture and the displays, we came across a monk selling his handicrafts. He told us he was a ShaoLin Monk. We also found out that he was married and not a vegetarian. This, according to him, was a special dispensation for only ShaoLin monks who were in training to be warriors. He was a very friendly and interesting fellow. The wood burning pictures in the background were his specialty.

A ShaoLin Monk

A ShaoLin Monk

Very impressive entrance way

Very impressive entrance way

Blue Roofed prayer hall

Blue Roofed prayer hall

Finally, another Old Knocker to photograph

Finally, another Old Knocker to photograph

The Main Pagoda

The Main Pagoda

The Front area of thePagoda

The Front area of thePagoda

Pagoda Courtyard area

Pagoda Courtyard area

As we walked to the tallest building in the complex, we saw a lot of activity with people dressed up in Song Dynasty Clothng. A show dealing with life in old Bian was about to take place.

Showtime is coming soon

Showtime is coming soon

There were three separate sections to the presentation with several people being arrested and a couple getting married Song Dynasty style. It was very entertaining and kept me busy with photography.

An Actor

An Actor

A Sheng Player

A Sheng Player

Pagoda up close

Pagoda up close

Headed for the exit, we came across another show taking place on the edge of a beautiful pond with a small pagoda. Acrobats as good as any we have seen in China gave a great show. It was during this show that my camera began to have problems. The camera, a Canon A640, did not want to extend its lens and gave me a lens error. Oh no! I finally got it to work after a few minutes and forgot about it as we finished and exited the complex.

A Small Pagoda

A Small Pagoda

Acrobats

Acrobats

Nicely done landscapedpond

Nicely done landscapedpond

Carved wooden Elephant near the pagoda

Carved wooden Elephant near the pagoda

Flower with pond as backdrop

Flower with pond as backdrop

It was getting late so we went back to our hotel, cleaned up and relaxed for a couple of hours before heading out to see what surprises the night market held for us.

Love that Chinese Bread

Love that Chinese Bread

Stuffed baked buns

Stuffed baked buns

Kaifeng Assortment of goodies

Kaifeng Assortment of goodies

Kaifen Special dumplings or Jaodz 饺子

Kaifen Special dumplings or Jaodz 饺子

A plate full of fried dumplings or Guotieh 锅贴

A plate full of fried dumplings or Guotieh 锅贴

Making Candy

Making Candy

We got plenty to eat and the night market was as exciting a place as every night market we had visited all over China. Love this city!

Posted by inchinahil 06:31 Archived in China Tagged architecture tourist_sites kaifeng ancient_town buddhist_temples song_dynasty henan_province Comments (0)

Courtyard Dream House Adventure (July 24)

Pingyao and hundreds of courtyard houses. First Day


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Pingyao

Caught the train right on schedule as Sophia bits us goodbye. Linfen was a great adventure with really good examples of Chinese courtyard houses we were seeking. Told Sophia I would see her at Southwest Jiaotong University in a couple of months and we were off.

ByeBye Linfen and Sophie

ByeBye Linfen and Sophie

Sophies bits us GoodBye from the train station

Sophies bits us GoodBye from the train station

And it is off to Pingyao

And it is off to Pingyao

Next where we picked up passengers. It is definitely Coa lCountry

Next where we picked up passengers. It is definitely Coa lCountry

Harvest Time along the tracks

Harvest Time along the tracks

The Pingyao bus station did not have anything that indicated there was a very famous city some place in the area. We got a small golf cart like taxi to the famous city and, sure enough, it was completely surrounded by a Ming-style wall (think baby Xian here). The taxi actually entered the city and went out of its way to get us close to our hotel which we had picked out of an internet travel guide. Actually, we just told him the name of the hotel in hopes of getting us close to hotels we could check out. The reason we had to take all the back alleys in Pingyao was simple - the main tourist streets were walking streets only.

We looked at several courtyard house hotels and decided on a quaint little Ming Dynasty hotel in the center of the town. Sunee negotiated a pretty good price for the three days we planned to stay. After getting our room and taking a quick shower, we were off to find all those courtyard houses we had been reading about.

Main street - Pingyao Style

Main street - Pingyao Style

Street Scenes were heavily tourist oriented but authentic

Street Scenes were heavily tourist oriented but authentic

The main street Pagoda - View from the other side

The main street Pagoda - View from the other side

Shanxi is famous for its Paper cuts - we bought some, of course

Shanxi is famous for its Paper cuts - we bought some, of course

An old Qing Dynasty (it is guessing) wooden building

An old Qing Dynasty (it is guessing) wooden building

Panorama view of Pingyao

Panorama view of Pingyao

Need a taxi? Here is a Red one

Need a taxi? Here is a Red one

Do you think there are a lot of tourists who visit here?

Do you think there are a lot of tourists who visit here?

A Red shop selling noodles

A Red shop selling noodles

Some nice Buddha Images

Some nice Buddha Images

Shop for Chops

Shop for Chops

Person hole cover - Qing Dynasty had person holes!!!!

Person hole cover - Qing Dynasty had person holes!!!!

Only two Yuan for this nifty needle threader.  Never have found it since

Only two Yuan for this nifty needle threader. Never have found it since

Western Food for Westerners or Chinese who like such things

Western Food for Westerners or Chinese who like such things

Lots of beautifully carved wooden Doors - Mao era

Lots of beautifully carved wooden Doors - Mao era

More papercuts. These things are actually done on a big machine then cleaned up by hand. They make nice gifts

More papercuts. These things are actually done on a big machine then cleaned up by hand. They make nice gifts

A local Painting Class down one of the side alleys

A local Painting Class down one of the side alleys

Drawing Students

Drawing Students

An old Street off the main tourist thoroughfare

An old Street off the main tourist thoroughfare

The Pingyao Ming Wall

The Pingyao Ming Wall

It was late and we had been walking around for about three hours and decided to find a restaurant. We had typical Chinese food that would be found just about anywhere. While dining, this nice family asked if they could take a picture with them. They did and we did. Very nice family from Beijing as I recall.

Gotta tell you that Pingyao is really better than advertised. Yes, it is very touristy but the building and things we saw are obviously authentic. It feels like a late Ming, early Qing city with its style and layout (as if I would know how such a thing feels). We both liked the way things felt and looked.

A Friendly Family

A Friendly Family

Posted by inchinahil 06:25 Archived in China Tagged architecture tourist_sites pingyao ancient_town buddhist_temples shanxi_province Comments (0)

Courtyard Dream House Adventure (July 28 - 29)

The Wooden Pagoda and Hanging Monastery of Yingxian County


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YingXian County

Welcome to the YingXian Muta or Wooden Pagoda. The pagoda is in the Fogong or Buddha Palace Temple. It was build in 1056 and is considered to be one of the oldest (if not the oldest) standing wooden pagoda in the world.

We took a bus from Taiyuan which took about three and a half hours to the first largest town. We then caught a local bus to the site of the temple. It was obvious that the town had been renovated as a tourist site because the streets were very clean and the buildings either renovated or newly built in the appropriate style.

We first tried to get a room across the street from the temple but the people there were rather rude and let us know we were not welcome. Thus, we decided to wonder around the area since we felt it was a bit late to actually and officially visit the temple complex. I did take a few pictures in the area of the temple but refrained most of the time because we planned to be back the following morning.

Very Clean Streets

Very Clean Streets

Sneaking a picture with a Liberal Donkey

Sneaking a picture with a Liberal Donkey

Wooden Pogada Entrance

Wooden Pogada Entrance

Framed

Framed

Tourist view with Sunee

Tourist view with Sunee

I had to have one for myself as well

I had to have one for myself as well

We found a decent hotel about four blocks away and after finding a light dinner, we checked in and called it a day. At around 0400, the lights in the hotel went out and when we checked out at around 0900, they were still very much out. No one seemed bothered so we figured it was a common occurrence.

Walking back over to the temple, we got a quick bowl of noodles and made our official visit to this tourist site.

Entrance Tickets priced for seniors

Entrance Tickets priced for seniors

Welcome from Guanyin Image

Welcome from Guanyin Image

Another view of Guanyin

Another view of Guanyin

Front view of the complex (Fogong Temple)

Front view of the complex (Fogong Temple)

Door into the temple complex

Door into the temple complex

Tough flowers Growing on Cement

Tough flowers Growing on Cement

Close up of these tough Flowers

Close up of these tough Flowers

View of the pagoda among the flowers

View of the pagoda among the flowers

Sunee was not very willing, but I coaxed her into climbing some really old stairs to the second floor of the pagoda. There can be no doubt that his building is really as old as advertised. When we got to the second floor (all other floors were closed), we met a very nice monk from northern China. Sunee and the monk walked around the area of the second floor visiting for about 15 minutes while I took pictures. Sunee was not as anxious as she was previous to meeting the monk.

Monk who was friendly and calm

Monk who was friendly and calm

Another Front View of the Buddha image

Another Front View of the Buddha image

The always ferocious  Red Door Guard

The always ferocious Red Door Guard

Lion Dogs are a standard feature at all Buddhist temples

Lion Dogs are a standard feature at all Buddhist temples

Very ancient Rock Carving. May be the oldest part of the whole place

Very ancient Rock Carving. May be the oldest part of the whole place

Wooden Pagoda Close view

Wooden Pagoda Close view

The Buddha Palace plaza

The Buddha Palace plaza

A nicely renovated Side Temple

A nicely renovated Side Temple

A framed incense Burner

A framed incense Burner

A really Big Incense Burner

A really Big Incense Burner

A Buddha on the side

A Buddha on the side

My best photo of the pagoda

My best photo of the pagoda

We finished our visit and walked back to the hotel to collect our luggage. Our next stop was the Hanging Monastery or Xuankong Si 悬空寺. The most famous temple in the area, Hanging Monastery is around 5km/3mi from Hunyuan city. The monastery was built near the Pass of the Golden Dragon (Jinlong Kou) on a rock-face 30m/100ft above the valley floor. Some of the smaller halls of this 6th century AD monastery are supported by thin stilts which stand on rock precipices. There are supposed to be a lot of ancient items inside the monastery but the whole parking lot of jammed with visitors. I took several pictures form afar and then we took a taxi to the local Hunyuan city bus station. The local bus from the Wooden Pagoda dropped us off at the river outside the city and we had to take a taxi to the monastery. It was eleven Yuan. The taxi that took us to the bus station was twenty Yuan and, unknown to us, it was within walking distance. Bet the taxi driver was boasting how he had ripped the dumb foreigners off. We were tired and hot so it did not matter.

The famous Hanging Monastery of Hengshan

The famous Hanging Monastery of Hengshan

A closer view of the Monastery

A closer view of the Monastery

Distant View from the parking lot

Distant View from the parking lot

We had a two hour wait for the bus back to Taiyuan. It was nice to relax and eat some of the snacks they served in the bus station. Our trip to Ying Xian was very pleasant and rewarding. The people, even the taxi driver who cheated us, were friendly (except at the first hotel) and we visited with many people along the way. Life in China is not bad and, in fact, appears to be pleasant for most people. Most of the people we met were locals who were living their life like everyone else in the world. They were curious about us foreigners but were not shy. Often we would be asked a question to start a conversation. It was obvious that these people are nice and wonderful. Shanxi appears to be a pretty good place to live, even though it is considered one of the poorest provinces in China. Believe this is due to its location close to the central government who siphons off Shanxi coal for use elsewhere in China.

We have plane tickets for the evening flight to Hefei. Figured we could go visit another famous temple complex in Taiyuan - Jinci Temple.

Posted by inchinahil 06:23 Archived in China Tagged buildings architecture tourist_sites buddhist_temples taiyuan wooden_pagoda shanxi_province Comments (0)

Courtyard Dream House Adventure (July 30)

Last Day in Taiyuan and Visit to Jinci Temple


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Jinci Temple

Jinci Temple was built in the Bei Wei dynasty (386-534 AD) but has connections to earlier temples built during the Western Zhou Dynasty over 1500 years ago. It is one of China's finest examples of an imperial garden. The internet said it was nice and all the guide books said it was a must see so we gave it a visit.

We caught a city bus about a block from our hotel after checking out and leaving our bags under lock and key. The 14 or so miles to Jinci Temple was very pleasant with friendly people getting of and gettin on at every location. The temple itself is about a twenty minute walk from the bus stop. As we walked to the temple entrance we met a couple of college students home on vacation. Of course, they were sweet and marvelous to visit with. We followed them around for awhile and then took off on our own for another wonderful adventure.

Very friendly College students home on summer vacation

Very friendly College students home on summer vacation

Chinese Zodiac at the first entrance

Chinese Zodiac at the first entrance

A nice Iron Lion guarding that first entrance

A nice Iron Lion guarding that first entrance

Walkway off to the right on the way to the main entrance

Walkway off to the right on the way to the main entrance

This looked to be a recent addition but a nice stone Carving

This looked to be a recent addition but a nice stone Carving

Everyone was taking pictures of these recent statues so....

Everyone was taking pictures of these recent statues so....

figured I might as well get in the picture as well

figured I might as well get in the picture as well

Near the stone carving we met another vacationing Student student with her mother

Near the stone carving we met another vacationing Student student with her mother

Chinese Lotus

Chinese Lotus

Anyone for some nice grapes. These things are expensive in Thailand

Anyone for some nice grapes. These things are expensive in Thailand

I called this the Eye temple

I called this the Eye temple

Nice view of one of the big garden and landscaped area. This is before one gets to the main entrance

Nice view of one of the big garden and landscaped area. This is before one gets to the main entrance

Theater in one of the garden areas

Theater in one of the garden areas

Chinese Oval

Chinese Oval

A very serene garden scene

A very serene garden scene

Jinci Temple is huge and goes on and on up the side of a mountain. The main hall is called Saint Mother Hall. It attracts many visitors because its extreme age and good shape for being the oldest building in the temple complex. It along with a couple of other similar buildings looked old. Not because they were run down, the architecture looked and felt ancient. They are impressive indeed.

Saint Mother Hall

Saint Mother Hall

A tourist posing for my picture

A tourist posing for my picture

Guess what? Another oval window

Guess what? Another oval window

These ancient carvings are all over the place

These ancient carvings are all over the place

Kinda looks like Song Dynasty ladies if I were to guess. All of them were completely different

Kinda looks like Song Dynasty ladies if I were to guess. All of them were completely different

A unique corner building

A unique corner building

To the left of Saint Mother Hall as you face it is the weirdest spring I have ever seen. It is supposed to have been around for a long time and is called Never Aging Spring. Figured I had better get some water from it.

Never Aging Spring

Never Aging Spring

Running spring water

Running spring water

The spring water filled up these ponds and then overflowed into a nice creek

The spring water filled up these ponds and then overflowed into a nice creek

I had read about the four iron men of Jinci on the internet (http://www.china-lifestyle.com/the-iron-men-of-jinci). It made for a good story and here I am with one of these famous guys.

One of the famous cast iron men of Jinci

One of the famous cast iron men of Jinci

Posing at the Red Doors

Posing at the Red Doors

Another ancient Iron Lion

Another ancient Iron Lion

The unique Flying Bridge is the only such bridge left in existence

The unique Flying Bridge is the only such bridge left in existence

I loved this time of year in China - Peaches!!

I loved this time of year in China - Peaches!!

There were several Hawkers outside the entrance to the main complex. We bought a map and some other mementos from one of them.

There were several Hawkers outside the entrance to the main complex. We bought a map and some other mementos from one of them.

We walked back to the bus station and had to wait about fifteen minutes to get on a very crowded bus. The bus ride back was even friendlier than the one we took coming in. What a pleasant adventure.

The crowded cityBus

The crowded cityBus

We never turn down Xinjiang-style bread. They put some additional topings on for our evening Dinner

We never turn down Xinjiang-style bread. They put some additional topings on for our evening Dinner

We returned to our hotel, picked up our luggage and got a taxi to the airport, several miles away. The airport was not very large and this late, there were only a couple of planes worth of passengers.

Posted by inchinahil 06:23 Archived in China Tagged architecture ancient_town buddhist_temples taiyuan jinci_temple shanxi_province Comments (0)

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