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Xiangchengs Beautiful Monestary N no Bus or Ticket

HEY HEY and a big G'day to you all

Today was a mixture of good, bad and EVIL!

Upon waking I had mixed feelings about moving on or staying another night. Walking the streets last night gave me a good feeling about Xiangcheng. Admittedly the noise the monks made was a pain in the butt. The LP says that this town is on it's way up. They are correct. There is a hell of a lot of building going on. Most luckily is in some form of Tibetan way. The town is clean and the people are very friendly. The noise, or should i say the constant beeping/honking is actually made by the town monks.

There are so many monks on the back of motor bikes that Judy and I actually renamed the town 'Shung Shung' which is kinda 'Gung Gung' Part II (Damenlong in Yunnan's Xishuangbanna Region). In Xiangcheng they ride up and down the main street in herds or droves or whatever. Instead of orange robes they have a dark red one flowing behind them. Eight hundred monks live in the monestary on the hill above the town and i can swear most of them own a motor bike. Imagine hundreds of monks riding up and down the main street all with their thumbs on their horns and their mobile phone strapped to their ear. It's unbelievable on both ears and eyes!

This morning we decided to visit the monestary on the hill above the town. The main reason being...to see the car park! to get to the monestary walk to the end of town and just after the last house you will see a little goat type track beginning to zig zag up the hill. The walk up wasn't too hard on the body. It took about fifteen or so minutes. Little old men and ladies pass you by on their way to town with baskets on their backs. Yaks also pass you by giving you a blank stare as if to say, get out of my way mate, this is my track!

At the top you'll find what will become a normal sight in monestary's in Sichuan. Out the front of the monestary are the men chipping away at huge slabs of what I think is quarts stone for use in the monestary. Luckily for us this monestary was actually 99% finished. Infect, out of all the monestary's I have visited, THIS is my favourite by far. It cost 15 Yuan to enter but once you are inside you are accepted by the monks like a long lost friend. There are signs saying 'No photos of cultural relics', don't worry about this, to the monks there are NO cultural relics. In fact, the monks will take you around pointing to anything worthy of a photo and insist that you take the photo. for those wanting photos of the monks, hey, they took Judys camera and began taking photos of each other pulling stupid faces etc.

The monestary in Xiangcheng was a huge surprise to me. It was relaxed and the monks very free and easy to get along. They allow photos of almost anything and they will never ask you for money other than the entry fee. The paintings both inside and outside are amazing. For those doing this journey, it's a great idea to visit this monestary's in Litang and Kangding. All are at different stages of renovations. This one is finished, Litang the paintings are almost complete and one of the monestary's in Kangding has only just begun so when we were there only half the walls were complete and we got to watch the painters at work. AWESOME!

After the monestary we headed back into town for lunch and then sat at the hotel for a rest whilst watching a Bond film. Judy headed to the bus station AGAIN to see about bus tickets for the 4:30pm bus to Dao Cheng. We knew there was a bus but the BITCH at the ticket office insisted that there wasn't a bus. Others had told us there was a bus including the man 60ish man at the hotel. There are usually two buses from Zhongdian each day, one at seven and one at eight in the morning. One of these buses continues through to Dao Cheng.

Due to the state of the roads from Zhongdian the buses were extra late, so around 7ish I headed across to the bus station to see about bus tickets. The ticket office was closed and there before me sat a bus that was 90% full going to Dao Cheng. I asked if they could wait whilst i grabbed Judy and our bags and was then asked if i had a ticket. Of course I don't have a ticket, there was not supposed to be a bus. Sorry bud, no ticket, no bus!

You can't have a ticket cause there is no bus! You can't get on the bus cause you don't have a ticket!

For those of you thinking of travelling in China...get used to the above!

PHONE CALLS: I gave in and headed up the street to call a friend in Australia. If you want to call overseas in this town head up the street and on the right hand side after the eaterys you'll find a Chemist with three phones in their typical white IP phone stalls

Next we were told that the second of 8am bus would be arriving around 10 - 10:30is and that this bus would also continue on to Dao Cheng. So we headed back into the monk N horn filled streets of Xiangcheng. We donned the pink smocks and sat for BBQ again with an audience on the door way watching us cook and eat. Bus time came and went so we grabbed a room and headed out for a beer.

This is China! Beers N Noodles to ya.....shane

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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