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The First Buddhist Temple in China N The Old City

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, I rose around half six and met Terry and Eve around half seven. Out the front of the hotel we had to jump around in a fight to grab ourselves an unfilled cab. Once we found one we headed to the station. On the way I caught up on the lives of Terry children, one being my age that I used to hang out with for a large part of my 'growing up' years. Sadly our lives took us in different directions and I haven't heard from him for many years. We finally made it to the station and it was here I got to meet Ping, Bo, Ha Ha and Cesar (whom soon became Salad) for the first time in seven years. WOW WOW WOW, Har Har and Cesar weren't children anymore. Both of them are the same age (18). I always thought HA Ha was a few years older. Both will soon begin University. Unfreakinbelievable! It was great to see Ping again. She looked the same as she did seven years ago. Soon her twin sister Wren came running over with arms out stretched. Everyone was there! It was such an awesome feeling. The train journey was a heap of fun...well as fun as it gets on a six hour journey in Hard Seat 'with no seats' booked for us! Bugger. It didn't last long before all of us were sharing at least half a seat with other curious Chinese passengers. There were plenty of students so there was a heap of people willing to try out their English. Some were pretty good and others....tried their hardest and good for them. They shared food with us and Eve shared our food with them. The journey was made more pleasant with the help of my new MP3/4 player. Nothing too special. It's tiny, has two gig of on board memory and room for an SD card. It came with a one gig SD Card and when I have the money I will be updating it to as high as possible. Luoyang City. Population around 6,230,000. Founded sometime during the Xia Dynasty (BC 2200 - 1700) and was once the capital of China for something like twelve or thirteen dynasties. After that the northern peoples moved the capital to Kaifeng City. Over a period of time shit happens and around the 1920's the cities population had dropped to around twenty thousand. The city was once the centre of Chinese Buddhism and believe it or not, it had over one thousand three hundred Buddhist Temples. How does such a city go from that to housing only twenty thousand people? We arrived at Luoyang nearing three in the afternoon and didn't worry about accommodation. We jumped straight on Bus No: 68 which took us the thirteen kilometres where The White Horse Temple (also known as Baima Si) can be found. Baima Si believe it or not was the first Buddhist Temple ever to be built in China. The original was built in 68AD and it has been recognised as the 'Source of Buddhism and the Ancestry Court' here in Chinese Buddhism. Much of it has been replaced at least twice. First during the Ming Dynasty (AD1368 - 1644) and secondly during the Qing Dynasty (AD1644 - 1911).

Why the name 'White Horse Temple?' In 64AD Emperor Han Ming dreamt of a Golden Man coming from the west. Not long after two Chinese on an adventure ran into two Indian Buddhist monks who gave them some Buddhist writings and statues. Obviously soon after they returned a new temple was built to house the latter! The temple itself is worth a visit if you love temples like I do. If you are all templed out then I guess it will simply be 'just another temple' but with a great history attached to it! Oh yeah, it was at this temple that I heard my first lawn mower in two and a half years.

I heard this strange sound that kind of took me back to my childhood and I then smelt the smell of freshly cut grass. Nothing else like it in the world! I turned the corner and there were two gardeners mowing the lawns with real 'lawn mowers'. Unbelievable! After the temple we re-bussed our roads and headed back into the city. After discussing what to do and where to sleep on the bus on the way back we decided to take my recommendations. Seriously, other people actually listened to me and wanted to do what I suggested! Huh, go figure! We were soon dropped off near Huang Cheng Lu and after Eve and Ping had checked out a few Hotels and found one that suited both of them the rest of us followed and sat for a short rest before heading back onto the busy little streets. We were soon making our way back up Daonan Lu which is the main road heading towards Zhengzhou. What had I suggested? Easy mate, sleep and eat near the old city! Why would you want to go elsewhere! It was a beautiful time for all of us. First stop was the multi-storey pagoda called Wang Feng Ta that I spotted from the main street as we drove through the city. Where else would a multi-storey pagoda be? Was it worth the visit? Nope, not at all. It was tall, it was dark and it was pretty boring really. We then headed into busy little Zhongzhou Donglu and soon found the old cities East Gate where after paying two Yuan you can climb it and gong the bell a few times. We then continued our journey towards the West Gate. We soon began searching for an eatery to fill our bellies and after Ping and Eve had located the best menu we sat and were soon thanking them for their motherly affections...ha ha! Just joking mate. They are female and they are Chinese, who else can spot the best menu whilst in China! Each dish was a huge hit with all of us during which Ha Ha and I went through my LP and discussed the goods and the bads of Anhui and Jiangxi Provinces. It seems that all of my selections have been good so far. After dinner we continued on towards the West Gate which we soon found in all it's neon glory. It really was a beautiful sight. I can't get enough of neon lit ancient arch/gate ways and walls! We then turned left and followed a little pathway beside the river that took us back to Daonan Lu. After spotting a DVD shop I went in and found the first two series of 'LOST' I've already watched series one and have given it to Candy back in Shaowu so now I have one and two and shall begin series two as soon as I return. Once home I sat with Terry for an hour or so catching up on all things 'life back in Wazzaville Australia!' Beers N Noodles toya.....shane ___________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was Red Kross The album was 'Phaseshifter'

Luoyang City

Luoyang City


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Luoyang White Horse Temple

Luoyang White Horse Temple


Luoyang White Horse Temple (1)

Luoyang White Horse Temple (1)


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Luoyang White Horse Temple (7)


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Luoyang White Horse Temple (8)


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Luoyang White Horse Temple (9)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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