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Fan Ta Pagoda N An Evening On Lovers Bridge

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, The plan was actually for me to leave today but how could one leave such a wonderful city when a beautiful girl calls and asks me to stay 'just another night'. So once again here I sit in Kaifeng City after an awesome day of temple walks and an evening spent on a bridge called 'Lovers Bridge'. When I went down to pay for another night the counter lady had such a huge smile on her face and she said 'Today you see Beautiful?' Yes I said, 'We have dinner and walk. Well, something along those lines. The first thing for the day was to head down to the south long distant bus station (across from the train station) to see about a bus to...anywhere. I still had no idea where I wanted to go, so when I got to the station I pointed to couple of characters on the board and the lady said Bozhou. Bozhou was in my LP but I really wasn't planning on going to a Medicine City. I then decided why not. I pointed to it so why not go and see what it really is like there. After reading about it I had confirmation of what I thought she was trying to tell me. Only one bus each day and it leaves at midday. I then decided it was time to go and check out what was known as Fan Ta. Amigo's mother had told me that it was worth going to have a look at so I found a Tuk Tuk driver who wasn't even looking at me or pestering me in anyway and showed him where I wanted to go. It was too hot to walk and I was already soaked through. It was time to give my feet a little rest.

TheLonely Planet is correct when it states that Fan Ta can be found in little back streets. It was wonderful to find it where it was. Nothing special had been done for it. The city hadn't given it a special place or jazzed up the area it was in. It cost 10 Yuan to enter and Fan Ta is the oldest Buddhist structure still standing in the city of Kaifeng. At the moment it's getting a well earned face clean but the scaffolding didn't get in the way of photos. It is a northern Song Dynasty style pagoda which is hexagonal in design. As the LP says, it is covered by one hundred and eight different Buddha images or tiles from top to bottom. It really is an awesome little pagoda to look at. The pagoda grounds are tiny and apart from the ticket booth and a few little rooms it is the only real structure to visit. After a few happy snaps you can enter the pagoda and climb its stone stairway to the top. Here you will be greeted by several locals sleeping the hot afternoon away in the pagodas cool interior. At the rear of the pagoda is another cool room where you will find more locals sleeping. There isn't much here to look at but the locals were fun.

I then grabbed a lift back to the south gate and after saying goodbye to my happy driver I then headed back out side the wall and made my way alongside it. I passed the south west gate, turned the corner and walked past the next gate until I reached the West Gate. I then zig zagged my way down to The Baogong Hu (lake) and walked around the south west side of it. I found the temple to Master Bao but decided I had had enough temples and passed it by. I probably should have visited it as from what I can remember Amigo said he (or his family) was responsible for most of the building in Kaifeng. The only other site besides Amigo that I wanted to see today was the 'Kai Feng Fu Jian Jie' which is located on the northern side of the lake closest to Zhongshan Lu. When you see the three lakes they are divided by a car road and a long thin bridge known as Lovers Bridge that Amigo and I happily crossed hand in hand later in the evening. Ohhhh, How Sweet! I paid my 35 Yuan to enter the 'Kai Feng Fu Jian Jie'I really had no idea what I was visiting. I knew it wasn't a temple but that was all I knew. What I found and believe it to be is a model of what the city nine meters below is like. It felt like walking around Sovereign Hill or Old Gipps Town in Victoria Australia. They even had a performance that took the performers and the crowd from building to building. Everyone was even dressed as they did in ancient times. It was like watching TV here in China.

When I returned to the hotel I told the counter lady where I would be going the following day. She had no idea where I was talking about. I repeated it and she sill had no idea. I then showed her the Chinese characters in the LP and she said Hozhou. No I said, Bozhou. No she said, Hozhou. This is where Chinese is so frustrating. Amigo and the lady at the bus station pronounce it with a B and the hotel lady says it with a H. I've no idea, but two against one so I'm betting the Hotel Lady is wrong! Ha Ha! I met Amigo across from the Taoist Temple and we headed back down to Baogong Hu (lake). As we walked around the lake the sun faded slowly away and soon everything was softly lit by neon's. I really love old cities at night here in China. Most of them don't have the harsh and flashy neon's like most other cities have. The lighting around the lake was pretty much as romantic as it gets. We passed elderly groups who were practicing everything from the trumpet to dancing to the flute to the Er Hu. We soon arrived at 'Lovers Bridge' and made our way towards the music coming from the dark pagoda in the centre. Here we found a heap of people gathered around to watch and listen to a singing competition that was happening between many friends. There were several musicians and several singers all who performed a song each. Definitely not everyone's taste but I always love to stop and listen to the ladies with their squeaky voices singing romantic ballads or songs from the revolution. We sat together and allowed the cool breeze to sweep over us just as the music was. We then finished crossing the bridge and made our way to a huge screen in one of the cities squares. Here they play free movies for the people each night during summer. This night there was a Jackie Chan movie on but I had never seen it or heard of it. Amigo began translating it for me but we soon got sick of that and headed for noodles instead. After noodles we headed to the night market for some more snacks. Both our favourite is the Jian Bing Gou Zi. Kind of like a pancake with meat and a crusty bread type thing squashed inside. Totally awesome to eat! As this was our last night together until October we slowly walked to where we could grab a cab for her to take her home. How sad we both were when we parted and the taxi took her hand from mine. I slowly walked the streets wondering what the future will hold. I then decided it is best not to wonder. We have already made plans to see each other in October. Best concentrate on that than anything negative that can easily happen here in China in a traditional city full of traditional families, one of whom is a very traditional mother. The odds are stacked against us I'm afraid! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was 'Coverdale & Page The album was their awesome self titled release!

Kaifeng - City Walls N Walk

Kaifeng - City Walls N Walk


Kaifeng - City Walls N Walk (1)

Kaifeng - City Walls N Walk (1)


Kaifeng - City Walls N Walk (2)

Kaifeng - City Walls N Walk (2)


Kaifeng - City Walls N Walk (3)

Kaifeng - City Walls N Walk (3)


Kaifeng - City Walls N Walk (4)

Kaifeng - City Walls N Walk (4)


Kaifeng - City Walls N Walk (5)

Kaifeng - City Walls N Walk (5)


Kaifeng - Fan Ta Pagoda

Kaifeng - Fan Ta Pagoda


Kaifeng - Fan Ta Pagoda (1)

Kaifeng - Fan Ta Pagoda (1)


Kaifeng - Fan Ta Pagoda (2)

Kaifeng - Fan Ta Pagoda (2)


Kaifeng - Fan Ta Pagoda (3)

Kaifeng - Fan Ta Pagoda (3)


Kaifeng - Fan Ta Pagoda (4)

Kaifeng - Fan Ta Pagoda (4)


Kaifeng - Fan Ta Pagoda (5)

Kaifeng - Fan Ta Pagoda (5)


Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie

Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie


Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (1)

Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (1)


Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (2)

Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (2)


Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (3)

Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (3)


Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (4)

Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (4)


Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (5)

Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (5)


Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (6)

Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (6)


Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (7)

Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (7)


Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (8)

Kaifeng - Fu Jia Jie (8)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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