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Jinci Temple N Lazy Old Trees

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, We awoke in our stuffy little dorm room thinking that it was around eight to have the hotel staff knock at the door to ask if we were leaving or staying. I was totally confused as to why they would be asking such a question so early until I looked at my watch to find that it was around mid day. Memories of the hostel I stayed in South Korea came flooding back to me. No air flow, depleted oxygen levels and no way to tell what time of day it is. One usually emerges from such a room in a state of total amazement and confusion! We paid the silly fat lazy man for another night's stay (and the last night) stay in the hotel of 'its ok, it is supposed to be that way' and headed out to make the most of the afternoon. Rain welcomed us and forced us to eat in an eatery just around the corner that charged us a whopping twenty Yuan for a big plate of dumplings. Admittedly the dumplings were delicious but they should have cost half the price! Taiyuan is a strange city, there really is nothing beautiful about it that I could find or see on my first nights adventure. The shopping streets are very far away from the train station and strangely the area around the train station lacked the usual cheap hotels that fight for your money. No one would budge in price and that included even two of the hotels in the Lonely Planet and these are most of the time the one's who do. The staff at the Tielu Hotel rudely laughed in our face which to me said, Ha Ha, this is Taiyuan City, you will pay more than you should to stay here! Yes it is an ugly city but it was your choice to come here! Now pay for your mistake! Taiyuan, give it a new Museum and it thinks it is Hangzhou and charges accordingly. Anyhow, on with the day! Situated at the foot of Xuanweng Mountain and about twenty five kilometers southwest of Taiyuan city is the Jinci Temple. Construction on this little Buddhist beauty began around AD1023 and most of the ancient buildings are made from wood. Built at the start of the Jin River the temple is not only located in a beautiful part of Taiyuan but the temple itself really is an awesome place to spend an afternoon. The first actual temple was built to worship the first Duke of Jin State, Tang Shuyu in the Zhou Dynasty (1100 - 221 BC). The highlights for me those that are already in the Lonely Planet. The Zhou Cypress Tree has been growing at a thirty degree angle for somewhere between 900 to 1000 years and for some reason I seem to remember reading that the tree is around three thousand years old but that certainly can't be right...can it? I should have taken a picture of the trees information at the front of the temple. Another huge highlight not only for me but also for Jiang Ni were the awesome dragons that are found snaking their way up the eight pillars of the one thousand year old Hall of the Sacred Mother. They really are a beautiful sight but strangely, they are supposed to be the only ones left in existence yet they remain uncovered and several times I growled at some children who thought trying to hang from them was a great idea. Their stupid parents got the death look from me as well! But this is what happens when you have a country full of spoilt children! The temple is one hour from the city and costs 70 Yuan to enter. You catch bus number 804 from the left side of the train station. Look for where all the buses are parked inside a small green fence. The first bus leaves at eight in the morning and the last bus returns at seven thirty in the evening. We caught bus number 308 to return to the city but only catch this one if you want to see a different part of the city from a bus that feels as if it never had shockers fitted. The roads are terrible and the scenery is drab. Catch bus 804 to and from the temple! They leave around the same time and your butt will thank you for it! The city is also full of people who won't leave you alone. People of all shapes, sizes and ages will see you and latch on to you. All want something from you and 99% of the time it is money or more of it. At traffic lights, the train station etc you will be attacked by begger children. Don't feel sorry for them and give them a thing. They are mostly part of a group of children that have been trained by adults to latch onto you and continue latching until you give them money, not for food but to get them to leave you alone. Lurking around the corner not far from sight are usually two or three adults who take the collections and give the children barely nothing. So you may feel and have a reason feel sorry for the children but no matter what you give them they will get barely anything from it. Want to make their lives better and make the greedy adults pay, adopt one of them! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by Sheryl Crow The album was the beautiful 'Extras' __________________________________________________________ [/i] <u>Jinci[/i] Temple[/i]</b>:[/i]</b> </b></u> Jinci Temple is world-famous because it is an ancient ancestral temple, something which is rare in China.[/i] [/i] Jinci Temple has a long history, which can be traced back to the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC to 711 BC), when King Cheng made his younger brother Yu a leader of one of his states. Yu was an intelligent leader who devoted all his energies to making the state prosperous, so his descendants built a temple for him after his death, in order to honor his achievement. [/i] [/i] Saint Mother Hall, the oldest building in the temple, is one of the main reasons that so many visitors come to the temple. Together with the Flying Bridge across the Fish Pond, and the Offerings Hall, these exquisite buildings provide evidence of a new era in Chinese architecture. For example, the Flying Bridge across the Fish Pond is the only one of its kind that exists now. [/i] [/i] It plays an important role in an investigation of the ancient bridges of China. [/i] [/i] There are three additional wonders that draw people from across the world to the temple. These are: The Figures of The Maidservants, the Zhou Cypress and the Never Aging Spring. Each of the Figures of the Maidservants that stand in the Saint Mother Hall, colored clay sculptures made during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), are unique. Whether these statuettes are washing, sweeping or dancing, they are all sculpted in a vivid and natural way. [/i] [/i] Jinci Temple was, to a certain extent, an imperial garden. [/i] [/i] Accordingly, some three hundred tablets were inscribed for it with writings by emperors, officials and poets, and these now line a scenic path in the temple. The most famous stele was written by the Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty in 646, and it was kept in a pavilion which is now known as 'Zhen Guan Bao Han Pavilion'. Taizong was one of the great emperors of Chinese history. The time from which he inherited the throne from his father became known as the Prosperity of Zhenguan, and people referred to the calligraphy written by him as ' Bao Han', meaing a kind of treasure.

Jinci Temple Adventure

Jinci Temple Adventure


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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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