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Patches Of Green & Slow Death By Incense

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Upon awaking I decided it was time for another green day. I really am enjoying things that are 'totally green' and not 'kind of' green like in the middle north where there are parks full of trees and grass and all things nice but they are either a different shade of green (more like a brownish green) or there is simply less green and more brown in between. After looking at my map I decided to use the very small patches of green as the day's different destinations and that way I would get to see parts of the city most would never think of visiting. The small green patches are simply small local parks and there isn't much to see in any of them except for the cities elderly playing Chinese Chess or singing Karaoke. I caught the subway down to the Changshoulu Station and as I was near it, I decided to add the HUALI TEMPLE into my days NON-itinerary. It can be found somewhere between Liwan Lu and Kangwang Beilu and though it is much smaller than the last few temples I've visited here in Guangzhou it is certainly much more popular and famous due to the Buddhist Relics that have been found there in the past. As it is nestled snuggly between many high rises there isn't much of a draft to blow the smoke away so for those who don't like incense this is not the temple for you. . Add to that the fact that every single person around you for some reason has six million incense sticks and all of them are lit. Seriously, why they need so many is quite beyond me. They race from bow station to bow station leaving several sticks at each. For those who are happy to find their way through the smoke the Huali Temple is a beautiful place to visit. After leaving the temple I made my way down to Wenhua Park which I think is also known as the Guangzhou Cultural Park. Not much to see except for old men playing checkers or reading the newspaper so I decided to head towards the Qingping Market that the LP describes as follows; Just north of Shamian Island, what is bizarrely translated as 'Peaceful Market' has vast displays of medicinal herbs, dried mushrooms and other plants, live birds and tubs of squirming turtles, fish and frogs. Much harder to stomach are the cages full of live animals, including kittens and puppies and more exotic creatures such as bats, owls and monkeys - all put out for human consumption and many are in pitful distress. It is one of the more notorious markets in China and though it has cleaned up its act in the past several years it remains a disturbing place and is NOT recommended. [/i] It must have cleaned up its act a hell of a lot as I really didn't find it disturbing at all. Or maybe because I've been here for so long things just don't shock me anymore. Also maybe due to the fact that there were a million families, all with child and all purchasing a new puppy, kitten, fish or frog. I happily even witnessed two elderly couples passing over the cute puppies and kittens and they both left with a mature cat dog each. I thought that was one of the most beautiful things I've seen since arriving in China four years ago. I was going to head across to Shamian Island for a few hours but decided to leave it for another day when I could spend the afternoon there and then drop into a café/bar/hostel for a steak and a beer. And maybe a chat to a bunch of other foreigners if they don't divert their eyes and play the; 'I'm the only foreigner in China' game. I then followed the noisy Huangsha Dadao around to Liwanhu Park which can be found on the western side of the city near the Guangfo Coach Station. It was a beautiful lake filled park and when I say lake filled it was pretty much several lakes that had walkways and small islands separating them. It was almost silent and as I walked along the pathways many couples stopped me and gave me their camera to take a romantic 'couples' shot of them and for them. Usually when couples stop me they want a picture each with me so it was nice to actually take a picture of a couple together. After a few hours there I slowly zig zagged my way all the way across to Haizhu Guangchang subway station which is found back over near the Shishi Stone Cathedral (or Cathedral of the Sacred Heart) where I was yesterday. Here I caught the train back to the Sanyuanli district and I then headed back to my hotel for a well deserved cold beer. Beers N Noodles toya.....shane ________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by Powderfinger The album was 'Odyssey Number Five' _________________________________________

<u>Hualin </u><u>Temple </u> Although often overlooked in travel guides, Hualin Temple is one of the oldest and most interesting temples in Guangzhou. Known as Xilai Temple until 1655, the place of worship commemorates the arrival of Bodhidharma (who was later to found Zen Buddhism in China) to Guangzhou from India around 525 AD. After Bodhidharma headed north the temple was founded by followers in 527 AD. The Bodhidharma Hall in Hualin Temple, which was reconstructed in the 1990s, stands as tribute to the great monk.

However, the most impressive structure in the temple complex is the 500 Arhat Hall. Constructed in 1851, this hall houses 500 gold-painted carvings of arhats (those who have reached Nirvana), each with a unique pose and expression. Hualin Temple is relatively small compared to other temples, but is particularly atmospheric and interesting. It benefits especially from the English-language explanations of the temple's features and history.

<u>Qingping Market </u> As one of the first markets to flourish after China's 'reopening', until very recently Qingping Market had something of a notorious reputation for its trade in exotic animals. Health scares mean that most of that has now been swept away, but what remains is a fascinating sprawl of literally thousands of stalls scattered over a number of streets. The focus these days is mainly on medicinal herbs and various vegetation. But you'll still find plenty of places proffering weird and wonderful merchandise including dried seahorses and scorpions, not to mention a few tiger claw vendors who continue to warily carry on their business from the streets.

Qingping Market is centered on Qingping Lu and Tiyun Lu (which runs parallel to Luersan Lu to the north). There are also stalls all the way along Luersan Lu from west of Zhuji Lu to east of Qingping Lu. It's well worth taking an half an hour or so to wander around the area.

Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks


Huali Temple,  Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Huali Temple, Wenhua &#38;amp; Liwan Parks

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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