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The City of Springs, a Temple, a Lake & Some BBQ

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, This night finds Luo Wei and I and our air-conditioner in Jinan City. Ji’nan is capital of Shandong Province and is located in the mid west of Shandong. I must say though Ji’nan wasn’t so kind to us upon arrival and it made me angry for the first time in a long time. We caught a bus from the Qufu city bus station and after a two and a half hour journey we found ourselves at the cities Long Distance Bus Station. We were both excited until we grabbed a cab to the train station area. The cab driver kept looking at me and my pack and then asked Luo Wei why we were in Ji’Nan. Upon her response he informed us that Ji’Nan City was the location for the 2009 China Olympic Games and that the Chinese government had told all hotels not to accept foreigners as all accommodation was for the Chinese tourists and sports people. That was it for me, my anger flew! Each time I travel I go through at lease one or two cities where it is near impossible to find hotels that have been given permission to house foreigners and I remember once walking around for around five or six hours before someone took pity on me and took me and rang around to their hotel friends and finally found a hotel that would accept me. This is kind of normal and when it happens it frustrates me and I get kind of angry but in the end its no ones fault. But yesterday the first thing I thought of was the fact that I have been here for four and a half years and haven’t seen my family for that time and am given four months a year off to travel and spend my salary IN CHINA and at the drop of a hat the government can then turn around and kick me and tell me that basically an entire city is closed to me just because they say so…why? Because I am a foreigner! What would happen if we were to do that in a western country now days! Oh, I forgot to add that we were entitled to stay at four or five star hotels….righ! Anyhow, before Luo Wei ripped my eyes out for abusing her government one more time she remembered that her office mate was here visiting his brother and after giving him a call we were in a cab and then sitting at a restaurant eating a most awesome fungus and pork dish ever. His brother had been in the Ji’nan army for over five years and he had called a friend who had called a friend and soon we were at a beautiful hotel near the Quangcheng Square and paying not much more than I am normally willing to pay. <u>The City & Quancheng Square</u> We spent our first night being shown around town by Luo Wei’s office buddy and his brother. They took us to Quancheng Square which is the cities huge main square and it was full of friends and families all out trying to catch the nights cool breeze. I love Chinese city squares as there is so much going on. There people kicking little sand bags, playing soccer, skating, the young in skate school learning how to skate, the elderly dancing, those into martial arts practicing all types of martial arts and most of all most city squares have some sort of music fountain and the Ji’nan music fountain is beautiful. From the square we took to the footpaths and then to the back streets where we were shown the cities equivalent of the Musolum Quarter in Xi’an city. Here we were fed on a hundred different meat and seafood sticks and smiles. We had such a wonderful evening and once again it is hard to put into words the lengths that the Chinese will go to make sure you are comfortable and happy in the city you find yourself in. I also felt the frustration from my arrival in Ji’nan lift from my body. The city totally changes at night and changes into something much more welcoming and beautiful. During the day Ji’nan is very much a modern Chinese city but at night the back streets are vibrant and welcome you with a stick of bbq or ten. <u>Daming</u><u> Park</u><u></u> Today (Friday) we rose earlyish and after a breakfast of meat filled steamed buns (boutza) we caught a cab to Daming Lake.Park which is Ji’nans answer to Hangzhou’s West Lake. Lake Daming is actually rather big and is fed by the natural springs that Ji’nan is famous for. The park itself costs 30 Yuan to enter and you could easily spend the morning or afternoon walking its length and back (as you can not cross the lake or walk entirely around it). The park itself is very beautiful and is full of different types of gardens and grass areas. You will also find several ancient temples within the park and both are free to enter. The Tie Xuan Temple was built in 1792 AD to commemorate Tie Xuan who was the Army Minister during the Ming Dynasty. It is full of winding corridors, lotus ponds, writings and paintings and as it sits right on the lake side it also offers beautiful views. You can also visit the tiny Polaris Temple which began construction in the seventeenth year of Zhi Yuan (1280 AD) and it houses a statue of Zhen Wu (god of Xuan Tian) and in later years the Qi Sheng Hall was added which houses statues of his parents. As it is built on a high terrace it also offers spectacular views of the lake. You can get to the south and southwest gate of the park by bus 11 at the railway station, the east gate by bus No. 31, 36, 37, the north gate by bus No. 6 and the southwest gate by tourist bus No. 41 or 66. <u>Baotu</u><u> Spring Park and Five Dragon Pook Park</u> Jinan has an alias of the Spring City (Quan Cheng) because of over seven hundred natural springs run through the city. My Lonely Planet states that the cities much vaunted springs are over-promoted in the tourist blurb and are of limited interest BUT strolling around their adjacent parks can be a pleasant escape from the cities foot numbing distances. Hello! If it wasn’t for the springs there would be no parks! Luo Wei and I spent a few hours walking around the Baotu Spring Park and the Five Dragon Pool Park and we both found them more than beautiful and very interesting. I mean here we were in China and we could fill our empty water bottles and then drink the water. If that’s not interesting then I don’t know what is….hahaha! Seriously, the springs really are a great way to see the locals out having fun. You’ll find the elderly dancing or singing and the young having water fights between drinking clean and fresh spring water. Today it was so hot yet the springs offered a huge drop in tempreture and a more comfortable place to spend the afternoon. I’m not sure of all the buses you can catch to the Quancheng Square and the Baotu Spring Park but I do know you can catch Bus No: 66 <u>Guandi</u><u> Temple</u><u> & An Awesome Restaurant</u> After the Five Dragon Pool we began heading back to the restaurant we had lunch in yesterday (yes the food was that good!) and decided to track down the small Guandi Temple which we actually found almost directly across from the temple. If you do find yourself at the Guandi Temple walk back to the zebra crossing and once you are across the other side you will find a small white eatery with a bbq cooker at the front door. There is no English but the Jian Yu (a kind of friend fish) is mouth wateringly delicious as is the fungus and pork. The Guandi Temple is a simple and very small temple that I personally found to be one of the most charming temples that I have ever visited. It is more than cozy and you will find the red-faced God of War stroking his beard as he glares out over a row of burning candles. Upon the walls you will find many beautiful yet fading paintings. It was locked when we first arrived but the temple man soon came to our rescue and unlocked the door for us. To find the temple head to the Five Dragon Pool Parks west gate and you will find it soon after (heading away from Walmart and towards the large Merchant Bank Building). We actually passed it last night and I thought it was a small restaurant as it has a small gate building and then a set of stairs that lead to the main shrine area. I am not sure of the history of the temple but I found the below printed on a sign at the front door and I think this alone warrants a visit to the temple. . There are many auspicious animals in Chinese history among which the lion of the Guandi Temple is a good example. It is said that Guan Yu defeated Maicheng, his horse named Chi Tu was taken by Sun Quan. But Chi Tu was so loyal to Guan Yu that it stopped eating and drinking died after seven days. In order to canonize Chi Tu’s loyalty people later changed some characteristics of the lions of the Guandi Temple for example the lions now bare a horses tail and horses ears and these are totally unique to the lions of the Guandi Temple. Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by World Party The album was the most awesome 'Egyptology’ ____________________________________________________________ The Ji’nan area has been inhabited for more than four thousand years. Chengziya in the eastern Zhangqiu City is where the Longshan Culture was first discovered in 1928. One of the unique features of Longshan Culture is the skill of pottery making demonstrated in recovered black pottery relics - some of which are as thin as egg shells. Jinan city is a historical city with a history of some 2000 years and is famed for its numerous relics. It is the cradle of the Longshan Relics Culture, the reputed prehistoric culture of China and is found in Longshan Town of Jinan, hence the name. In the area of Jinan, you will find far more than you would expect, the ancient Great Wall of the Qi State (a state of the Zhou Dynasty (770B.C. &#8211; 221B.C.)), the colored sculptures of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) in the Lingyan Temple etc. Since the 5th century, Buddhism has flourished in Jinan. The Langgong Temple in the southern county of Licheng was one of the most important temples in northern China at that time. The same period witnessed extensive building of Buddhist architectures in southern counties of Licheng and Changqing such as Lingyan Temple, Thousand-buddha Cliff etc. Jinan is the home of Lu Cai (Shandong cuisine), a popular cuisine of China. Jinan is the right place to see some very typical festivals including The Lantern Festival in the Baotu Spring Park, the Lotus Festival in the Daming Lake Park and the Double-Nine Festival on the Thousand-Buddha Mountain. Jinan is a hospitable city and receives tourists from all over the world. Marco Polo once visited Jinan and left words of praise to this city. The Baotu Spring, Daming Lake and the Thousand Buddha Mountain decorate Jinan as a Garden City. Compared with other capital cities, or other large and medium-size cities in China, Jinan has few advantages and lacks a metropolitan atmosphere, the highlight being its numerous springs. Some people say Jinan's glamour is not merely its enticing natural beauty, but more the warmth of the Jinan people. The beauty of nature is thin and weak, but the beauty that comes from people will last forever. SEE TOMORROWS ENTRY FOR THE &#8216;THOUSAND BUDDHA MOUNTAIN, THE MOSQUE, THE MUSLIM BBQ STREET AND THE BEAUTIFUL BOTANICAL GARDENS.

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan


Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Springs, Lakes BBQ &#38;amp; Temples in Ji&#38;#39;Nan

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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