A Travellerspoint blog

October 2008

The Dragon Back Mountains Dam & Temple Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Well hidden gems! Don't you just love finding things that you weren't actually looking for! After spending all Friday night and Saturday night trying to fix my damn laptop, downloading Linux and another thirteen hours worth of updates I thought it was time for a huge walk along the Shangzhou River. As I was walking I was talking to Luo Wei on the phone and crossed over the road I was supposed to take to walk back into town. I'm here now I thought. Why not simply continue and forget about the computer! While walking beneath a huge ocean of blue, forget about the computer is exactly what I did! Soon a huge dam wall came into view and I thought that would be the end of the road. Luckily I noticed some people climbing some stairs to the right of the wall so I thought, 'hey while in China do as the Chinese do and simply follow the person in front' (especially when it comes to tourist areas) and thankfully I did, as when I reached the top I was greeted by the breathtaking view in photo number twenty five on this page. Isn't it strange what you find after asking what there is too find and being told there is nothing to find! I spent the first half of the afternoon walking along the foreshore and debated taking a small ferry across to a small island (in photo number twelve). In the end I decided to save the island for next time and to find a way to climb the huge hill behind me so I could visit the temple that I had been watching for most of my walk. I spent the next hour talking small trails through the trees and finally emerged almost exactly where I wanted to. The end of my track was about ten centimeters to the left of the stair case that took me up to the temple! Before climbing the stairs I stopped to play with a small child who was helping his grandmother fill a bag full of corn that had been drying in the sunshine. I then carried the bag inside their little house (photo eighteen) and was rewarded with a cup of water which was just what I needed after my hill climb (see photo seventeen, I came through the trees from around the back. This is the land right next to their little home). I won't carry on and on about the view from the temple. We all know that temples were the original Mc Donald's and always get the best real estate in town! I simply made it to the top of the stairs and once I saw the view that is where I stayed for the next few hours before giving in to what I thought was the best thing to do. That was to leave before it got dark because now it is much too cold to sleep outside. Slowly I descended the mountain using the road and was greeted by stunning view at each snaking bend. I must say, it was hard to tare myself away from the farmers ploughing the field with cattle! Though it's not something most people would come across every day, maybe even once in a life time, living, travelling and riding where I do I come across it quite a lot. I can't say though that I often come across it on the side of a mountain with such an awesome view with all being belittled by the towering cliffs beside. Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _______________________________________ The soundtrack to the entry was by World Party The album was the incredible' Egyptology' _______________________________________

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

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The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

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The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

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The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

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The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure


The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

The Dragon Back Dam Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

The 2008 Great Aussie Vegemite Care Package

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Seriously, where would be without our friends and family? Today I received a Care Package from both. The first was from Canadian Rob from Shaowo in Fujian Province (my last school). Inside there were two nasal sprays that I can't find here in Xian or Shangluo. It really helps clear the nose from all the coal pollution here in the north. For those that don't know, here in the north of China coal is used for EVERYTHING! From heating to cooking. From small roadside noodle stands to the biggish restaurants You can only imagine how that effect's a hayfever sufferer like me. The long and short of it all behind Rob's Care Package is that he brought back The Black Crows latest CD for me from Canada. I had to wait until I moved to my new school and then I had to wait for one of the four Chinese English Teachers here to actually understand that I simply wanted my school address written in both English and Chinese (believe me, that is another story). Anyhow, so Rob and Li Ping (Joyce) went to China Post in Shaowu and of course they allowed the medicine (drugs) to be sent through the mail but nothing Joyce tried would persuade them to send the music CD through the mail. Do you want to know the reason why they wouldn't allow the music cd to be sent? Because it may have explosives in it! For the normal readers of my blog you will already know how much not only I, but all foreigners hate China Post. It really is the most frustrating experience. One letter in the wrong place and you have to redo ALL paperwork. It doesn't matter that they can all read Chinese and that everyone knows where Xian is, if you put Xian in the wrong box, mate you are in TEEEErouble! Then there are the stupid things they won't allow you to send and the stupid reasons behind not being able to send them. Robs package is the best example. The liquid in the nasal spray could have been replaced with 'anything' yet it was fine to send it but the music cd wasn't allowed to be sent due to it maybe housing explosives. What the! My gawd mate! Explosive I would probably use to describe bands like DEF FX or Rob Zombie! I know the Black Crows are great but I would never describe them as being Explosive! Enough about China Post, just writing them makes me frustrated because I want my Black Crows and I want them now. Damn China Post, damn them all. So where was I? Oh yeah I was about to tell you about the second Care Package I received today. I also received the 2008 Great Aussie Vegemite Care Package from Ma and Pa Kettle. Aren't they bloody beauties mate! Inside were four tubes of Vegemite and a few months worth of antihistamine tablets as I am still yet to find any here in China. When I opened it in the English Teachers office no one wanted to taste it after smelling it! Huh, bloodyhell and fairdinkum mate, coming from people who eat anything with legs and that once moved I find that a bit bloody harsh. I tried to explain how good it was for you and how I used it but it just flew over their heads. So when I got home I got to thinking about how to explain to the Chinese the benefits of the great Aussie Tube of Vegemite. Somehow I don't think they'll understand! Beers N Noodles toya....shane PS: The second 2008 Great Aussie Care Package is still on the way. But I doubt I'll do a blog on that one! Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Sorry inside joke!

PSS: Yes I was bored and it's been nearly two years since I've had vegemite with my morning poached egg! I was waiting for the rain to stop so I could go for a walk on Pagoda Hill. I'm excited! Sheeeezee! _________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by the one and only SOD The album was 'Bigger Than The Devil' _________________________________________________

2008 Aussie Care Package

2008 Aussie Care Package


2008 Aussie Care Package

2008 Aussie Care Package


2008 Aussie Care Package

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2008 Aussie Care Package

2008 Aussie Care Package


2008 Aussie Care Package

2008 Aussie Care Package


2008 Aussie Care Package

2008 Aussie Care Package

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

The Aussie Roo's 4th Birthday in Mysterious China

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Do you ever sit and wonder where your time goes? So do I and I think we all do! Can't bring it back! Bugger! On this day thirty...um...cough cough, splutter splutter...years ago I had the nerve to put my mother through the pain of child birth just so I could relocate myself to China later in life. What type of son am I huh? My first birthday in China was spent in the lush greens rice fields of Guangxi Province. My second was spent in the dry arid desert province of Gansu. My third was spent in the wild bamboo mountain forests of Fujian Province. My fourth I am still enjoying here in the green rugged mountains of Shaanxi Province. I have The Sperm Birds on the iPod and next in line is The MC5 who I'm sure will kick out the jams to help me welcome in my 38th year on this crazy yet beautiful planet. I have a cold beer beside me and I am chatting to several friends on both MSN and QQ. QQ is Chinese Chat and is a cross between MSN/Yahoo and Facebook and it is HUGE! Facebook is very new to all of us but the Chinese have had their version for many years. It's like a One Stop Internet Shop that offers a lot more than what both Facebook and MSN/Yahoo offer combined. So what does a little Aussie-Roo do for his fourth birthday in the mysterious lands of China? I woke around mid morning and decided that I would spend the day walking but the question was where to. I then decided to allow the day figure that one out for me. Not long after leaving home I was chatting to Ting Ting while walking along the river. The sky was a huge sea of blue and soon it was clear that the Birthdays destination was to be found at the eastern end of town. I spent the next six hours walking through fields of corn that also housed an ancient Pagoda whose much larger twin I soon found in the sports grounds of the high school nearby. The tracks through the fields soon led me to small villages where families were busy doing anything and everything to corn. So much corn! I've never seen so much corn! In these village grew the very rare Chinese Corn Tree! So what does a little Aussie-Roo eat and drink for his fourth birthday in the mysterious lands of China?

Have you gone mad? Beers N Noodles of course!

My lunch noodles were from a really greasy noodle bar down the road a bit. The place hasn't been cleaned for a million decades but the noodles they serve are so delicious. Along with my noodles I had a little bag of crispy beans and other assorted 'good for you' things in a garlic sauce. For dinner it was soup full thick flat noodles with cauliflower, bok choy, more beans, tofu and a flat round bread and later while on MSN/QQ it was an assortment of different Chinese beers. When I left my school in the morning I came across a little snack stall that was selling various yummy things from a skinned monkey to freshly killed snakes. He also threw in different types of 'growth' some of which resembled Davey Jones facial hair from 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. Ok, it wasn't a snack stall but a traditional Chinese Medicine Man/Dude/Person/Thing. So that is how an Aussie Roo spends his fourth birthday in the mysterious lands of China! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was both The Spermbirds 'Joe' And The MC5 'Live' _________________________________________________ PS: I would like to thank Facebook for a bumper crop of happy birthday wishes this year! Thank you everyone..I really do miss you all!

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk


Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Happy Birthday Pagoda Walk

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

National Day..Green Parks, Temples N Good Friends

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Winter clothes! I sometimes surprise myself as to where I end up shopping for clothes. Besides spending time with Luo Wei, the main reason for coming to Xian these holidays was to search for some warmer clothes for the coming onslaught of freezing cold tempretures. I have a couple of pairs of thermals and very thin micro-fibre cargo pants that zip off at the knee. One could not say that I will be warm when winter hits. I have been here for several days and I have not purchased a single item of warmth. So todays plan was to search for and purchase at least some of what I need! I left hotel around mid morning and was welcomed by a beautiful warm and sunny day. Prior to immursing myself amongst the millions of shoppers I went in search of breakfast. I headed across to the Art District where I usually choose between several of the streets eats. I found my little old lady who whips up an awesome egg and tofu bread 'thing' and after purchasing three of them I sat near the districts gateway to relax and eat. Here I met two guys from England who were happily munching away on the same breakfast as I. We got to talking and I found out they were on a whirlwind tour of northern China. Several days in Beijing, a single day and night in Xian and then tonight they were boarding a train and heading across to the east coast province of Zhejiang where they will stay in Hangzhou for a few days and it will then be off to Shanghai. Though it is a whirlwind tour, by the time they get home they will have seen a lot more of China, gained a first hand experience of the food, sights, smells and most of all the 'vibe' of China that all those who are still at home dreaming about it will ever experience. As they had only an afternoon left I put plan B into action! That being what I normally do, allow a completely unplanned day come to life! All thoughts of winter clothes were forgotten somewhere between G'Mate and Where are you off to now. As I had been thinking of heading to the Botanical Gardens and they were heading to the Dayang Pagoda (The Big Goose Pagoda/Music Square) we all jumped into a cab and soon we were watching the world's biggest music fountain in action. It was then a walk around the exterior of the pagoda grounds before I left them with an Israely couple who were also waiting for a cab back to the comforts within Xian's ancient walls. I then continued walking south and made my way to the Botanical Gardens. What do you think of when you hear the words Botanical Gardens? Most usually think of one of the city's most beautiful and diverse gardens. I have been to many Botanical Gardens all over the Asian world and usually that is what you get. Lush green grass, a flurry of magnificent colours and smells and a memory stick full of memories. So if you are like me and love Botanical Gardens then you can skip the Xian Botanical Gardens. Instead of my usual many hours I was in and out in about forty minutes and that was dragging out the time despretally searching what I thought was missing. That being lush green grass and a flurry of magnificent colours and smells. After leaving in total disappointment I decided to continue my southern adventure and I entered the tiny streets that housed the ruins of Tang's Temple of Heaven. It took a few stops and starts but I finally found what I was looking for. Sadly though there was a gate with a huge padlock on it that separated me from the temple ruins. Soon I was joined by two Chinese students who were studying in Taiyuan City in Shanxi Province. One of them was from Guilin City in Guangxi and the other was from Quanzhou city in Fujian Province. I have spend a year and a half in each province so we had a lot to talk about. The Temple of Heaven served as a stage of solemn rites performed by the Son of Heaven who preyed there for good harvests, and sought divine clearance and atonement for the sins of the people and it was built in an assortment of shapes the symbolized both heaven and earth.[/i] I was going to continue west to the ruins of the Tang Mingde Gate but I decided to join them instead and soon we boarded Bus No: 504 on Chang An Lu (near the huge Television Tower) and five minutes later we were being dropped off at the Tomb of Qin Huhai. For those who don't know who he is here is a bit of information for you; In 1974 peasants drilling a well uncovered one of the largest and most important finds of the 20th Century. An underground vault that eventually yielded thousands of terracotta soldiers and horses in battle formation. So awesome are they that no two soldiers faces are alike. The man behind the terracotta warriors was the man who first unified China. He began his rule at aged thirteen and over the next thirty six years he created an efficient, centralised government, standardised measurements, currency and writing and he also built over six thousand four hundred kilometers of new roads and canals. And in his spare time he conquered six major kingdoms. The man was none other than Qin Shi Huang and he was the father of Qin Huhai who was buried beneath the mound of dirt that I visited today. What were his achievements? Your guess is as good as mine. We visited the tomb mainly to see a different part of Xian and because it was cool to visit the tomb of the son of the great Terracotta Warrior Dude, no matter how freaky his other side was. Eg: paranoid control freak who enslaved hundreds of thousands of people to work on his 'projects, ordered all written texts to be burnt and who didn't like criticism so much that he had nearly five hundred scholars buried alive.[/i] If you have been to Xian and are wondering where this little visited tomb is, you can find it in the bottom left hand corner of the city map you can purchase just about everywhere in Xian. It is right on the outskirts of the city and just about off the map. Across from the tomb there is a huge surprise to be found. On the map it is a small green patch where the Hanyao Temple is found. What was once 'nothingness' has been transformed into 'the new China'. That being one thousand five hundred acres of beautiful park lands. Construction began in July 2007 and was completed by July 2008. It is known as The Park of Qujiang Pool Relics. What the relics are and what the pool was I have no idea, I just know that what is there now is beautiful and well worth an afternoons visit. There is a huge lake, tree lined walk ways, eateries and thousands of happy people having fun in peddle boats, lazing on the green grass and walking from here there. This is what China is now striving for. A much greener and harmonous world for their people to live in. Ever so slowly many of the main cities are being transformed into places such as this. One just has to look at cities such as Guilin and Nanning where huge park lands are being built around historical sites such as the Hanyao Temple. Of course there is so much 'old China' (meaning white tiled horrid cities) that unless you are here for a long time these changes are barely noticeable. But thankfully it is happening and for me it is happening rather quickly. Since China has opened its doors, eyes and ears to the rest of the world its new governments have obviously had a complete mind shift as to what real beauty is. I have seen this first hand on many occasions and a huge example is the city of Yinchuan in Ningxia Province. All new buildings are of a modern European/Western style and all can easily compete with any of those found in any western city. There are none of the standard white tiled concrete blocks that China has become so famous for (not in a good way!). China is changing and changing at a much quicker pace than any other country on earth. People often ask me why I want to live here and why I have no plans on returning home for some time. Not only do I love the people and life here but each time I travel I am witness to how the oldest civilization on earth is not only changing but also desperately trying to save its history and merge the both of them together. An amazing feat and sadly one that really can't be put into words nor captured on film. The closest thing I've found would be the BBC Documentary 'Wild China'. If you haven't seen it, please do as it shows China for who it is now. Not the China we know of from the past. The Hanyao Temple cost ten Yuan and is worth a visit but only if you are in the area or like me, are simply using it as a destination to see what can be found in between point A & B. It is run down, hasn't seen a cleaner or a gardener for decades and is very much waiting for a temple renovation to give it a lick of paint and a much needed new anceint face. Whilst walking around it is easy to see how beautiful it must have been in its heyday. By the time I walked all the way back to the city I was starving. Happily I got a call from my buddy Ying to see if I had eaten. Ying is from Zhengzhou in Henan Province and spent about five years in London as a student and then working. I think I've written about Ying before. We met in KFC and were surprised each other by the fact that we both had the same keyring as we were staying in the same hotel. Not long after the phone call we were sitting down with his girlfriend at a local dumpling eatery and believe me, by the time we finished you could have rolled me to the Hostel for a beer. Yes, I was full! But that was my food stomach! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by the one and only Xavier Rudd The album was 'Solace' __________________________________________________________

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem


Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Hanyao Temple, Qujiand Park, Qin Huhais Tomb & Tem

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

National Day N the Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Xian City, once known as Chang'an and one of the most famous cities on earth. A metropolis that once influenced the greater world. Here I sit once again in a hostel filled with people from all races. Around me there are blacks, whites, yellows, Europeans, Americans, English, Africans and from what I can gather, one rather silly Aussie. A completely different Xian that I entered almost nine years ago. Present day Xian fits more that of Chang'an city of yesteryear where many of the worlds great religions once swam happily together in the one tea cup. Sitting at the end of the Silk Road people from all walks of life once unloaded camel caravans full of goods from almost every continent on earth! This city is now my home but it is a home that no matter how many times I open my eyes to I will never be able to comprehend the fact that it really is the place I am to call 'home'. It was home to eleven dynasties that stretch all the way back to the Zhou Dynasty in the eleventh century BC, that is 1100 to 221 BC. That is a big call for almost everyone on earth let alone an Aussie with a history of just over two hundred years. If I had traces of Aboriginal in me I'm sure I could stand proud and better anyone here right now. But I don't so I shall simply continue to walk around in amazement. I arrived several days ago and met a sleep walking Luo Wei at the Mc Donald's near the train station. She was so totally exhausted and run down that she has simply slept nearly all of the past several days. She wakes, looks around the room and within seconds is fast asleep again. I don't think I have ever experienced what she is feeling right now, mainly due to the fact that in the western world we are not allowed to work the hours she is working. She works from half past seven in the morning until after midnight most nights. Some of those nights (or mornings) she maybe have to take students to the Xian hospital, do her best to sleep in a chair and then be back at her uni in time for work the next day and then continue. If students are lost in the mountains then she and some others have no choice but to go to those mountains and search until they are found and then be back at work the same day in time for work. We would simply laugh at our boss and call the union and go home after an eight hour working day. If our working day is twelve hours then once again we could call the unions and go home. Not only that we would be well paid for any over time we agreed to work. She gets paid around three Aussie dollars for any extra day she works. That means her salary is for five days a week. She hasn't had a single day off for well over a month and any extra day, meaning weekends, she gets paid twenty Yuan for the day. But it doesn't matter how many hours she works each day during the week, there is no overtime after eight hours. They simply have to work until the days workload is finished. Think of that when you complain about your job and boss! There is no meal allowance and many times there are no meals. There is no double time, triple time or even over time. There is just a workload that must be finished. Life my friends is not always what it seems! And I am and never will be always what I seem! But then again, have I ever been what I seem to be? Huh? During one of my days wanderings somewhere out of the cities Southy Gate I came across the Daxingshan Temple and it was an excellent find! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by The Lonious Monk Quartet The album was 'At Carnegie Hall' __________________________________________________________ Situated in the suburbs south of Xian is the Daxingshan Temple; one of the oldest Buddhist temples in China. It was built during the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316). During the Sui and Tang dynasties, Buddhism prevailed widely in Chang'an, Xian City's earlier name. Many Indian monks remained there to translate the sutras and promulgate the Buddhist doctrines. Over time, the Daxingshan Temple became one of three temples especially used for translating sutras. The other two are Ci'en Temple and Jianfu Temple. [/i] [/i] The present-day Daxingshan Temple is the result of large-scale restorations in 1955 and 1983. Inside the temple, Qing-style architectural features are predominant, including Mountain Gate, Devajara Hall (Hall of the Heavenly Kings), Mahavira Hall (Daxiongbaodian), Bell and Drum Towers, Kwan-yin Palace and many other halls in which Buddhist followers can pray. [/i] [/i] As one enters the Mountain Gate, the Bell and Drum towers can be seen on either side. A wood-carved Maitreva statue from the Song Dynasty stands in the middle of the Devajara Hall, with four Heavenly Kings flanking it. On walking into the Kwan-yin Palace, a sandalwood-made, thousand-hand Kwan-yin statue is sure to surprise you! During some of the Buddhist festivals, the temple is crowded with believers. Today, the Daxingshan Temple and its surroundings have been developed into a park temple and is open to tourists.

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Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure


Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Daxingshan Temple Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)