Sunday, October 9, 2011

Some field trips and exploration! Part 3 And 4

I’m skipping ahead to tell you about my latest journey (this past weekend), since it is definitely still fresh in my mind. This time, instead of Daoist, it is Buddhist, and we went to Big Buddha at Leshan. Everything there was huge! I’ll show you my pictures, but I gotta say (just like in my last post) you can’t really know until you go to these places yourself. (Ailene blatantly promoting China)

We started out at 7:30 am, when all we all wanted to do was sleep in on a Saturday morning. =/ But it had to be done. We wanted to go to Leshan before the weather turns too cold for us to go many places. (We've heard many times that winter here is unlike winters anywhere else.) So we head to the bus station in a taxi (using my rudimentary Mandarin) and are soon on our way to see Big Buddha (乐山大佛). Two hours later we arrive in Leshan, but definitely not near the mountain where Big Buddha is located. I don’t think that we would have known where to start. However, there was another bus waiting to transport a bunch of tourists like us to the mountain for a small fee (1 CNY = US$0.15). Generally, I would always say, “I don’t think so,” but I am learning in China that beggars cannot necessarily be choosers. We’ve lucked out and haven’t been too swindled thus far. I guess they only want their money and know that there are some desperate people out there. =) And they never lead us to shady places, which is nice.


Inside the park we definitely got to see some amazing carvings and sculptures. It’s extraordinary that so much has survived over the years. There’s something to be said for some things that are enduring. Here are some of the favorite things I saw in the park.





After exploring the park, we finally got to Big Buddha. Oh my goodness! The crowd here was so large! That was definitely where all the Chinese tourists were at. We didn't want to be crushed, and we had no idea how to get a boat so we could take pictures from a safe distance. But alas, we wanted to see him so we followed the crowd to go down the cliff. Lol 40 minutes in line. 20 minutes to get down the cliff. Kind of like lines at Disneyland. But it was worth it. If you Wikipedia Leshan Big Buddha and look at the picture provided, we were in the line of people on the right. It was a press of bodies I’m getting more and more used to since there are so many people everywhere! Here are a progression of photos as we go down the cliff. It was really neat!




We didn’t expect to spend the entire day in this one area, but it was a really nice surprise that we were able to.

This coming week is a long National Holiday (celebrating the PRC and its independence from the ROC) and my travels will take me to a province to the south of Sichuan, called Yunnan. The scenery there is supposed to be spectacular. Definitely some amazing pictures coming your way next week when I come back.


So, I shall leave you all with some pictures of our field trip to Yellow Dragon Town (黄龙溪镇). This town is about 2 hours outside of Chengdu and is an Ancient Town dating all the way back to the Three Kingdoms. A lot of the buildings and structures from later periods have been preserved, so walking around you get a small taste of what China was before the fall of the last dynasty in 1911. Interesting fact, because Yellow Dragon Town has preserved so much of its ancient architecture, it has been used to shoot hundreds of period films in China. Neat, right?! I really enjoyed it.


Here we go.


!!! This place was really great.

The main street of the town, restaurants and shops all the way.

A structure built to overlook the stream that flows through the town.

A building we found in the back alley. More authentic for it.

More adventures to come!

Ailene



3 comments:

  1. Wow! Love your posts as usual. Thanks for sharing with us! The level of art and culture in China is amazing. I feel like I'm getting to see what the real Chinese would want to see, not "attractions."

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  2. It's so interesting to read your posts and see China vicariously. What exciting places you're experiencing. Thank you

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  3. Thanks ladies! I'm not going to lie. It always gives me a small thrill when people comment, so thanks for feeding that gratification!

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