Wednesday, March 20, 2013

China Trip: Hangzhou

After Shanghai we headed out to what turned out to be the city with my favorite sight, Hangzhou. This time we rode our tour bus (no plane), and on the way back to Shanghai, we stopped at Suzhou. But first, Hangzhou.

Pagoda One at West Lake
We visited West Lake, where we rode a boat, saw the three pagodas in the lake, and then headed to the close-by, Lingyin Temple. I loved Lingyin Temple. Many, many Buddha (in various stages of his life) are carved into the hillsides, and the temple itself, seems to go one forever. I am not sure how big it is because we were limited on time, but it was the most amazing sight. Yes, even more amazing than the Great Wall.

I think what I liked about the temple so much was how old it is. This Buddhist monastery was built during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 - 420 A.D.).

It is customary to light incense here, and then you bow four times. I think this was for good luck...

Dragon carving on the incense holder
Even the railings along the stairs were carved beautifully.

We also visited the Lihue Pagoda and a tea farm.

Lihue Pagoda
From afar, the hillsides of the tea farm reminded me of wine country in Napa. We saw workers picking tea leaves, drying them, and enjoyed some green tea.


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