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Luoyang, Day 4

Luoyang, China


We arrived in Luoyang by train in the early morning. After checking-in to the hotel in town, we got ready for a short drive out to the Shaolin temple. After a local lunch we visited the temple at the base of a mountain whose peak looks as though Buddha is lsleeping on his back (it kinda looks like that). The shaolin temple was one of the most anticipated sites to visit for the trip. The following events occurred:

DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAMERA?!

The Shaolin temple is pretty much on its own park. There are countless children and youth training away and maintaining their own grounds. The main focal attractions at the site are the theatre, where you can see them perform and train (its a choreographed show really) and the pagoda forest, a collection of small pagodas dedicated to the past shaolin masters. The performance was impressive but has an edge of feeling over rehearsed. After the show, which was really too short, you can buy shirts and other momentos outside. This is where we encountered the master of the five-fingered discount. I was talking with the shop keepers and students interested in buying some stuff from the store and I put my video camera down for a second. A minute later, it magically disappeared, in th emidst of only about 5 people. My camera DV got yanked! And not only that, the DVD's that Robert and I bought where bogus. They weren't the performance that we saw, it was a lame instructional video... it was a shaolin hustle. A lesson in impermanence.

Other than the slight damper of the theft, the religious ceremony at the temple and the pagoda forest were quite interesting and impressive. Although, on the way out of the pagoda forest, I did see a monk kick a blind beggar in the back to get him out. Not very compassionate... then again, there is a serious contradiction with having monks be powerful warriors. There's somehting not right about Peace, Compassion, and Butt-kicking. Still, it was cool to see all these things; monks doing head stands, breakig stuff, etc. I mean, we've seen so much stuff in film and TV, it was nice to go to the source of it all.

As we drove away that evening there was a huge reddish moon rising above the mountains. It was the start of the mid-autumn festival (moon cake festival). Later, we finished the day off with hour long foot massages. It was great and I almost forgot that I got ripped off earlier.


permalink written by  Benjamin Satterfield on September 17, 2005 from Luoyang, China
from the travel blog: China Tour Fall 2005
tagged China, Theft, Luoyang, Shaolin, Temple, Buddha, Monks, Kungfu, Pagoda and Camera

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Tomorrow's itinerary

Dali, China


AM: Walked around Dali's Old City; found the local market which was very photogenic. Tried to retrace my steps to the walnut lady but could not find her after three attempts. Bought fruit.

AM: Walked atop the [new] Old City wall and enjoyed many picturesque views. Filled my SD card in my camera - sat for a long time deleting photos and videos. The 'highlight' was finding an almost 6 minute accidental video. It was from the vantage point of my belly of me washing my hands, breathing, flossing - quite a hoot! DELETE!

PM: Ate spicy mint for lunch. Not a favorite but worth a try.

PM: Went for an oil foot massage. I fell asleep at one point so was pretty good.

PM: Inquired at the front desk about walking to a pagoda I was prominantly from the [new] Old City wall. It looked close enough to reach on foot but I wanted to be sure there weren't fences or such in the way. She suggested I take a bus. She wrote the name of the stop. Having been informed by the same person that I could flag down the #4 bus anywhere along the road I stood off the side walk & waited. The first bus came and by the time I noticed the small #4 it was too late to flag it down. The second would not stop. Neither did the third. The fourth bus did stop. I showed the driver the stop I wanted and paid my 1.5rmb. I assumed it would be only 2 or 3 stops away. Miles away I ask my seat mate about the stop I want. We had passed it long ago. The bus driver than acknowledged that he had forgotten. I motioned to get off so that I could cross the street and hail a bus going back the way I wanted. He said to stay and he'd get me there on the return trip. That he did. But I had to go all the way to the bottom of the lake eating up a lot of time. But hey, I guess he saved me 24 cents. :-/ At the bus station I had to switch to another bus, my first driver explaining to the second driver why I didn't have to pay and where I was to get off. I could have walked there by now! Well, I finally was advised as to where to get off and... it was not the pagoda I had wanted to visit. It was no where near the city wall I was looking from. But there I was road side. I crossed the street. The temple was shut and locked. I walked around the side. Behind the complex holding two pagodas and across the alley was an open temple. I wandered through there taking pictures. It was quite nice but I'm getting templed out. I wanted to climb a pagoda! I went back to the road and caught another #4 bus back to my guest house. I told the desk sraff of the misunderstanding and my misadventure. The owner [who is native English speaking] tells me the pagoda I want to see is an easy walk, no fences or barriers of consequence. Tomorrow's challenge!



permalink written by  prrrrl on March 12, 2012 from Dali, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Pagoda, Mint, FootMassage and Misunderstanding

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