Sunday, October 21, 2007


I caught a train leaving Yichang at 11:30 and the train ride was not as long as I had thought so arrived into Louyang at 9PM rather than the 1AM that I thought it would be. Some of the same people that had been on the cruise where in the bed area next to me on the train so we exchange the 4 or so words of English that they knew. I also sort of talked to the other people in my little area. They wanted to know the price of my phone and then they could not believe when I told them it cost about 3000 Yuan. They all seem to have really nice phones but none of them name brands that I have heard of. My age came up which is always a question I seem to get ask and even though usually someone speaks enough English to ask me this question I sort of expect it now so sometime just answer 44 to any question. I showed them my old Virginia driver’s license and this seemed to get a great deal of interest but I’m not sure if that was to show my birth date or the picture of me without a beard. We also talked about where I had been and they told me some places I should go. The guide book is really a great help with these types of things but they were also using a Chinese guide book that did not help me a lot since there was only a couple of names in Pinyin and everything else in Chinese charters but I did sort of understand the map. It is really amazing how you can sort of talk to people with not much of a common language. I also got led to a mirror on the train so I could get my picture taken with someone that was holding the camera himself.

On arriving in Louyang I was really hungry and the restaurant closest to my hotel was a hot pot place. I was really glad when they handed me a menu in English since I had wanted to give hotpot another try with an English menu. I really enjoyed the hotpot this time even though I am sure they gave me the little hot option rather then the hot option because it was no where close to as hot as the one I tried in Chengdu. I was able to order carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and sausage. I had way too much food but did my best to eat as much as I could and thought it was great. I did not take any pictures of the food this time but did take one of the wait staff.

In Louyang I spent most of one day visiting the Longmen caves and the area around them. I found the caves really impressive especially the Ancestor Worshipping Temple and was glad that I made the trip to Louyang. I had been to the Yungang caves earlier in this trip and was not overly impressed so was wondering if going to Louyang would be a mistake. I don’t know if it was just the fact that it was not pouring down rain in Longmen like it had been in Yungang but I really enjoyed walking around the Longmen caves. There were some minor caves on the east side of the river as well as the Xiangshan Temple and the Bai Juyi’s Tomb. I think the best thing about walking around on the east side of the river was the views of the west side and landscape.

The bus to the Longmen caves goes past the Guanlin Temple so I figured I might as well stop in and see it on the way back into the city. I could tell on entering the temple was not a Buddhist temple but I was not sure what kind of temple it was. I reread my guide book and it did not say what kind of temple it was. I guessed it was a Taoist temple until I read a sign that said something like this figure is reading the book from Confucius so figured it must be a Confucian temple but I am still not 100% sure.

I spent my second day in Louyang visiting the Shaolin Temple. I was disappointed that it did not look at all like it did in the King Fu series and I did not see David Carradine anywhere. Really I have seen to many temples on this trip and think it is going to take a really impressive temple at this point to impress me. I did enjoy the forest of pagodas and the area around the temple. The leaves are changing and taking a chair lift up the mountain gave me a great chance to enjoy the view.

I messed up and missed the last exhibition of kung fu but did enjoy watching some of the teaching and was amazed by the number of pupils.

1 comment:

  1. hi keith, looks like you're having fun over there. What's next after China?
    Did I mention bokbierfestival is this weekend?

    BTW: I hate you made me signup with google to allow for comments, you dont seem to reply on my emails...

    Did I mention Bokbierfestival?