zaterdag 13 augustus 2011

The giant Buddha of Le Shan

Well hello there again!

This is the continuation of my previous blog post where I visited Du Jiang Yan (都江堰) and ended in my hotel in Le Shan (樂山). Having spent a night in a hotel and sleeping with the air-conditioning on to the max, I felt renewed the next day. I also managed to watch the news in a language that I can understand (English) for the first time since I arrived in China. Both refreshed and updated of the world news, I felt it was a great start of the day. 
When in China, you need to eat the local food, and so breakfast should also be Chinese. I had rice porridge with Baozi (steamed meat buns), delicious! 

And off I went to a place that I have been looking forward to visiting:  the 71 meter tall Buddha in Le Shan! So I got there in the morning using the same tactic as the day before, get there before the main crowd arrived.

Unfortunately I was not as lucky this day as the day before as when I entered, I saw that there was a horde of people already present. It left me no choice but to queue up in line to get close to the giant Buddha statue. The large amount of people being stuck on a small area made the air heavy and warm. Sweating was unavoidable and it did not take long before I lost a liter of water. Luckily I took quite a supply of water with me, which any of you will go to China during summer should as well!
Standing in queue for over two hours sounds like torture. It actually was torture, but at least torture with some interesting things to see! On the walls there are many statues carved into them. Unfortunately, what you will notice is that many of them are damaged severely. This was due to the Cultural Revolution 40 years ago.  Many old statues, books, paintings and other historical artifacts were destroyed in this period, and this site was also one of the many victims.  

What you will see very often in China is that people will try to cut in queue right in front of you, they will try to force themselves in front of you even if you are looking them straight into the eyes! There was a guy behind me constantly saying that I can move forward and after a while he tried to slip in front of me. I stopped him and politely told him to not cut queue as we have all been waiting just as long as you are. After that he remained quiet and behaved, so I guess I now know what to do when people try to get in front of you!
A little bit further down the queue I saw something that I thought was only present in the Amazon; there were two rivers with different colors flowing into one larger river. This resulted in a river with two distinct different colors. Pretty neat, even if it looked like as if a big oil spill happened here…

Patience is a virtue, and man I had patience! More than two hours later in the burning heat, I finally arrived at the foot of the giant Buddha, literally! But all the waiting was well worth it, the view was amazing!

There is a clear difference between the very down-to-earth Dutch and the more ‘spiritual’ Chinese and that was noticeable here. At the foot of the statue, there was a small altar where you could burn scent sticks and three cushions where people can do their prayers on if anyone wants to and people really did! There was always at least one person occupying a cushion to pray for fortune, health and luck for themselves or someone that they care about. This difference in culture is very noticeable in the daily life of Chinese as they have many luck charms and other decoration in their houses to give them good fortune.

After spending a couple of moments here looking around and standing in awe of the size of the statue, I left to statue and walked towards the exit near the entrance, or at least I thought that was the case. Instead I accidentally walked to the wrong direction and ended up at the other side of the area! Result? An extra one and a half hour of walking through the heat, so always bring an extra bottle of water with you when you go out for sightseeing!
Tired from walking and almost boiling from the sun, I left Le Shan and went back to Chengdu and thus ending my two day trip.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and follow me in the future as well!

We Fong

3 opmerkingen:

  1. cool 2-colored river thing, never seen that before!

    nice pictures too, are they all from my camera?

  2. Yeah, everything was taken with your camera.
    Also, I broke the unbreakable suitecase you gave me on the third day in beijing, it lost one of its wheels...

  3. wtf! It survived for 30 years and you broke it within a week? Impressive, lol.

    Buy a new one at silk street in Beijing. I know it's a tourist trap, but they have many cool large travel suitcases. More then regular shops. Be prepared to negotiate harshly for the prices. I bought a cool one, superlight weight but strong and durable with moveable wheels in every direction for about 300-400 i think. It was one of the better ones. The cheaper ones go for 100+