Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

Hangzhou Trip Part 2: Three Dudes, Two Monuments, One Fascist on Holiday, No Eye Contact

20 Mar

In Hangzhou I stayed at a hostel¬†right next to Jingci Temple¬†(pronounced Jing-tsuh), where this gentleman was paying his respects. It was pretty wild to be staying within walking distance of a Buddhist temple that dates from the 10th century, even if it had been “embellished” since then–you see, Chinese culture doesn’t value authentic, untouched ruins the same way Western culture does. Or maybe modern mainland businesspeople just value tacky touristy paint jobs and overdevelopment more. At this particular temple, I actually ran into the construction crew building an entire hall from scratch…that was embarrassing. Then again, maybe it’s an adaptation to 1) the Cultural Revolution and/or 2) a historical tradition of building mostly in wood.

At the southern edge of West Lake, the temple crowd was apparently not noisy enough to keep the monks from drifting off.

No offense meant to any Buddhists in the crowd–I just couldn’t stop myself from photographing monks-acting-like-normal-people. Doing normal-people things, like napping with their shoes off. On that note…

Later I made it over to Leifeng Pagoda (mentioned previously here) and ran into a bunch of PRC soldiers. Or, as I liked to think of them, Fascists on Holiday. I got a shot of one of these gentlemen admiring the view of West Lake.

I was totally afraid I’d be deported for taking this photo, so you best appreciate it.

Next time: The Silk Museum, The Tea Museum, and Buddhist Cliff Carvings on Peak Flying From Afar (what?)