Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ancient Canals In Suzhou

We were supposed to visit Wuzhen where the Chinese folks still live by the ancient canals and run their daily chores in the laid back atmosphere. We had to miss it as it was too faraway from Shanghai.

We took this high speed train and went to Suzhou instead in less than 2 hours! We got off at the wrong station which was a highly industrialized areas of Suzhou. Look at all the green bicycles for rent! We took a taxi to the ancient canal areas which are located in 2 different spots. Look at how the taxi drivers shielded themselves from being bashed, knifed and even spat on!!!

This was the first touristy spot where we visited. It had rows of souvenir shops with an ancient garden and museum. The folks and youngsters were seen gambling openly by the roadsides. 
The fruit seller was selling mangoesteen and berries! 
Sorry for my blurry photos which became like that after grouping them.

This was the BEST FOOD I had in my whole trip in China. It was their native's Tau Foo Fah which added with light soya sauce and sprinkled with spring onions, dried shrimps, Pickled Chai-Por and etc. It was so heavenly unusual to eat tau Foo Fah that way.

I went to the museum because it was FREE entrance.

 I was very impressed by the huge size of the mansion with so many court yards which belonged to some high ranking magnates during the ancient times.
I was very disappointed with the old artifacts and antiques inside as they were boring stuffs.

Later we strolled along the canal banks and browsed through the many interesting shops.

 The mirror reflected-like canals looked nice with spring flowers everywhere!

 This must be the most popular Lover's Bridge as everyone fought tooth and nails to snap photos!
Look at my honey up there!

 Even wedding couples would come to pose with their studio photographers and crew in tow.
Look at her shocking red dress!!!

I stopped by this stall as the smell of the fragrant buns could tickle my nostrils from a mile away! I bought these Lion's Paws and ate them hungrily.

I bound my hands and bought nothing as I knew my itchy hands could not stop buying endless souvenirs! I must visit Wuzhen in future as they hardly have commercial shops in that area and you could still see old folks playing Chinese chess under the pine trees there!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Mount Jiuhua (Jiuhuashan - China) Part 2

This is the Part 2 of my hike up to Mount Jiuhua in China. The biggest surprise I had was to discover that the body of Dayuan DiZang Wang Pusa (Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva) was being kept inside a big temple atop this auspicious mountain! Best of all, he was born a Prince from the palace in Korea and traveled to this mountain in China a few thousand years ago! I will post about this temple in the final part of Mount Jiuhua. The last 2 other coming posts will show the beauty of Suzhou's Ancient Canal Village and Shanghai's Yu Yuan Gardens & Museums. I promise I will not bore you with no ending posts of China - That's not me!

Mount Jiuhua has got 99 peaks and over 90 different temples scattered all over the mountain range. I think we managed to cover about over 50%.

 Everywhere I climbed, the nature's scenery was beautiful in Spring.
Happiness is all around us!

Who has not sinned in this world?
Many pilgrims went up the mountain by kneeling down upon making few steps to
repent for all their bad sins and karma. It was so painful.
I was happy to see the special rainbow lights radiated blessings at these pilgrims.

 The panoramic view was awesome and spectacular.

 The rocks were beautiful and unique to me.
Looking at the heavenly light beams made me a changed person.

 Some treks had steps while many parts were rugged paths on the boulders.

Here a chief monk was showing a VIP around. I thought he could be a Governor of Anhui's rank as his protective bodyguard's entourage was attracting much attention.

 This is LIFE! We can choose our own paths.
The Chinese hikers are very determined to scale the mountains to worship. 
They carried canes and babies along the risky paths. I am just like them, 
always taking risks in my life.

The Spring Flowers and cool breeze made my trip enjoyable otherwise the rocks would be plain boring.
So we should eat ice cream often to make ourselves happy!

 I spent a lot of time people-watching and appreciating the shapes & colours in the temples.

 This temple keeps all the ancient Sutra books inside.

 We have made a wish to return again someday to visit all the 90 temples.

 I love this Zen photo very much. 
It speaks a thousand words. The monk knew that I stared at him from far and took many photos of him 360 degrees. 

Unforgettable Day

😓 Yesterday was the weakest day of my whole entire life. I had to crawl my way to stay at my sister's place. At her Mont Kiara condo...