|Incense burner, Lingyin temple|
|The Big Belly Buddha|
His belly is big enough to contain all intolerable things ... his mouth ever ready to laugh at all snobbish people on the earth.
|Monk in a temple yard|
Around the monastery buildings are small tea plantations and gardens, spring water being channeled into a stone basin down a bamboo pipe. Nearby is a fish pond with swirls of multicoloured fish. There were palm trees, gingko trees, pines and other bonsais in pots. The monks have a basketball court, too, and a "music hall" where some act of worship was taking place that day.
Integrated into all this is a rather exclusive tourist resort.
|The Great Sage of the Lingyin temple,|
the largest wooden Buddha in China.
The ceiling above is 33 metres from the ground.
|Worshipping with incense sticks|
Shops in the precincts sell loose tea, silk wares, amber dragons and the usual fans and battery powered windmills, as well as many buddha-related nicknacks––pendants and bracelets that looked like Catholic rosaries and incense stick holders in the shape of cabbages. We found something to eat: half a roasted chicken wrapped in leaves with an egg-drop tomato soup on the side.
Our K7 bus back to town was the fourth in a row after a long wait in the queue at the bus station. Chris and I sat squashed together on a tiny seat, mercifully at the front of the bus so we could see out. It was so crowded (with uncomplaining Chinese tourists) that we could hardly breathe.
Back to the hotel on Bus 96 and finally, around 8p.m., some supper: a (xiǎo) pizza from the Pizzahut at the MixC mall, with a glass of iced jasmine tea topped with a vanilla-flavoured, sugary foam.