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Day 19 Hangzhou

June 18, 2011
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June 14, 2011 (Tuesday)

Nineteenth day in China, fourth day in Hangzhou: 靈隱禪寺 Lingyin Zen Temple, 飛來峰 The Peak that Flew from Afar, 天福茗茶 Tianfu Tea

Thick rain splattered the windows of the bus that took me counterclockwise around the lake and into to the mountains at Lingyin. I paid to enter the green and soaking grounds around Lingyin Temple, where Buddhist sculptures nearly 1000 years old are carved into the rock walls of caves along the gushing creek. In the cave a light shafted through a single aperture above. I lit my flashlight and met a medieval Buddha. I paid again to enter Lingyin Temple, where colorful streamers hung from the roof beams, worshipers prostrated themselves before giant gold Buddhist idols. More statues “only” ten feet or so high ringed the edges of the hall. Facing out the back door were three more Buddhist figures standing before a floor-to-ceiling wall of sculpted figures emerging from the waves. I climbed stone steps around a bamboo grove to the last hall. Walked past squat old buildings on an old road. Ventured into the woods, climbing flooded paths with stone steps cut into rocks past Buddhist statues to a pavilion, and into the woods to the several rocks of Feilaifeng, the “Peak that Flew from Afar”, namely India. Ducked under branches and climbed down out of the woods. Bussed back to Hangzhou and drank tea in a Tianfu tea shop.


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