Trip 1: Zhejiang 1 (Hangzhou, Putuoshan, Ningbo) and Shanghai (August 17-26, 2009)

This is a record of my first trip to visit the 142 Key Temples of China. Links lead to articles on the temple (or other site) named.

This was my first foray onto the Chinese temple path, and was pretty ambitious (if I do say so myself), taking me to three destinations in Zhejiang Province as well as Shanghai in over a week. A good start!

Monday, August 17:
08:30 flight to Ningbo, to arrive 10:25; met by a driver (Mr. Fan) hired by my friends to take me to their place in Beilun
  • Stayed friends' house, Beilun, Ningbo

Tuesday, August 18:
Feilai Feng Grottoes
"Black taxi" to early bus from Beilun to Hangzhou; taxi to Lingyin Temple (11:30-3:30; my #1), including the Feilai Feng grottoes and a quick look up the hill (gateway of Yongfu Temple, area of Fayun Village); then another taxi to Jingci Temple (4:00-5:15; my #2) and a quick shot of Leifeng Pagoda across the street; a bus back to Beilun, then "black taxi" to friends'.
  • Stayed friends' house, Beilun, Ningbo

Wednesday, August 19:
Duobao Pagoda
Travel day: "Black taxi" to Beilun port; ferry; bus across Zhoushan Island; ferry to Putuoshan (landing about 11:25); hotel shuttle to hotel. Walked up to Puji Temple, climbing hill near Fanshan Pavilion on the way, with views of beach etc. and gorgeous Duobao Pagoda outside (entire excursion 4:00-6:00), but didn't properly visit Puji Temple until two days later. Had dinner (about 4:30-5:30) in fancy restaurant near temple.
  • Stayed Putuoshan - Purple Bamboo Hotel, Putuoshan

Thursday, August 20:
Nanhai Guanyin
Walking from hotel, approached Nanhai Guanyin, a huge statue (9:40-9:55). The whole area was quite crowded. Turned off to see a small temple, Xifang Jingyuan, including view of "Guanyin's Leap" (9:55-10:20). Then entered the area of Nanhai Guanyin (stayed until 11:20). Walked to two more small temples in the area: Zizhulin (arriving 11:30) and on past to Chaoyin Dong ("Cave of Tidal Sounds") and Bukenqu Guanyin Yuan (with wonderful statues of 33 Guanyin) (11:40-12:20). Then back and entered Zizhulin (12:20-12:40). Next, walked up to Puji Temple bus area; island shuttle bus to cable car to Huiji Temple (1:10-2:50; my #3). (A big, new temple was being constructed across from the base of the cable car.) Snacked and rested near entry, until 3:25. Walked down the "Xiangyun Road" past Xiangyun Pavilion (3:30-4:20) to Fayu Temple (4:20-5:20; my #4*). Island shuttle back to Puji Temple area, and walked back to hotel.
  • Stayed Putuoshan - Purple Bamboo Hotel, Putuoshan
*As I visited this temple both before and after Puji Temple, I sometimes switch their numbers. In this blog, Fayu is number 5, and Puji number 4.

Friday, August 21:
Nantian Men
Walked from hotel (9:30) to Puji Temple and its museum (10:00-12:15; my #5). Lunch in the fancy restaurant nearby; walked over to entry to "Western Paradise" (1:10-1:15), but no time to hike in. Shuttle back to Fayu Temple (2:00-3:00) to pick up what I'd missed the day before. Shuttle to dock area (3:30) and walked to Nantian Men (a natural gateway) and Daguanpeng (a small temple) until 4:00. Hung out between there and the dock area until 6:00, walked back to hotel. Boat back to Zhoushan Island; taxi across island (to catch last ferry); ferry to Beilun port; called my "black taxi" who came after a long wait to take me back to my friends' place in Beilun proper.
  • Stayed friends' house, Beilun, Ningbo

Saturday, August 22:
Tiantong Temple
My friends kindly hired a car (the same driver who picked me up at the airport) and accompanied me to today's two temples: Tiantong Temple (10:00-1:30; my #6) and the Zhongfeng Tayuan (a kind of cemetery for monks); then to Ayuwang Temple (2:45-4:30; my #7), with a stop for lunch in a country restaurant in between.
  • Stayed friends' house, Beilun, Ningbo

Sunday, August 23:
Qita Temple
I slept a little late, then took a "black taxi" to the bus station and at 10:30 boarded a bus to the Jujube Tree restaurant in the center of Ningbo (arriving at 12:00). After lunch I walked to Qita Temple (1:45-3:20; my #8). When trying to leave central Ningbo, I discovered that the bus queue was interminable, so I ended up taking a "black taxi" all the way back to Beilun.
  • Stayed friends' house, Beilun, Ningbo

Monday, August 24:
Travel day: "Black taxi" to Beilun bus station, bus to Shanghai. Metro from bus station area to Jing'an Si Station, walked to hotel. Taxi to dinner at Malone's, walked home, shooting exterior of Jing'an Temple on the way.
  • Stayed Starway Ganyuan Hotel, Shanghai

Tuesday, August 25:
Metro to People's Square, looked around; buses to Chenxiang Ge (10:55-11:55; my #9). A quick walk over to Cheng Huang Miao (City God temple; 12:00-12:05), then a bus to Longhua Temple (1:15-3:40; my #10). Buses to People's Square, Metro to Yuanming Jiang Tang (5:10-5:45; my #11) in time to catch a service. Walked back to Jing'an Temple, where I shot the exterior (again) around 6:00. Subway Sandwich for dinner, then walked back to the hotel.
  • Stayed Starway Ganyuan Hotel, Shanghai

Wednesday, August 26:
Yufo Temple
I walked back to Jing'an Si Station, where I finally saw the interior of Jing'an Temple (10:00-11:35; my #12), which is under construction. Worried about time, I then took a taxi to Yufo Temple (11:55-2:00; my #13). After a short break at the temple's "Zen Coffee" shop, I walked back to the hotel, picked up my bags, took a taxi to Jing'an Si Station, then took the Metro to the maglev train to Shanghai Pudong airport for flight to Shenzhen 18:15-20:45(?).

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