Trip 8: Kunming (June 3-7, 2011)

This is a record of my eighth trip to visit the 142 Key Temples of China. Links lead to articles on the temple (or other site) named. (Sites not posted have not been linked.)

This was another quickie, in-and-out over a long weekend. To my delight, Lila agreed to accompany me for a quick trip to see three great temples in Kunming, as well as some beautiful "lesser" sites.

Friday, June 3:
We were to fly at 20:25-22:35, but massive delays got us in after midnight. Taxi vultures tried to skin us, but we found an honest one and arrived at our hotel in just 15 minutes or so, for a fraction of the previous quotes. All's well that ends that way.
  • Stayed every night at Kunming - Bestway Hotel

Saturday, June 4:
Qiongzhu Temple
Exhausted from our late arrival, I juggled the schedule a bit so we could sleep in. We asked several taxis to take us to our temple, but all refused. Finally one said yes--but it turns out I hadn't spoken clearly and he took us to a temple much closer, but in the wrong direction! Chagrined, he agreed to head into the mountains (the cause for the others' refusal) and we had a delightful time at Qiongzhu Si (1:21-4:10; my #45) with its exquisite collection of statues. We had a great, cheap lunch of spicy noodles inside the temple grounds. Buses and a taxi took us back to town, and dinner at Yuquanzhai, near the gate of Yuantong Si.

Sunday, June 5:
Huating Temple
This time the taxis knew how busy the gateway to our destination would be (easy to pick up a return fare), so we had no problem getting right to the gate of Huating Si (10:30-12:45; my #46), where we had fun exploring a virtually abandoned pagoda area behind the temple. Getting out was tougher, so we walked downhill a ways before getting into a minibus which we thought would take us to the main gate, but in fact dropped us in town. We caught a taxi to Yuantong Si's gate again, planning on lunch at Yuquanzhai. By "accident" we ran into Ven. De Ru, a monk I had met in a temple in Fujian when we were teaching kids there in the summer of 2006. After a brief chat, we lunched separately, then he joined us for another longer chat. Afterward he went on his way, and Lila and I walked down the hill to see the twin pagoda relics at Dade Si (3:40-3:50). After returning to our hotel, I shot the pagoda of Tanhua Si from our room window (4:25); this was the place the driver had mistakenly taken us to yesterday morning.

Monday, June 6:
Yuantong Temple
Because of our afternoon flight time, we headed out early and took a taxi to our last temple, Yuantong Si (8:15-9:40; my #47), by the gate of which we had eaten twice already. No time for a meal there today. Another taxi dropped us at the "Shuang Ta," Twin Pagodas (10:00-11:00), which we shot. Grabbing a quick KFC lunch, we taxied back to the hotel, grabbed our bags, and taxied to the airport for our 14:00-15:40 flight to Shenzhen.

No comments:

Post a Comment