When I first started to explore Hangzhou, I was quite gobsmacked by how prosperous the city was. Just down the road from where I was staying were showrooms for Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati and Rolls Royce and top-end designer shops such as Versace and Armani. It seems that Hangzhou has some money on its streets, in fact I saw a Ferrari and Rolls Royce being driven around.
Lingyin Temple is one of the largest temples in China and the most interesting religious building complex in Hangzhou. I was pretty well templed out by the time I visited Lingyin Temple but I still found it quite interesting. This is probably because of it's splendid setting amongst the surrounding verdant trees.
Lingyin Temple was first found in 325 A.D. but it has been restored 16 times since. The present building actually date from the 20th century. What makes it immediately so noteworthy for visitors is the size of the it principle buildings. The former entrance hall, the Hall of Heavenly Kings is 60 feet tall alone. This is a remarkable size considering that it is not the temples main building. The Hall of Heavenly Kings has four Devi Kings as you would find in other temple entrance halls. Here they are up to 40 feet high and brightly painted. At the centre of the hall is a Laughing Buddha that is a true joy to look at.
After visiting the Hall of the Heavenly Kings, you have the choice of seeing the Hall of 500 Arhats or the Mahavira Hall. This latter building is 120 feet high and houses a massive golden image of Shakyamuni. The Hall of 500 Arhats is self described and like other such buildings that I visited in China, it is fun to see the different expressions carved onto each sculpture.
The Lingyin Temple is open daily from 7am to 6pm. Admission is Y20.
Hanging around in Hangzhou
"Having a chinese beer"
The alcohol call.
"Beautifull aquatic plants."
We have it here in Rio also.
This is a lake inside a island.
It looked like we were rock stars. The school girls wanted us, badly.
"6 Harmonies Pagoda (Liu-he)"
This 13 storey pagoda has been rebuilt a lot of times. There is a big ladder to reach the top, but it's worthy.
"The statue just below the pagoda"
"Camel at the zoo"
This guy has a smile, or what?
"Beautifull house at the park near the zoo"
"Xi Hu , the West Lake"
This elegant boat is in fact a restaurant, at the West Lake. This lake is one of the most known tourist places in China. Hangzhou has been the capital of Chinese empire when Beijing wasin hands of the Mongols. There was a canal linking Hangzhou to Beijing.
The guy is drying tea.
The lake has lots of red carps, waiting to be fed.