More rain today! it was pouring today which has really affected our plans. we had decided to go visit LinYin Temple and Yue Fei Mausoleum. LingYin temple is this huge Buddhist temple in HangZhou. It is really old and really wealthy. in front of it, there is a small mountain that is made entirely of rocks, and in a bunch of rock caves at the foot, there are many buddha carvings from the Song and Yuan dynasty. This is the first time I have seen rock buddha carvings (don't count the ones from that island tourist trap). It was really interesting to see how the style have evolved over the years. the rain had made this part really difficult cause all the rocks are slippery, but also it means less people so we can enjoy the caves without 500 tour groups walking through.
The temple itself is extremely big and well maintained. I was happy to see that apparently this is a serious buddhist temple where monks live and study. They don't solicit you for money or want you to buy crap all the time. And they don't charge you 5 dollars to hit the bell or whatever. This makes me respect them that much more. I saw the cafeteria where monks eat. Man, they all eat this HUGE bowl of rice.
After the temple, we decided to go to Yong Fu Temple, an older, smaller temple on teh backside of LingYin. due to its small size and location, almost no one was there except us. it was really nice to walk there as the rain and the empty courtyards really made me feel at peace. It was a really good atmosphere. I am really glad I went.
Yue Fei Mausoleum is of course famous because Yue Fei is buried there. He is a Song General that is famous for fighting for his country, and then wrongfully executed by the emperor. it was like one of the biggest wrongs in Chinese history. I wanted to visit there and pay my respect. They had his evil accuser's statues prostrating in front of his tomb and I saw everybody spit on them as they walk by haha.
it was very different seeing HangZhou in the rain, West Lake looked completely different. So I was glad to go out today even though my pants got all wet :)