Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 7: Hangzhou

LingYin Temple 灵隐寺

First day in Hangzhou must of course visit the infamous LingYin Temple.

LingYin Temple
The entrance ticket (RMB45) to LingYin Temple didn't include admission to the temple itself. But it was okay because we weren't very interested in the temple anyway. We paid to visit Chenghuang Temple 城隍庙 in Shanghai and we wouldn't repeat the same mistake. FeiLai Feng 飞来峰 (literally translated as "Flying Peak") was more worthy to visit.

Entrance ticket to LingYin Temple. We didn't notice there was a barely visible line saying "excluding admission to LingYin Temple". What a joke.

Near the entrance of LingYin Temple there was a tourist information centre which provided ticket-booking service for the Impression of West Lake 印象西湖 stage play, which I'll blog about later. We decided that it was more reliable to book our tickets here than through the hostel. So we did. The sales personnel helped us call to confirm the availability and we purchased two tickets for the night's show. We were given a receipt which we would use to claim two tickets at the ticket booth near West Lake. Satisfied with our decision, we proceeded with our sight-seeing. 

FeiLai Feng 飞来峰

FeiLai Feng was made of limestone and was famous of its religious stone carvings. Legend has it that the peak was originally from India, but flew to Hangzhou overnight as a demonstration of the omnipotence of Buddhist law, thus the name "Flying Peak" (reference site: Wikipedia).

Stone carvings in FeiLai Feng.

The amount of details was amazing.

All the carvings looked ancient.

There were barriers of about 1 metre from the carvings to prevent tourists from touching them for better preservation. But still it was obvious some of the carvings had been destroyed.

Some wordings on the walls which I didn't understand.

Elder Li's Pagoda 理公塔

Elder Li's Pagoda 理公塔 was the largest stone pagoda which housed the ashes of HuiLi 慧理, the Indian monk who founded Lingyin. There were inscriptions of the Diamond Sutra and carvings of Buddha on the surface.

Endless numbers of stone carvings.

On the left showing the pilgrims of the Journey to the West.

YongFu Temple 永福寺.

The Chinese always like to have something on their roofs.

Some guy's tomb.

Somewhere deep in the clouds 云深处.

The Stones of Three Lifetimes 三生石

A Small Obstacle

In the evening we left LingYin Temple and headed to the West Lake for the Impression of West Lake stage play, only to find that we couldn't claim our tickets because there wasn't a show that night. You couldn't imagine how disappointed and pissed off and worried we were. We walked in silence across the Su Di Causeway 苏堤 back to our hostel. Upon reaching we were told that a guy tried to call us several times today. We expected it was from the personnel in the tourist information centre. We called him back and he informed us that there were no show that night (which we already knew), and that we had to bring back the receipt and exchange for another one to claim tickets for the show on the next day. We asked for a refund instead, as the receptionist at the hostel lobby had earlier persuaded us that it was safer and wiser to purchase the tickets from him directly. So yeah, we had to wake up early in the morning and take the trouble to travel back to LingYin Temple for our refund.

Lesson 6: For pre-book tickets, it's more convenient to buy from the hotel. Whatever happens, you still have someone to hold responsible to.


Back at the hostel, unpleasant things continued to happen. As promised, we were given a double bed room, which I hoped had better water heater facility. It had indeed worked fine. After our shower and meal I was knocked out, while Mr. Chin stayed awake reading a novel he borrowed from the bookshelf at the lobby.

That was our dinner - cheap and yummy. I liked it. Oh, and that was the book over there Mr. Chin was reading.

That was the bed. I should had taken the picture before messing up the bed.

Not too bad, eh?

My ultraman towel hanging there.

I woke from feeling Mr. Chin moving beside me. I watched in horror as he caught tiny, black bugs from underneath the pillow and put them into an empty container that we used to keep the sour plum.

"I'm going to complain," he said, still with a calm and steady voice. But from his face I could tell he was quite pissed off. I decided to leave this to him. He came back telling me to pack our stuff because we were moving back to the room we stayed on the previous night - the one with the malfunction heater. 

Great, I thought, at least I had already taken my shower. I shouldn't need to worry about that until tomorrow night.

After settling in, the hostel personnel came knocking at our door to apologized and offered us free breakfasts the next morning. Well that was the least they could do, no?


Anonymous said...

black bugs....ewwww!!
but free breakfast is always nice!
did u pack leejie's towel instead...??LOL

thE gEOgrAphicAlly blind said...

free breakfast would not compensate the unpleasant feeling :(

no the ultraman towel is mine hehehe...


Hehe i reckon THE 3 LIFETIME photo will be most memorable - In fact if given choice, you'll still choose Mr chin for infinite life time ...hehehehehe

Ermm i think a free breakfast in exchange for a bug is worth it, provided the bug didn't do any damage - eg creeping into your ear for example(just joking)

thE gEOgrAphicAlly blind said...

but it was so gross! the bugs!

Keat said...

Enchanting :D