After a wonderful lunch, we headed towards the Lingyin Temple Scenic Area.
The front gate had a beautiful textured gold sign
Once inside, we were greeted by a series of statues of important Buddhist prophets & historical figures:
These were followed by the amazing Feilai Feng, or commonly translated as “Flying Peak”. This limestone mountain has dozens of intricate Buddha carvings on its side, complete with dangling vines like something out of an Indiana Jones movie. It was absolutely breathtaking. I felt like I was on ancient hallowed ground. My pictures don’t do them justice…but here are a few that take you through the grounds…
I always find it interesting to see the labels & names people have for soft drinks around the world. I’m currently a Sprite fan, myself, which is called something like “Shirpa” in Chinese. 🙂 Here’s what the bottle looks like:
Here are some other bottles as seen in a local grocery store:
When we walked into the tea farm doors, we were greeted by this larger than life Chinese teapot…
To our left was a spokeswoman for the farm. She was standing next to a worker who was hand-drying tea leaves in a large metal bowl. We soon learned that this man had been drying tea for over 50 years! His fingers were numb to the heat of the metal as he tossed the leaves around & around, constantly keeping them in motion so they would not burn. Occasionally, he would reach towards the white stick of oil and melt a small bit into the bowl, all the while, continuing to move. The muscles & veins in his arms were amazing.
Next, we were ushered into a small room where our guide taught us more about why the Longjing (Dragon Well) green tea here is considered the top in the country (and some say, the world). (more…)
After visiting West Lake, we headed towards a local tea farm. This area of the country actually produces the #1-ranked green tea in the entire nation, Longjing (Dragon Well) Tea. As we drove through the countryside, you could see workers hand-picking the best leaves & working the land. The April/May time frame is actually the best time of the year to purchase fresh green tea from this region. Here are just a few pics taken from the bus of the tea fields. There is some reflection off of the window glass…but this gives you the general idea.
Click on “more” for additional pics.
On the misty morning of Day 7, we boarded our bus & headed towards West Lake. Here is a view from the bus along the way…
When we arrived at our destination, we boarded a small boat, and were on our way to view the most famous sites of the lake.
Nope – we didn’t board this one…
But one of these… *LOL*
To give you a little background… West Lake was originally a lagoon adjoining the Qiantang River. In the 8th century, the governor of Hangzhou had a dyke built that cut it off from the river completely.
The average depth of the lake is only 7.5 ft. Three of its sides are surrounded by mountains and one side by the city. The natural setting of strangely shaped peaks, serene forests, & dense foliage are enhanced by a treasury of sculpture and architectural features.
One of the most famous architectural features of the lake is the “Broken Bridge” located at the east end of Bai Causeway. (more…)
At every tourist spot in China, you must be prepared to be accosted by street vendors. They sell everything you can think of. I can’t remember how many times I was asked if I wanted to buy a Rolex watch. That would be the fake kind, of course, at the bargain price of around $2. *LOL*
This woman was selling Groucho Marx style glasses that had noisemakers on either end so when you blew through a tube…they would come out of the moustache.
A number of street vendors sell food. We were advised never to buy food from them since it is cleaned with tap water (if even cleaned)…and the tap water is not drinkable in China. Beware of buying bottled water/drinks from street vendors as well. They tend to pick up empty bottles off of the street, refill them with tap water, and call them new. Yuck!
This woman was selling fruit from her baskets (or at least, I think that’s what it is?!) See “more” for closeups. (more…)