Travel

Taiyuan and Chong Shan Monastery

It takes 4.5 hours from Mt.Wutai to Taiyuan by road.

This is a city with a steep history too. Unfortunately the preservation of ancient building wasn’t as aggressive.

One of the preserved building is Chong Shan Monastery.

The shrine of compassion is a marvel. The ancient eaves and entire wooden building is astounding. I hope they can preserve it better though.

The ancient giant statue standing at close to 9 meters is a sight of wonder. The thousand arms Avalokiteshvara holds symbolic artefacts in its hands and each of these items were so well crafted. It’s really hard to find such beauty in artwork.

Besides the main statue of Avalokiteshvara is a similar giant statue of Manjushri with thousand arms. A very rare art form that is an ancient legacy. The last giant statue to complete a holy trinity arrangement is Samantabhadra.

I had lunch in a restaurant that had been around since the Qing dynasty, liu wei chai. Famous for their cured meat. I stick to beef with noodles and was not disappointed.

They have more exotic choices of cured innards and other parts of the cow. Saw something that looks like penis or was it perhaps my imagination. But Chinese folk medicine believe that bulls penis help boost a man’s performance in bed. Here’s some pic, see if you can spot what I am talking about .

There’s an amazing food street that sells all sort of street food.

Another attraction is Jinci temple. This imperial garden since ancient China also double as a temple. The original religion of Chinese civilisation is ancenstrial worship. The architecture and temple fully illustrate worshipping in ancient China, before foreign religion like Buddhism take roots. And hey the central figure of worship is a gal. Sorry guys.

Although no one worships her anymore, you can get a sense of reverence in ancient time because on both sides are her maidens in attendance.

Holy mother
Divine maid in attendance to holy mother

From the above, we can observe how Buddhist shrine in ancent china echo its arrangement.

Here’s sculpture of how ancient Chinese depict dragons. It is more serpentine as compared with modern Chinese interpretation.

Foodstreet

Everyone is eating and walking. Soaking in the merriment. Food makes people happy. Nice place to visit in the evening.

Overall, taiyuan is not tourist ready yet. Major attractions like the twin pagoda, tianlong grotto, Mt.Meng giant Buddha is having major upgrading work. It is 2018 and I think it should be ready in another 3 to 5 years. Meanwhile, I would recommend skipping this city.

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My Buddhist name is Ratna Jamyang Puntsog. I first encountered Buddhism in this life when I was 12. Formally took ceremonial refuge in the triple gem when I was 19. I believe the different spiritual methods were taught by Buddha to suit various beings who each have their own unique characteristic. The various sects and practices that arose are just a naming convention invented by disciples out of communication necessity. Had read and studied different forms of Buddhism. Volunteered in Buddhist organization. Until it last, I hope to share my views on Buddhism and find like minded practitioners around the world. May we practice Buddha's instruction together and connect through cyber space!

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