Thought I would share an observation about China before talking about this excursion. Our tour guide mentioned that in China, they handle plurals of words differently than we do. For example, we say 2 apples, the Chinese say 2 apple. The number 2 implies plural, so adding the “S” is redundant. May explain why Chinese menus say Shrimps instead of shrimp. There is no number in front of it so they make it plural, not taking into consideration that the word shrimp in itself is plural. Could be completely wrong, but makes sense to me now…..lol
After we had visited the Small Wild Goose Pagoda we headed to the train station in Xi’an to get on the bullet train to Chengdu. We didn’t get a picture, once they take your ticket it is a mad rush to get on the train. The train travels at 250 kph (converts to ~155mph). Some of the other lines travel at 350 kph but because we were traveling through the mountains our speed needed to be reduced. It was a very smooth ride through the mountains; the scenery was beautiful and we went through quite a few tunnels, 6 of which were over 10km long. It was a very noisy ride, the Chinese seem to have no inside voices. The trains are very clean and the seats are comfortable. So comfortable that I slept for 2 of the 4 hour train ride.
After our arrival in Chengdu we were taken to an area that served Hot Pot, a traditional dish of the region. More on that from Mark.
The next morning we woke up early to head out to see the Stone Buddha that was carved into the side of a mountain. It stands 277 ft tall and construction started in 713 and finished in 803 during the Tang Dynasty. It faces Mount Emei and was built where the Min and Dadu Rivers meet.
The waters of the river were extremely rough so the Buddha was built with the hope of calming them. What actually happened was the stone that was carved out was tossed into the river which helped to slow the river down. We had an extremely overcast day on the water so clear pictures were difficult.
This is the boat we took to view the pagoda and they provided us lovely orange vests that are not made for some of us husky American tourists, mine barely fit.
This picture shows the enormity of the Buddha.
It is said 100 people could stand on top of the hand.
Every detail is amazing, all done by hand.
These were carved into the rocks on either side:
We did the boat tour, other groups had to walk quite a distance to get to the Buddha, climb down, back up, and then the long walk back to the bus. I enjoyed our tour……lol
It was truly remarkable to see this beautiful sculptures, all done by hand. It is hard to believe it is over a 1200 years old.
Local saying: “The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain.” This is because the mountain range is thought to resemble a slumbering Buddha.
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