Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

River trip to see the Feilai Temple

While in Guangzhou I took a little day trip to see the Feilai Temple and Feilaixia valley. Ancient temples that to visit you must take a boat up a beautiful river surrounded by lush green mountainsides and rocky peaks. I tried to plan the outing with a bunch of couchsurfers in GZ, but after all was said and done only one other person could make it. Lucky for me she spoke chinese. We ended up missing the tour that was going out so took the regular bus to Qingyuan and from there we had to figure out how to get to the temples. No one in town seemed to know or at least want to help us to find the temples. Eventually we got a motorcycle taxi to drive us to a dock. Zipping down roads on the back of a motorbike with rivers on one side and banana and bamboo fields on the other while the fresh air whips by you is quite the way to travel. When we arrived at the dock all the tour boats had already gone for the day. We were up the creek with no paddle. Somehow we managed to get invited to go up the river with a bunch of people who all worked in town for a life insurance company. No one spoke english, but hell if i'd complain about this. It hands down beat any tour I could have taken. sure I didn't learn as much about the history, but I spent the afternoon absorbing culture from the locals which is much more important to me. and truth be told, I think we had more fun.

Heading onto the boat with the gang. From first look I thought the green boat was ours, but actually you just walk across the front of boats till you get to yours. Our boat is behind this boat and you can see it slightly to the left and back of the green boat.

What else do you do when traveling up a river on a boat... you play mah jong. Sadly without any of the ladies speaking english, I was unable to fully learn this version of the games rules.

A local temple that wasn't on the usual tour routes. The buddhists on the boat got off to pray and make their offerings here. I loved the scenery around the temple.

The local temple, surrounded by mountain forests.

Feilai Temple grounds. We'll go up the river first and then back down to visit.

a fisherman hoping to catch some product

what you see here is 4 tables of mah jong and one table of some card game. a nice way to spend the day.

Coming up on the Feilaixia temple grounds

we stopped at a fishing market to pick up some food for lunch

LUNCH! crsipy tofu with fish, fish in ginger, and small mussels.

more of the lunch plates. my favorite was the far right, a pork fat medley.

racial unity. Chicken heads kissing fish heads. can't we all just get along?

At the end of lunch they piled all the food from every table in front of me, as it's proper chinese etiquette to make sure the guest is full. This is an example of a bad joke gone too far, but they all got a good laugh out of it. And I got a good extra inch or two on my waist from it. :)

I'm not sure fully what this boat was doing. it was bringing water in and then rinsing sand. was it cleaning the sand? not sure.

this kid was pretty cute. I think the ball was tied on his back so that when he falls into the water he'll float.

Huge insence sticks burning in front of the Feilai Temple

A stone snake riding a turtle in the turtle pond behind the temple.

A turtle swimming in the trash infested turtle pond.

waterfall behind the temple. where else better for it?

a cave for monks to pray in.

small buddha in the monks cave.

giant statue of Kwan Yin, buddhist goddess of compassion

The mountains surrounding us. Amazingly beautiful and peaceful.

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