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Published: August 22nd 2011
Kung Fu day!! Today we were up again bright and early and leaving behind the city of Zhengzhou to head to the Shaolin Temple. The bus led us up the winding roads of the mountains towards the Temple and the views from this high were stunning. There was still a hint of smog this far out from the cities, however not as bad as the inner cities have been. It is also still incredibly hot and every time we leave the air con buses or rooms we are immediately dripping in sweat.
We all piled out of the bus at the Temple, all very excited and eager to learn kung fu. We were lead into the Shaolin Temple grounds to be met with a host of school aged children learning all different types of Kung Fu, and watching them move and the focus they had on the art they were learning was amazing. We watched them for a while doing a range of things from basic training to full scale backflipping and working with swords and long wooden sticks. From here we were able to watch a demonstration of the art of kung fu, and we were blown away by the ability these men had (they are mainly men studying here but there are a few women too, but not many). We walked around the grounds for a while after the show, taking in the fact that we were in possibly the most famous kung fu centre in the world and after having a quick lunch we were getting very excited to met our Shaolin Master and learn some of the kung fu we had seen during the day.
We were taken to a studio (a very hot studio) where we finally got to try out some Kung fu moves. Our Shaolin Master couldn't speak any English but that didn't matter as all the communication was through body language anyway. We spent a good two hours learning a variety of moves that looked basic but were actually very difficult to achieve. By the end we were all sweating buckets but we had had an amazing time and loved what we had learnt. We left the Shaolin Temple on a high having had perhaps the best day so far. It took a hour or so to travel to our hostel in a place called Luoyang, which was perhaps the worst hostel on record costing only £1pppn and was filthy with shared and unisex communal showers. Needless to say we were not impressed and complained but at that time of night there was nothing that could be done. We were taken out for dinner thankfully and headed to bed early to avoid having to look around at where we staying, it was truly awful! Other than that, it has been an excellent day in China!
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