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Published: November 7th 2012
One of the thousands in the WanFo cave
With only 2 lessons to teach today we headed off after lunch to find cold and flu medication, train tickets and Thousand Buddha Mountain.
Miming a sore throat and a cough plus with the help of the handy phrase book, we got something that seemed right, with a mimed instruction on when and how to take it all.
Train tickets were easy; the train ticket agency is brilliant and worth the Y5 extra per person per ticket with our weekend trip to and from QingDao all booked and paid for with staff really willing to get us train tickets that suited us.
Going via Jinan East station and coming back into Jinan Main train station on D train, so a journey of 2.5 hours each way.
Next stop BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) No 3 and up Ji Shan Lu heading south.
You get off at the first stop on JingShi Avenue (first turn right) and then it’s a short walk up the small road opposite the first pedestrian crossing to get to Thousand Buddha Mountain.
Prepare to spend money, Y30 to get in, Y10 for a little
golf buggy ride to Wanfo Cave, Y15 to get into the cave and Y15 to get down on the chair lift.
Thousand Buddha Mountain is a small hill located about 2.5 kilometres southeast from the centre of the city of Jinan.
Buddhism became popular in the Jinan area during the reign of Emperor Wen, the founder of the Sui Dynasty (589-618AD). With Buddhism, monks came to area and chiselled Buddha statues out of the flanks of the hill, which was originally called Miji Hill or Li Hill. A temple, called the Thousand Buddha Temple (Qianfosi) was founded at the foot of the hill. Eventually, the hill was renamed after the temple into "Thousand Buddha Mountain".
The Thousand Buddha Mountain Public Park has been developed extensively for—mostly local tourism—by the creation of access roads and walking paths as well the addition of a 600 meter-long chairlift and a summer slide (the "Qineng Slide") down the hill.
Myriad Buddha Cave (Wanfo Dong) at the foot of the hill's northern slope. Inside the more than 500 meter-long artificial cave, late-20th-century recreations of Buddhist statues from four famous Chinese grottoes (Dunhuang and Maiji Shan in Gansu
These 3 Asian people are born and bred Aussies from Brisbane.
Province, Longmen in Henan Province, Yun Gang in Shanxi Province) are on display. The original artworks were created during the Northern Wei, Tang, and Song dynasties. Around 28 000 Buddhist images are on display inside the cave, the biggest statue—a lying Buddha—is 28 meters long.
A small world happening occurred when we were about to enter with a very loud “Gidday Mate” shouted out to us by a group of 3 Asian people who had just visited the area. Martin was wearing his Bronco jersey and these 3 people were from Brisbane, born and bred there. They were on a 5 week Confucius tour of China.
One lady even worked for TAFE just like me. Jinan does not have many Western people and they were surprised to see us.
The walking paths were immaculate, the stone steps not so steep with nice little areas to sit for a rest, temples areas which cost more money to get into, and frequent toilet areas as well as gift and snack shops.
The trees and plants were as usual pruned to within an inch of their life and sitting just so.
Many trees were
festooned with red ribbons as well as stones were carefully placed on some trunks.
The cave was interesting, we were stunned with the amount of offering money at the various Buddha’s that people prayed at and then at the end Martin was beckoned over to contribute. He pulled out a 1Jiao note thinking it was 1 Yuan when it really is 1/10th
of a Yuan, and was laughed at by the attendant who was probably thinking extremely rude things about Westerners.
We ended the day with a white knuckle cable car ride (Martin does not do heights I was OK!) down the mountain.
We found some pepper and tomato juice at Unimart, headed off to Carrefour for supplies and then home.
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