Mount Heng-Hanging Monastery 浑源悬空寺


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Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong
October 7th 2009
Published: October 7th 2009
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Hot water is on only after the morning call in the hotel. After a simple breakfast they call it the morning meal 早飯, we took off at 7:00am on time. It took 90 min of mountain road to get to the monastery on Mount Heng of Datong. The cost to get in is 60 rmb; student discount for me is half the price. It is only less than two hours per day the monastery is in full sunlight.

The monastery is not that big, no more than 100 persons single file can fit in there. 30 % of the structure is cantilevered out of the cliff and constructed of specially treated wood. The pole is only for decoration to make you feel safe while up there. There are no structural values of the poles. It has been there for 1400 years. I do not how much longer when people climb all over it every day. Observation only single file and one way, that is why a long line to wait to get in. They want you just keep moving no stop for pictures.

We went to the Yingxian Wooden Pagoda 应县木塔.I did not want to pay the 60 rmb to get up to the tower to save myself the money and the tower. There are some historical streets but most of the shop closed for the holiday.

My 18-200mm Nikon lens all the sudden stop working on the auto focus. I still can use it but need to focus by hand, slow down a little. I think Nikon has the 5 years warranty, need to wait for couple of months when I return home. I did not even take that much pictures on it, may be less than 20,000 for the last three years.

After a simple lunch we start the 4 hours mountain road trip to Wutaishan 五台山, another China’s holy mountain; a valley of temples. We encounter one of the hundred year’s toilet, the worse so far. Do you ever see the “ slum dog millionaire” ?, worse than that. Big hole in the ground, your whole leg but not whole body can fall into it.

When we get into the valley, it is very beautiful with all the temples lighted up by the late afternoon sun. However it is a mad house on the road, buses, cars and peoples every where. It is getting cold also in this high mountain valley. We had a real bad dinner at his mountain area and check in the no star hotel, worse than Silk Road hotel. There is a strong odor when open the door and the water is running stop. I told the hotel personnel, they said just let it run. It will stop when the water is off. How can I sleep with all the noise ! I use a towel to damper the noise.

Sure enough the water stop running at 10 pm. I mean stop, every thing. No water at all even the toilet. No wonder the toilet bowel so dirty. There is no heat or AC in the room. Temperature may drop below the 30’ at night. Luckily I am an experience traveler in the China mountain area, always prepared. I sleep with my down vest on because I do not want to use the dirty smoky blanket.

The morning call is someone pounding on the door at 6:00am. We head out at 6:30am to the temple before the lousy breakfast.



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