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Published: January 31st 2006
Putuoshan - 23rd January 2006
From Yandang Shan we caught a bus up to Ningbo in order to get the ferry to our next destination, the island of Putuoshan. After about a 3 1/2 hour bus journey we arrived at the ferry terminal around 5 o,clock only to find out that the last ferry left at 3pm! Doh! I suppose that serves us right for not doing our homework.. So anyway, this means we need to spend a night in Ningbo which is fine and it turns out to be quite a nice place. We gorge ourselves on a feast at a nice chinese restaurant (bit of 'accidental' overordering) and the next day we are revived and ready to ferry over.
Putuoshan with it's Buddist temples, trees and beaches is given a favourable write up in the guidebooks and is a popular place for visitors. There is unfortunately quite a lot of building work going on at the moment which kind of spoilt our first impression of the place.. as did the 3 hour trek trying to find somewhere to stay! Very strangely we were turned away from many places that said they were full but we have our
suspicions that this was not the case. Bit unfair really, we're that scruffy looking!
We finally found a room and stashed our bags and then braving the cold we took a wonder around the island. It seemed like quite a nice place but for me Putuoshan was missing the charm of the other island we recently visited (Gulang Yu). We had planned to spend 3 nights but ended up just staying for 2. We took a down to the beach (not for long though in this weather!) and we visited 2 of the main temples, one in the south and one in the north. In general we found the north of the island to be much prettier than the south. We also went down to the far south of the island to see the 33 meter high bronze statue of Guanyin who is reputed to protect the fishermen and islanders.
All things considered, Putuoshan was a nice place to visit and I'm glad we went but in my opinion it is missing the x-factor that makes somewhere truely special. Next up we are off to Hangzou to visit the massive West Lake.
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