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Published: June 24th 2012
We drove about 2 hours yesterday outside of Chengdu to the city of Leshan and the Temple of the Giant Budha.
On the way I saw many fields of rice, lotus flowers, corn on the cob corn( those were small areas like we would have in our backyard), grape vineyards and they we're covered with netting.
When we got to Leshan, we went to the Giant Budha which is carved in the side of a mountain that is made of sandstone. There are 3 large rivers that converge in front of it. We first walked up the mountain to see it from above and then took a boat to see it from below.
This is the story. Haitong, a monk in 700ad saw that many fisherman were being killed by flooding in the area so he went around raising money to build thisgiant Budha to protect the fishermen. When he got back to the area the Governor wanted Haitong to give him the money instead. In front of the Governor, Haitong gouged his own eyes out and put them on a platter. This made the Governor afraid of Haitong andallowed him to keep the money. It took from
713-803ad to complete the Budha.
After the boat ride we ate at the fanciest restaurant and had delicious food. One dish was cold chicken and spicy peppers, mashed yellow potatoes with some kind of seafood in top. I picked that off. There was rice and a green leafed vegetable and red peppers that had been sautéed. Everything is sautéed in bean or safflower oil.
We then drove to the city of Emeishan and a fancy resort in the mountains of Emei. There were some trails thru the wooded areas and a lake to walk around that was beautiful. The next day we went up into the mountains by bus and cable car. I thought it interesting that the first thing mentioned on asigh a was that the cable car was designed in Austria. I think that brought more comfort to the tourist than if it had been designed in China.
At the top was the Monastery of 10,000 years. It is more shaped like a mosque because the Muslims did theconstruction for the Emperor. It is yellow asthreat is the color reserved for the Emperor alone. Ben, my guide, said that the Muslims were by smart and
made a lot of money in China and that is why they were given the task of building it.
We then hiked into the monkey Eco reserve. As you can see by the pictures I got very close to the monkeys. You are warned not to put your hands in yourpockets as they will think that you have something they want and will jump on you. They have been known to bite and then you need a series of three shots. This happened to Ben so he would not go with me to the area of the monkeys. He could see me from where he was ,though. They also warn you not to scream if one jumps on you, but to remain calm. How's that working? You are to guard your camera as they may take it away from you.
I was sufficiently nervous but I was not about to miss this. I did see monkeys jump on people just ahead of me but I came out unscathed. I even went beyond where most people went and there were no attendants to keep the monkeys in line. I was just behind 2 big strapping backpacking guys and one
was obviously trying to convince the other to go on ahead. I quietly stuck right behind them and we were the only ones on the trail.
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