Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Lazy Day in Quingshui

As the weather begins to turn from warm to mid-swelter, took the girls out this morning west, toward the Port of taichung and the small city of Quingshui, which is translated into Chinese as "clear spring water." As you will see, it was quite a lazy day in the sun. (The above photo is of two monks napping while asking for donations. Check out the rest of today's photos on the flickr link to the right.)
Our first stop were the "Ghost Caves," actual mountain tombs that have been sealed for visitors to trek deep down into the earth and take rest. Of course... if you don't mind sharing the dark corners with a spirit or two.

Cramped with shallow but well lit passageways, I kept reminding the girls about Tom and Huck looking for Injun Joe's treasure. They bought most of it. Here I caught a few winks on dusty bamboo sleeping mats for weary travelers, though I don't know how anybody could spend the night in this place.
Of course, the hightlight of the day was visitng the Quingshui Tibetan Lama temple. This place was so alive with color and festival and people milling about. The interior was vibrant with hundreds of hanging 2010 Lunar New Year lanterns and flocks of people lighting incense and praying.
Some of these lanterns were a little tacky, like the Doraemon and Sponge Bob, but well, that's Asia for you. But most of the architecture and design are fun and sort of breathtaking when given the right amount of time to appreciate them.

Of course, knowing me, I split off from my little group and headed upstairs to the construction area to explore. It was worth getting barked at by the angry workers to see parts of the temple off limits to others.
In the end, most of these holy places are not the most holy sites for me. Still, they provide great insight into the culture and are a good place to reflect and think about the world. The girls had a wonderful time and we ended the day licking ice cream cones and sitting in the shade beneath banyan trees in the courtyard. Pretty good, for a lazy spring day.

No comments:

Post a Comment