I had been in china for a while, so it was about time I visited a temple!
My friends Mat, Loman and I headed out on our bikes to the Baolin Buddhist temple here in Shunde.
As soon as you enter the temple area your stuck by the peaceful serene beauty of the place. So much of Shunde feels very industrial so being immerced in some awesome nature was really refreshing!
The entire area enclosed within the walls was very large and contained a lot of smaller buildings along its sides that we checked out first. The path contained a nice balance between manmade structures and nature. The atmosphere was incredibly relaxed and peaceful. There were small rooms along the path.
The stone architecture seemed simple yet very beautiful and much of it contained intricate details upon closer inspection.
Inside some of the rooms were some artwork and many scrolls of Chinese calligraphy
Matt and Loman posed for a nice photo
I really thought the roofs had a cool look to them.
We then moved from the structures on the side towards the center of the park. We bought some delicious ice-cream then posed next to the huge awesome pot!
After that we decided to head up the main temple area… first we had to climb 1 or 2 stairs.
One ice-cream cone later and we had made it to the top.
Only then did we realize there was more stairs
There was a really awesome and very tall totem pole-ish thing along the way.
Along the path were a few ponds with goldfish, and little minnows
Before making it to the temple we found more stairs and one of the coolest walls I have ever seen.
We saw some of the temple guardians that looked extremely old
At this point we were quite high up and could see over the wall to the outside world at one point.
Finally we had made it to one of the main temples
Around the temple were trees which contained red ribbons and charms. Loman told us people prayed or wished for things then tied a ribbon to the tree to help it come true.
We also donated a couple RMB for some incents sticks to light and place in the shrine out front. I light my incents and made a wish!
There was also some nice stone lantern encasements around
Inside one of the temples were 3 giant buddhas.
Out front while waiting for Mat to go to the washroom I spotted a security guard. He put his m3 headphones in and then started doing a wicked Kung Fu routine! He was really fast and it was pretty much the coolest thing I had ever seen! At one point during his routine however his mp3 headphones got disconnected and the mp3 speakers started playing some loud kung fu action music.
We also went into another temple structure which had a single large golden Buddha
Later on in front of the main temple a monk walked up and started talking to me! Monks may be relatively normal down to earth people, but as a child after seeing lots of monks in kung fu shows and movies I had always wanted to meet a monk! Even though my Chinese is still limited the short conversation we had was pretty thrilling for me, he seemed like an awesome dude.
Later another monk came by while hitting a small drum. It seemed to be a sort of dinner bell and a long stream of monks followed him into the temple. (I was quite excited by all of this)
They all sat down around a large table in the temple and began chanting. They went through a few songs/prayers and it sounded really amazing! After that they all had dinner together!
Shortly after it was nearing closing time so we made our way back down the stairs taking in the beauty and peacefulness of the place one more time before returning to the real world.
I found this trip to the temple totally awesome, and taking part in certain Chinese traditions like burning incents and witnessing a short bit of the monks lives was really exciting. Taking a moment to visit somewhere peaceful like this was a great break from the usual faced paced world of china!