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青城山 Qingcheng Mountain

Published on April 23, 2014, by in China.

       On a recent Tomb-Sweeping Day holiday weekend, I took a badly needed day trip to 青城山 Qingcheng Mountain, northwest of Chengdu. The mountain is one of the most important centers of Daoism (道教) in China, as well as being a relaxing, beautiful spot to get away fromt he noise and pollution of the city.           I’d visited the mountain once before, just after my arrival in China in 2006, during a hot, sticky summer when the cicadas were buzzing so loudly I imagined their deep, echoing sounds were coming from some otherworldly gigantic insects. I was with a group of teachers, but instead of climbing the mountainside steps, I took a cable car to near the top.         This time I came by myself, taking the high-speed elevated train from the Chengdu North station about 40 minutes to the Qingcheng Shan station. A word of advice: on leaving the station and heading left to the bus area, don’t take the big city-bus type bus that costs 2 RMB; take the mini-bus, which will drop you off right at the ticket office for the mountain. As I found out the hard way, the big bus lets you off in a parking lot about 2.5 kilometers from the entrance to the mountain proper. It’s a pretty walk if you feel like it (or you can pay extra for the “sightseeing” tram the rest of the way), but since I was planning on

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monastery wall

Published on August 19, 2012, by in Architecture, Chengdu.

大慈寺  Dacisi Monastery, Chengdu

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more Chongqing

Luohan Temple, Chongqing   I returned to Chongqing the weekend of May 26-28 for another IELTS exam weekend.  The city hadn’t changed much in the two weeks since I’d last been there. The weather was still warm but not yet hot, and the cloud cover cast a gray pall over the city. The speaking exams,on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday, were at SISU, Sichuan International Studies University. Each IELTS speaking exam lasts 11-14 minutes, after which the examiner assigns scores in four catagories.  On Sunday, I again ate lunch at Café Liberthé, the French restaurant operated by the Alliance Francaise on campus. This time I had an excellent plate of fried sole, and a large salad.   Luohan Temple, Buddha   Sunday evening, I wanted some local Sichuan food, so I returned to a restaurant in the Linjiangmen area I’d been to on my first trip. I had two huge plates of food, with stir-fried meats, Beijing duck-style pancakes, and green beans. Why do I seem to eat so much whenever I’m out of town? On Monday, we marked the IELTS writing exams at the British Council offices downtown, a short walk from my hotel. I finished early, about 1:30 PM, so I had the entire afternoon free.  I walked to Luohan Temple, and wandered around inside the temple buildings for awhile, taking refuge in a covered walkway during a brief rain shower.   Changjiang (Yangtze River), seen from Chaotianmen Square     My stomach was a bit upset,

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Luohan Temple

Published on June 2, 2012, by in China, Photography, Travel.

Luohan Temple, Chongqing – roof details

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kitchen

Published on January 28, 2012, by in Chengdu.

Wenshufang, big cooking pot