Friday, September 6, 2013

Shaolin Temple

Most people think of monks and kung fu when they think of Shaolin, but all I can ever think of is one of my favorite movies of all time Shaolin Soccer, but I digress. What we saw at the Shaolin Temple was quite a bit of the former.  We drove by a few Kung Fu schools - boarding schools for boys where half their time is spent studying Kung Fu while the other half is spent learning the schooling basics (Math, reading, science, etc...).  Our 2-hour bus ride terminated at the Shaolin Temple grounds where we walked up the various stages of temples built into Mount Song.  Our tour guide (Tim) showed us the various historical sites including a tree blanketed in bullet holes, which was turned into finger punching bags (literally holes that they "punch" with their index fingers to turn them into hard, deadly weapons).  After we finished in the temple, we walked down the road to the Pagoda forest - essentially the burial grounds for the Shaolin Monks.  Apparently, the more stories (levels) of the pagoda over the monk's ashes, the better the life he lived.  We walked up into the forest a bit to see the oldest standing pagoda there, which was built in 791AD and belongs to a Master Fawan.  I added a few random shots at the end, so make sure to scroll down to the bottom.

Girls are ready to go!

Entrance to the Shaolin temple area.

Kung-Fu school. Sort of looks like wrestling practice. 

I guess Shaolin Monks are fine with using cell phones and whatnot.  I must say, this sort of ruined the ambiance a bit.

Bullet holes turned finger punching holes.

This Monk (or Buddha, I'm not sure) chopped his arm off to make the snow red.  A request of his master before he would train him.

White girls rubbing the Buddha belly is an attraction for everyone.

Mommy and Maddie.

Darlene making friends with the natives.  I spent a lot of time talking her out of taking a puppy home too.

Master Fawan's Pagoda built in 791AD

More pagodas.

Best family photo yet.  Everyone is at least looking somewhat in the right direction.

The girls love the hotel pool, although we're relegated to the 2ft kiddie / warm tub.

Maddie double fists her pizza.  Although, to be fair, she pretty much devours everything.

The meat section of Walmart is pretty disgusting.  Slabs of meat sitting in the open, not wrapped up or anything.  This is why Darlene has been a strict vegetarian this trip.  

On the right are chicken parts and whole chickens lying out in the open.  Whole chickens  = whole chickens, heads, feet, the whole bird. 


Ryan Duggan said...

For the record, the little dog in the photo above was the sweetest stray I have ever seen. I almost lost our travel group because I could not bring myself to walk away from him. He must be a savvy stray though, because he hangs out around the touristy part of town, hopefully other tourists will love and feed him too! He had a nasty eye infection, next time I come to China I'm travelling with eye ointment in my back pocket!!

Meredith Duggan said...

omg, this post made me laugh because of several comments. As for the Walmart meat...hmmm...wonder what it actually is. Gross. Sure packing a lot in - I love the posts! Get home already!

Mike Koffski said...

I am so jealous that you got to see a kung fu class. Were there any nunchucks or sweet bo staffs being used? I would have been up in there throwing round houses.

Ryan Duggan said...

They had some awesome nunchucks, swords, and staffs being used. I have some video of that too. At one point they asked for volunteers, and I really wanted to go up there and test out my skills, but we were stuck in the way back.