Jan 042010
 

All the roads to different great walls were closed again today. It is clear they aren’t equipped to handle this level of snow and cold – every bit of snow we have seen removed has been completely by hand. I’m hoping they are finally open tomorrow – we can try for a quick visit before heading to the airport.

This morning we visited the Zhihua Temple (Zhihuasi) in the Lumicang hutong near our hotel. Several winding unmarked hutong streets deep, the temple was a bit tricky to find.

We arrived just in time to catch the end of the music performance by yellow costumed temple staff. 15 minute performances of Jingyue are given by a group of Buddhist musicians each day at 9, 10, 11 and 3. It has apparently been happening here for a while, they are the 28th generation of musicians to play on the grounds. The rest of the temple complex is not large, but has some very nice carvings and the main building has 9999 nooks and a small statue of Buddha in each.

Some of the buildings have been repainted, but in general the temple seems to have been left alone and minimally promoted for western tourists. Not a bad thing for us – we were the only ones there – but one wonders what the government plans for the site are.

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