What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 30 weeks ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 32 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 32 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 42 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 42 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 51 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 51 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
3 years 5 days ago
More in Community
Students in China: A Muslim lunch, a monkey preserve, a mountaintop ...
A group of students from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School spent two weeks traveling through China. In this series, we present some of the journal entries that the students produced while traveling. Part two of four.
Friday, April 15, 2011 – Old City Wall: I started off the day very tired. I had been up late the night before and hadn't really slept well. We started off in the morning by getting on a bus and driving through Xi'an to the Wild Goose Pagoda. The pagoda is a tall building in the middle of the city. Surrounding it are gardens and smaller temples that are devoted to the Buddhist faith. I got to climb the pagoda and see the view from the top. To be honest you couldn't see very far due to the smog in Xi'an, but you could see the elaborate fountains in the square near the pagoda quite clearly.
After the pagoda we went to the drum and bell towers. These two buildings are odd in that they are surrounded by very modern looking buildings of road while they still are of traditional Chinese architecture. They really stick out like a sore thumb. The names for the towers also fit them very well. The drum tower has drums in it while the bell tower has bells. Inside the drum tower we got to see a performance done by a group of drummers that was very interesting. Surrounding the towers were beautiful arrangements of flowers in read and yellow. They really added to the beauty of the towers.
We next went to lunch in the Muslim district. This was a very interesting experience because of have never had food quite like it. It was a noodle dish with bread and beef floating through out the broth. You could also add some sort of spice to it in order to give it a kick. Sorry that my description is not so good, but it's something one should experience themselves to really understand it.
After that I went to go bike riding on the city wall. This was definitely the highlight of my day. I have never experienced anything quite like it. You are on this ancient looking wall with re-enactors dressed as ancient Chinese soldiers surrounded by modern buildings and the sound of traffic. It's all most like two time periods clashing. I rode a bike along the whole wall and the total trip took around an hour and a half. During the ride I encircled the inner city of Xi'an and saw everything from Buddhist temples and modern apartment buildings to empty lots and slums. It really put the city of Xi'an into perspective for me.
The final thing we did that day was go to the Tang dynasty show. We were fed a plethora of different types of dumplings before the show for dinner. To be honest though I didn't eat a lot that night because I wasn't hungry. The show was pretty good and featured a lot of dancing based on the traditional dancing of the Tang dynasty. We also got to hear traditional music which was quite different from western music. Once again it's something I really can't describe and you have to experience it yourself.
Saturday, April 16, 2011 – Big Buddha in Leshan: We arose this morning, weighed down with dumplings from the night before but bright eyed and ready for our day of travel and exploration. Breakfast was filling and delicious as always; most everyone experimented with the sometimes strange looking Chinese morning delicacies. From here, the travel began. We hopped on the bus, drove to the airport, hopped on the plane, departed from Xian, and arrived in Chengdu- the city of high fashion and beautiful women. Alas, us Americans stuck out like dirty sore toes in our denim and camoflauge crocs.
Next, we got back on a bus (so many bus rides!) to drive to Leshan, a smaller city at the foot of a famous & beautiful mountain, E-Meishan. We had the amazing opportunity to see the biggest stone Buddha in - the - world! If you think this sounds like the coolest thing ever, than you're right. If you don't... than you need to see pictures, because it will blow your socks off. 200 feet of pure BUDDHA! I'm not even religious and it still moved me. The hard work that was put into creating this relic, all for the good of the people of Leshan, was something that inspired me and made me smile.
Saturday, April 16, 2011 – Emei Mountain: Yet another early start. Today we woke up around 7 and that includes the extra hour of sleep I sacrificed for a lack of breakfast. We switch between a few buses before finally arriving at our destination, the base of E-Mei Mountain. This is the rural China that I much prefer to the cities. It is truly a jungle out here.
We start out hiking to a Buddhist temple a little ways up the mountain. When we get there I experienced something that I have never really felt before. The mix of a the humbling of thousand year old architecture, the insistent beat of traditional Buddhist music, and the warm jungle climate put me in a sort of trance that I can’t really describe, but it was an experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Matt (who later said he was in a similar state) and I sort of walked around for like a half hour not talking or taking any pictures just calmly taking in our surroundings. I walked back down the stairs very slowly and by the time I got down I saw two Chinese men pick up Mrs. Schott in some sort of wooden seat and start running down the mountain with her. Soon after I was reassured they were not kidnapping her but she had paid them to carry her down the mountain more quickly.
Our next stop was the monkey preserve. Just outside it was a sign saying all the things you can’t do around the monkeys, the first two being don’t run and don’t yell. I would be a liar if I said I followed all the rules because the second I saw the monkeys I let out an exuberant “Monkeys!” and started running towards them ... oops. I loved the monkeys and they loved me the first monkey I had contact with showed his love by urinating on me ... I liked it. I had anywhere between one and three monkeys on me at once most of the time. It was awesome. But unfortunately we could spend the entire day with the monkeys and we had to move on.
We spent the next couple of hours getting to the top of the mountain. It is really cold up here, like Maine cold! We spend the time we have before it gets dark playing a national pride game of 4 on 4 basketball against some of the people that live on the mountain. We weren’t keeping score but there is no doubt that we won. On the American team there was Kyle, Me, Sam and Matt who they liked to refer to Kobe, Jordan, or Shaq depending on what kind of amazing shot he had just made. Unfortunately this concludes what is so far my favorite day of the trip. I’ll tried to get a good night sleep before waking up at like 5 the tomorrow.