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Friday, November 19, 2010

Trip 7: Guangzhou (November 19 and December 21, 2010; March 12, 2011)

This is a record of my seventh trip to visit the 142 Key Temples of China. Links lead to articles on the temple (or other site) named.



To tell the truth, this is not so much a trip as a series of short day trips, spread out over several months, to explore one temple from my list and several more known as the "Five Great Temples of Guangzhou."



Friday, November 19:
Liurong Temple
On the first trip I actually did stay overnight, as I had business at the American Consulate the day before. I then took the Metro to Gongyuanqian Station and walked to Liurong Si (11:00-12:40; my #44). I had been here once before, in April of 2006, but had had camera failure. Besides, this time was my "official" visit, including my devotions. After my visit, I walked to Guangxiao Si (12:45-1:45) (sort of more pleasing than Liurong), then took the Metro, a local bus, and a highway bus back home.
  • Stayed Guangzhou - New East Hotel (Tianhe Dong) near American Consulate



Tuesday, December 21:
Haizhuang Temple
This time accompanied by friends Tim and Amy (the same Tim who hosted me in Ningbo on my first trip), we started with a highway bus, then a local taxi, and the Metro to Gongyuanqian Station. We visited Liurong Si (9:55-11:20) and walked to Guangxiao Si (10:40-12:45), where we had lunch in the restaurant. Then we took a bus to Hualin Si (1:15-2:15) which once hosted Bodhidharma, and then by bus and on foot to Haizhuang Si (3:20-4:15). From there we took a local bus back to the long-distance bus station, and a highway bus to Shenzhen.



Saturday, March 12:
Dafo Temple
I had learned that the four temples above were not the full picture. There had been a fifth temple, Changshou Si, on the list of Great Temples of Guangzhou. As it had been destroyed in 1905, the Powers That Be had added another to the list. So on this morning, Lila and I did the bus-taxi-Metro shuffle back to Gongyuanqian Station, as I had before, but this time we took a different exit (at 11:20). We walked past the "Yaozhou Relic Site," where sources say a "forbidden imperial garden" had been located over a thousand years ago, to Dafo Si (11:25-12:00), site of a major Buddhist library. We then strolled along Huifu West Road enjoying the architecture and street life until we came to the Five Immortals (Taoist) Temple (12:15-12:50). After more street life and architecture, we noted Jinlun Guild Hall (1:30) near Hualin Si (01:35-1:55). This time, exploring an alternate route, we took a bus northward to the Chen Clan Academy (Guangdong Folk Arts Museum) (3:40-4:45). Then taxi and highway bus home. [See "Old Guangzhou" for an article on this.]

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